SuperSport calls for ideas from Namibian stakeholders

By: Bel Ombre

SuperSport Head of Production Alvin Naicker has called on Namibian sports stakeholders to come up with suggestions that would lead to the broadcast of the Namibian Premier League (NPL) on SuperSport.

Naicker, who was speaking at the recent SuperSport media roundtable during the MultiChoice Content Showcase, held at the Outrigger Hotel and Resort in Mauritius, revealed they have tried to get the Namibian football league on SuperSport but talks between the company and the hierarchy of the NPL had failed.

He however expressed hope to strike a deal with the NPL in future. SuperSport currently broadcasts the Zambian and Zimbabwe leagues, among others. S u p e r S p o r t General Manager for Southern Africa Graeme Murray said the company has yielded impressive results over the years.

“In 2006 we flew a crew of 26 journalist to Abudja to broadcast a football game. Today, we’re proud to say that we have 100% local crews operating our facilities in Nigeria and Ghana.” Murray cited the broadcaster’s involvement in local football leagues as a prime example of the way sport has grown on the continent. “We started working with the Nigerian Premier League in 2006 and it’s gone from strength to strength.

We progressed to the Nigerian Super Eagles League and the Nigerian Basketball League, both of which are doing better than ever. We’ve been partners with the Kenyan Premier League since 2008 and the Ghanaian League since 2012. Not one Kenyan league game had been broadcast on television for a decade before we partnered with them, and look at how the league is thriving.”

S u p e r S p o r t recently concluded a deal with the Zambian League which will see league and cup competitions continue to air on SuperSport over the next five years. The channel also announced plans to establish a dedicated magazine show out of Zambia, which SuperSport calls for ideas from Namibian stakeholders will do much to raise the profile of the league on the continent.

Naicker emphasised the need for collaboration between SuperSport and the continent’s sporting stakeholders.

“We don’t just pay money for rights and walk away, sending in a couple of cameras to film a sporting event.

There should be an education process, both ways. We want tounderstand what the local culture is about – what time games should start, why certain venues can’t be used. We set up a Broadcast Manual for the football leagues to help educate them about the way a broadcast works and its influence on fixtures, logistics and timing. We want to build successful partnerships because we’re in it for the long run,” he said.

He also expressed excitement over acquiring the rights to air the 2016 Olympic Games. “We will have a multi-channel feed, with six channels as a minimum on the SuperSport bouquet,” he said.

“We will cover every event where an African stands a chance of winning a medal. We have dedicated crews following African teams at the event and we’ve already started meeting with African sporting bodies and stakeholders to find out who the medal contenders are, so that we can start building stories around them in the lead-up to the Olympics.”

“We’re proud not only to be the best sports broadcaster on the continent, I think we’re one of the best in the world,” said Naicker. “By utilizing stars from the continent like Sammy Kuffour to share their expert insights, to helping develop sports at grassroots level with country-specific projects, SuperSport is leading the African sporting renaissance and telling the story of African sport to the world,” he added.

S u p e r S p o r t Head of Marketing Motheo Matsau said that the continent’s sporting growth is something that needs marketing, as much as the sporting content. “If nobody sees or hears about these initiatives that make us the best in the world, it’s all worthless,” he said.