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They’ve taken us for a ride: Nigerian TV stations not showing Africa Cup of Nations

By News Express on 19/01/2013

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The 29th Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) kicked off in an uneventful manner with hosts South Africa and debutants Cape Verde playing out a barren draw this evening at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.

For millions of Nigerian soccer fans who have no access to cable TV and could not go to viewing centres, it was complaints galore as they could not watch the match. Some of the fans have been calling radio stations to complain loudly about the failure of local TV stations to broadcast the game.

Sports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi had yesterday raised hopes when he assured that efforts were being made to ensure that Nigerians watch the live telecast of matches of the matches. Abdullahi, also Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), made the promise at a Media Round Table with the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes him as saying that it’s unfortunate that the country had found itself in such a difficult situation.

Abdullahi, according to NAN, wondered why those that are saddled with negotiation acquiring the Broadcast Rights acted late in opening the negotiation late. “They ought to have acted much earlier,” he said.

“Why this is just coming up now two days or so to the Africa Cup of Nations?” the minister asked, adding: “It’s unfortunate that we have found ourselves in this situation but I must say also that it is more a matter for the Ministry of Information than to the Ministry of Sports.

“But we’ve tried to assist, got NFF to even write a letter to them and I got a preview yesterday (Thursday) but I’m still optimistic that something would happen because negotiation still continues.

“But that’s the situation, we shouldn’t find ourselves in this situation in the first place and that if we envisage this crisis, the people who have responsibility to ensure that Nigerians watch the competition ought to have risen long before now.”

Abdullahi said he had heard about the broadcast rights tussle from the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, while he was away in Faro, Portugal to monitor the Super Eagles preparations.

“The Honourable Minister of Information was actually the first person that mentioned it to me that there are issues about broadcast rights but wanted me to speak with CAF,” Abdullahi said.

“I spoke with some of my contacts in CAF and they said, look, CAF has no issues with it, they’ve sold the rights to LC2 and that LC2 has the right to do whatever the like with the license they’ve got,” he added.

News Express reports that this was a case of Nigeria resorting to fire brigade approach but which failed to work this time. There is however hope that he impasse could be resolved before Nigeria take to the pitch against Burkina Faso on Monday.

Source News Express

Posted 19/01/2013 11:33:48 PM





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