Sunday, May 19, 2013

SuperSport slept on the job

Kenyan football could easily pass for any other name ranging from boxing, tae kwon do or even karate for the endless verbal and physical fisticuffs that the fans are often treated to.

If it’s not, the endless upheavals within the federation or the intra-club feuds, then it’s the fans themselves settling score the old fashioned way, omundu khu mundu, as AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia fans are often compelled to do.

But the past one week has seen a different kind of a fight in the football realms far removed from what the public is used to.

South African pay television SuperSport is screaming blue murder after their rivals Zuku pulled a fast one on them with that controversial Ingwe TV deal.

As the exclusive Kenyan Premier League broadcast rights holders SuperSports’ ire is quite understandable. But it is the underhand ploys they have resorted to in desperation that have fanned the raging flames.

Using their massive leverage, SuperSport is clearly arm twisting the Kenyan Premier League to coerce AFC Leopards into revoking the deal with suspension threats in the event they fail to comply.

There has been a heated debate on the Daily Nation sports desk over this issue but no one seems to agree with each other.

Give the devil his due. SuperSport have done a great job in lifting the standards of the game since their arrival on these shores some five years ago at a time when Kenyan football was on its death throes. The milestones achieved cannot be gainsaid.

But that said, am afraid it seems SuperSport have also been sleeping on the job in certain aspects. I still don’t understand how a Johnny-come-lately (no offence to Zuku) could beat the moneyed SuperSport in their own turf to a simple idea such as a club TV.

This is something they should have done like yesterday. In the meantime, for their folly they will have to contend with the excellent publicity Zuku will gain from this fallout.

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