SuperSport has terminated their broadcast rights deal with the Kenyan Premier League Limited estimated to be worth Sh300 million a year.
This development marks the end of a ten-year relationship between the two parties that has seen football fans in Kenya and the regional treated to live league matches broadcast by the South African firm.
The latest contract between the two was due to lapse in 2019.
In a brief statement, SuperSport’s legal advisor Phillip Seleke said they had withdrawn from the partnership because of a recent court ruling which declared that KPL wasn’t the bonafide “owners” of the top flight football league.
“You (KPL) warranted us contractually that the KPL is the only body recognized by Fifa to run, administer and be responsible for the administration of professional club football in Kenya, which warranty is directly contradicted by the relevant SDT (Sports and Disputes Tribunal) Ruling and the views of Fifa. You are accordingly in breach of our Licence agreement and we must unfortunately herewith terminate our contractual relationship,” said Seleke.
KPL and FKF have had protracted battle over the running of the league and its composition.
KPL were forced to go to the SDT in a bid to resolve the conflict.
KPL chairman Ambrose Rachier and chief executive Jack Oguda described the mover as “shocking” and unfortunate.
Rachier also blamed FKF president Nick Mwendwa.
He also hinted that KPL’s other lucrative deal with betting firm SportPesa would be affected by SuperSport’s decision to pull out.
“Kenyan football is poorer today. The legal and sporting consequences are grave. Gor Mahia is only useful to SportPesa for instance when we are covered on TV. (Nick) Mwendwa should take the blame for all this, he is the one who pushed us to have 18 teams in the league this season, despite our contract (with SuperSport) stating otherwise.” Rachier, who doubles up as Gor Mahia chairman, claimed.
Mwendwa dismissed the claims.
“I have not heard SuperSport declare they don’t want an 18-team league. That contract has been terminated because someone misrepresented himself. We have a solid relationship with SuperSport.”
“I will meet all affected clubs on Tuesday and we will seek to recover the situation.” Mwendwa declared.
In a related development, thousands of football stakeholders will have to bear consequences of SuperSport’s decision to switch off broadcast.