PORT LOUIS - Sports television channel — Supersport — is bullish that the Zimbabwean Premier Soccer League (PSL) will ink a new deal to air local matches when the current one expires in 2018.
The South Africa-based sports content provider is in its third year of beaming the PSL matches, although there has been some disquiet over the benefits of the deal.
Supersport general manager for southern Africa Graeme Murray Murray told the Daily News on the sidelines of a five-day MultiChoice Content Showcase Extravaganza currently ongoing here that the two parties have made great headway.
“I flew to Mauritius straight from Zimbabwe where I had a two-day meeting with the league chairman, the chief executive officer and all the representatives of the 14 clubs.
“We are very excited about Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has extremely great potential and by 2018 I am sure we would have found common ground on a range of issues,” said the Supersport official.
Murray conceded that the two parties still have some outstanding issues standing in the way of the new mutually beneficial television rights deal.
“We are busy ironing some small issues and misunderstandings; a couple of issues we need to resolve. We made a lot of headway at the meeting and I have no doubt that by 2018 we would have resolved the few sticking issues.
“We are very relaxed about it because we still have time between now and 2018 to resolve the issues,” he said.
While Murray did not disclose the sticking issues, a host of PSL clubs are not happy with the way the deal was structured as they believe it was shrouded in secrecy when it was consummated.
Supersport poured in $400 000 upon earning the content rights, a figure which many clubs up to now believe is paltry comparing with other leagues where the content provider is involved.
Incidentally, Supersport held a workshop with the PSL executive and club chiefs this week where it was announced that it is introducing double headers in its live coverage.
This would mean congesting fixtures and sanctioning some matches to be played at neutral venues to minimise logistical problems.
Addressing journalists after the two-day workshop, PSL chief executive Kenny Ndebele said: “Clubs must expect more double headers as Supersport tries to cover more matches”.
It is not clear how clubs will share the revenue from gate takings given that the standard practice is the home team takes match day revenue.