THE Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) matches are set to broadcast live again after seven years.
The leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) sealed the deal with Startimes – a cable television – on Thursday, November 2.
The new arrangement follows a failed broadcast deal between the then Shehu Dikko-led League Management Company (LMC) and Super Sports, another cable television, in 2017.
The failed deal lasted for two years instead of five.
A new five-year deal was signed in Abuja on Thursday by NFF and Startimes.
It is worth N1.06 billion in its first year, the current 2023/24 season, while the following seasons 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 N1.2bn in the 2026/27 season while it jumps further to N1.25 billion in the 2027/28 season.
The agreement takes effect this weekend as some NPFL matches will be broadcast on Saturday, November 18.
Expressing his administration’s commitment to return the football league to TV, the NFF president, Ibrahim Musa Gusau, who led the NFF board members, pledged to make sure that the Nigerian league is beamed across the globe and expose Nigerian players to the world.
“It was a promise we made when we came on board to beam football games on our screen, and today, we are telling Nigerians that we have achieved that. We started with live streaming, which will still go on.
“It was our intention to start this before the league kicked off, but we wanted to do a thorough job as we wanted to do things the right way. Today, we are here, and tomorrow, we may not be here. With that, we want to leave a lasting legacy for those that will come after us,” he said.
The NPFL board chairman, Gbenga Elegbeleye, lauded the effort to return the league to TV.
“Today is a major step to bring football to the homes of Nigerians. It has been months of painstaking efforts to ensure we bring our football to the TV. We look forward to exciting times in our league. Good times are back in the NPFL,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer, CEO StarTimes, Joshua Wang, promised the company would provide high-quality games to Nigerians.
“We have been in Nigeria for several years, and we know Nigerians are passionate about football. We give equal opportunities to everyone, and this has led to partnerships with several football federations, such as Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana. We are glad to have secured exclusive rights for five years, and we remain committed to developing football in Nigeria,” he said.