Kenya’s top-tier league, the FKF Premier League, will be back on TV as a multi-million deal with Tanzanian broadcaster Azam TV is in its final stages.
The Sports Ministry and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) have been working hand in hand to ensure that Kenyan football is back on TV, and CS Ababu Namwamba has countless times insisted that the 2023–24 season that starts in August will be on TV and that clubs will benefit financially both from broadcast partnerships and title sponsorship.
“I made promises to Kenyans when I was reappointed Sports CS, and I intend to fulfill each and every promise made,” he said.
“We will have a broadcast partner for the Kenyan league before the start of next season. Plans are at an advanced stage, and I want to assure the nation that we have a partner coming on board,” the CS said during an interview in May.
Behind the scenes, talks have been ongoing and the partnerships will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
Kenyan football has been in the dark for the last two years since Chinese broadcaster Startimes bolted out after FKF’s disbandment.
Signs that Azam were indeed interested in Kenyan football became evident early last month when they bought rights for the Mashemeji derby and the match between Tusker FC and Karibangi Sharks, and in a statement, the federation said that it was engaging the broadcaster in talks over a longer partnership.
“The federation is grateful for this partnership and wishes to thank Azam for their support and commitment in the commercial development of Kenyan football, even as both parties continue to engage on the possibility of entering a long-term partnership that is mutually beneficial,” read the statement from FKF then.
The broadcast deal comes as a boost for Kenyan football in many ways, as it could play a part in helping curb match fixing, which is fast becoming a menace in the game.
Clubs will also benefit financially through grants released by the broadcaster, and the visibility provided may play a part in helping clubs land sponsorships.
Meanwhile, the federation is also set to ink a deal with an international gaming company that will come on board as the title sponsor.
The FKF Premier League has been without a title sponsor since 2021, when its deal with another gaming firm was terminated.
The 2022–23 season comes to an end over the weekend, with the new season set to commence in mid-August.