StarTimes’ doors open to Normalisation Committee …On US$17.9m contract with FA

Dr. Kofi Amoah

Dr. Kofi Amoah

StarTimes Ghana Limited, the official media right holders of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) is ready to open up on details of its contracts with the erstwhile GFA to the Normalisation Committee set up to run Football Association.

The GFA under its president Kwesi Nyantakyi signed a 10-year agreement worth over $17.9 million with StarTimes, handing its broadcasting rights of the Ghana Premier League and other activities to the Chinese company in 2016.

Portions of the contract stated that StarTimes will provide 10 artificial pitches to enhance the quality of the Ghana league and provide a fully equipped modern Outside Broadcast (OB) van for the GFA over the 10-year period.

But two years into the deal, none of the above has been sighted with the FA yet to comment on the situation, resulting in calls by a section of local fans on the Normalisation Committee to study the deal and question the company on the progress of the deal.

In an interview with the Times Sports, the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of StarTimes Ghana Limited, Mr. Felix Ahonzo revealed that his outfit was ready to open up on contracts should the Normalisation Committee ask for details.

“We are very ready to cooperate fully with the Normalisation Committee. We have nothing to hide because our prime motivation here is to promote, support and help develop Ghana football to an appreciable level,” he said.

According to him, whoever was appointed to manage Ghana football would definitely have the support of StarTimes and dismissed claims the company signed a dubious agreement with the FA.

“The terms of the contract were not something that can be hidden but again when you agree with somebody to do something; you have to do your part just as the other party for the deal to be done.”

He noted that everything stated in the contract would be carried out if all parties honour their obligations, adding that, the arrival of the OB vans in Ghana last year was a further testament of their resolve to help raise the local game and strengthen the relationship between the GFA and StarTimes.

“The Ghana league in 2017 witnessed an improvement on matches that were broadcasted and more so the 2018 coverage of the league witnessed a massive improvement from that of 2017, just before government’s ban of football activities was invoked.”

He explained that the double header broadcast structure, where teams had to leave their home venues to play away was a novelty to give all clubs the opportunity to have their matches aired.

In his opinion, the clubs embraced the idea but also had to listen to some concerns of a few fans. He indicated it was important for the fans to understand that the move was to increase viewership so that players will gain the needed exposure.

“We understand the difficulties and the challenges that came with the double-header structure and we are open to suggestions and ways to make it even better in the years ahead.”

By Raymond Ackumey

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