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Super Sports vents frustration over TV coverage of Ghana League

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The International Director of Super Sport Gary Rathbone has expressed concern about the quality of TV production of the Ghana Premier League.

In an exclusive interview with ETV Sports, Mr. Rathbone said Super Sports is not overly impressed with the quality of television production that is currently being provided by Optimum Media Prime, right holders of the Glo Premier League.

Speaking to ETV Sports, he said the problem is due to the fact that Super Sports does not have direct control over the TV rights of the local league.

“Yeah, I will say that the fact that we do acquire our rights through a third party hampers our efforts to a slight degree,” he said

“But it hampers two things. As I mentioned earlier, the key thing to succeed with your league is proper coverage and I think the quality is an issue,” he explained.

Mr. Rathbone added that there is a need for improved coverage of the league “we need to improve the quality of the coverage of the Ghanaian league and getting it from a third party means that we don’t get the quality that we like.

“We will like to have more control and we want to contribute more to production so we can help raise the quality.

“So it is one of the things we are frustrated with, working with a third party.

The South African based satellite station started telecasting live premiership league matches via Metro TV after securing the rights from Optimum Media Prime in October 2009.

Gary Rathbone says he sees nothing wrong with dealing with third parties but feels OMP can do more to improve the coverage.

“We work with third parties in other countries where things do work,” he said adding that “I just think it is the way we are engaged basically.

“Maybe the third party needs to come to us and say ok: how can you help us basically. It’s not only about taking a check from us but how you can help us more practically to make the difference and we will be willing to do that.”

The Super Sports International Director was in the country to take part in the first ever African Football Executive Summit. He is of the view that quality TV broadcast of the league can help bring numbers back in the stadium.

But he maintains that there is the need for more investment in TV production.

“The main thing is that it needs a lot more investment.

“It needs a lot more investment in the technical production.

“It costs a lot of more money to do a proper outside broadcast coverage but it is worth it if that investment will pay off in the long haul.

Meanwhile, the President of the Ghana Football Association, Kwesi Nyantakyi says his outfit is ready to talk with Super Sports and other prospective sponsors when the current deal with OMP runs out at the end of the season.

Optimum Media Prime (OMP) secured the television production and broadcast rights to the Glo Premier League in April 2009, after signing a deal worth GH¢1.7 million ($1,133,333.00) with the GFA for two-and-half years.

But the South African based company has signed more lucrative deals with other football leagues around the continent in recent times: The Football Association of Zambia’s (FAZ) three-year deal is worth US$850,000 per year, The Uganda Super League’s five-year $5m broadcasting right deal, the Kenyan Premier League’s $11 million dollars deal for the next five years.

By Erasmus Kwaw

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