With only three weeks to kickoff, Startimes Uganda Premier League clubs are yet to know the fixtures for the 2018/2019 season, the Nile Post has learnt.
On Wednesday, UPL CEO Bernard Bainamani revealed that the league will kick off on September 28 with games at various stadia around the country but confirmed the fixtures are not yet ready.
“For clubs to play in the league, they need to be licensed and then Fufa gives us list of clubs that have been licensed. We have just got a sponsor and it would be unfair to ask the new sponsor to start broadcasting without letting them prepare,”Bainamani said on Wednesday at Namboole.
“All those factors combined have led to a delay in releasing of fixtures.We have delayed by two weeks.”
He also noted that there was time lost during the Super Eight tournament but assured that soon the fixtures will be out before the league kicks off
100 live games at only 3 venues
Recently, pay Television company Star Times announced a sponsorship deal for the Uganda Premier League and FUFA Big League worth US$7,240,000 (Shs28.1bn) for the next 10 years after bagging the title naming and broadcasting rights of the top flight leagues.
The Chinese pay tv company that enjoys a base of 1.3 million subscribers in Uganda replaced Sports Broadcasting Limited
Speaking on Thursday, Aldrine Nsubuga, the Startimes Uganda Vice president confirmed that they would be broadcasting 100 games throughout the season.
“We shall broadcast three live games per week whereas the rest of the games will be recorded and relayed later,”Nsubuga said.
He revealed that they will be relaying the games on Sanyuka TV, which is part of Next Media.
On the stadia, he revealed that only Startimes stadium, St.Mary’s and Namboole are the three venues that will be used to relay live games for the 2018/2019 season after meeting the minimum standards required for the live broadcasts.
Asked about the criteria that was used to select clubs whose games will be relayed live, the Startimes vice president said they considered the size of the club, popularity, performance, fan base and the media attention that a team gets.
No competitor sponsors
Nsubuga however revealed a number of restrictions that were part of the agreement Startimes signed with FUFA as they took over both the naming and broadcasting rights for the Uganda Premier League for the next ten years.
“Direct competitors will not be allowed as sponsors for Uganda Premier League clubs,” he said.
He however noted Startimes are not club sponsors before noting that the individual clubs can ride onto the pay tv to look for other sponsorship deals.
According to Nsubuga, the pay tv company has set aside a special budget for marketing the Ugandan league through banners, billboards, posters, social media and any form of media to make the game known at all levels.
The Startimes Uganda Premier League will kickoff with a super cup game between the league champions Vipers and Uganda Cup winners KCCA FC to be played on September 22 at a venue yet to be announced.