Litigation threatens NPFL/StarTimes broadcast deal

THE new five-year broadcast right deal between the board of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) and StarTimes – a cable television – has been threatened by litigation.

The deal signed in Abuja on Thursday, November 2, 2023, by the parties had raised the hope of returning the country’s top-flight league matches to television after seven years.

The ICIR reported that the broadcast deal, which is supposed to take effect tomorrow, Saturday, November 18, to air the match between Akwa United versus Remo Stars will generate N1.06 billion in its first year, the current 2023/24 season.

Also, the following seasons will attract increments; the 2024/25 season will see the deal rise to N1.1 billion. It will be N1.150 billion in the 2025/26 season. The deal grows to N1.2 billion in the 2026/27 season, while it jumps further to N1.25 billion in the 2027/28 season.

Piqued by the NPFL/Startimes broadcast deal, a marketing company, Total Promotions Nigeria Limited, claimed to own the broadcast rights of the league’s matches.

The marketing company said they had signed the broadcast rights for the Nigeria Premier League from the 2010-2011 season to 2018-2019 but was stopped from exercising the rights in 2013 by the defunct League Management Company (LMC).

Since 2013, the company has been demanding to reclaim the league’s broadcast rights.




     

     

    Getting wind of the current NPFL board agreement with Startimes, the marketing company made a fresh move, threatening litigation that endangers the new deal.

    In a letter dated November 9, 2023, signed by Mr. Funke Ajijo and titled ‘Television Broadcast Right for the Nigerian Premier League/Nigeria Football League,’ Total Promotions said: “We write to inform you that the property you claimed to have signed is not available as it is, at the very least, still residing in Total Promotions Nigeria Limited.”

    The letter revealed the litigation against any parties claiming the broadcast right between Total Promotions Nigeria Limited and Nigeria Football League in suit No: LD/997/2013, with the attachment of the injunction from the court.

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    “By this act, only Nigeria Football League has the legal ownership of all matters relating to the league,” the letter says in part, adding that the article and memo of Nigeria Football League Limited specifically state that the Nigeria Football League is to organise and manage under the jurisdiction of the NFA League of association football clubs to be known as The Nigeria Football League,” the letter reads.

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