GFA, StarTimes sign strategic agreement

StarThe Ghana Football Association (GFA) has signed a strategic agreement with StarTimes Group for exclusive rights and the development of soccer in the country for a 10-year period.
With that, StarTimes, a pay-per view statelite channel acquires all media rights of the Premier League, annual Football Gala, National Division One League, Football Association Cup, Women’s League and the Ghana Juvenile League.
It is expected that the company would invest more on programming production of  the nation’s top league and broadcast more matches to be played at the various stadia within the counry and other African countries.
The President of the GFA, Kwesi Nyantakyi, who signed for the association, was optimistic that the partnership with StarTimes would go a long way in the promotion and development of football in the country.
With the agreement, he explained that, the company was expected to assist in the construction of 10 new pitches, which would be spread across the 10 regions of the country with the view of nurturing talents at the grassroots level with focus on youth development.
He stated that that per the arrangement, the company was bringing in two Outside Broadcast (OB) vans fitted with modern technology telecasting the matches that would be played at the various stadia.
The GFA President noted that the support for the nation’s premier league by the company would help in putting local football at the continental level and subsequently on the international level.
MrNyantakyi further said that the GFA would be collaborating with its Chinese counterpart in putting in place a programme that will feature teams from the Premier League and the Chinese Super League.
“StarTimes’ experience and advantage in broadcasting technology will bring Ghana’s football to a new age,”  he noted.
He said: “StarTimes is a world brand and well-known in the whole Africa. Ghana football is also a well-known brand and our national team is one of strongest powers in Africa”.
Mr Nyantakyi further said: “We authorize media rights of all major leagues or tournaments under Ghana Football Association to StarTimes. And StarTimes will deeply involve itself in the production and promotion of these leagues and bring much investment to our country”.
President of StarTimes Group, Pang Xinxing, explained to journalists that “The partnership between StarTimes and Ghana Football Association is not only the cooperation between the two sides, but also a starting of cooperation between China and Africa on football industry.”
He praised the country for the development of soccer coupled with its achievement on both continental and international stage, saying, “Ghana football has stayed at a high level in world football, entering World Cup finals three times in succession and winning African Cup of Nations for several times.”
Mr Pang said: “The Ghana Premier League is the first top African native league that StarTimes signs, and people can expect more in the future”.
“We would like to bring more excellent football matches to nearly nine million subscribers of StarTimes in Africa and may introduce Ghana Premier League to Chinese football fans in the future, being a bridge between Chinese and African sports industries.”
StarTimes is an experienced TV operator in football broadcasting as the company in signed an exclusive broadcasting contract with Bundesliga and the International Champions Cup (ICC) for 5 successive years, and got the wide rights to televise the French Ligue 1, and the Italian SerieA, for all Sub-Saharan countries.
In June this year, it signed an exclusive broadcasting contract with the Chinese Super League for three successive years and acquired media rights to provide extensive coverage in Sub-Saharan Africa to the European Qualifiers for 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.
StarTimes is the leading digital-TV operator in Africa, covering 90 per cent of the continent’s population with a massive distribution network of 200 brand halls, 3,000 convenience stores and 5,000 distributors.


From David O. Yarboi-Tetteh, Beijing

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