It was announced on Tuesday that the Nigeria Premier Football League and foremost mobile Telecommunications giants MTN have entered a partnership to bring the game closer to the fans.
According to the communique, MTN has been awarded the exclusive rights for the streaming of Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) games by Propel Sports Africa.
This comes after the start of the 2023-24 NPFL season was postponed indefinitely owing to sponsorship and broadcast issues. But the news of MTN’s exclusive rights to streaming may serve as a pointer to a soon commencement.
This MTN deal is the latest to be signed by the league as moves are being made to make the league games readily available to the fans this coming season.
Here is a cursory look at what the deal entails and what the fans tend to benefit from the high-profile deal.
MTN partners Propel Sports in the NPFL
MTN are coming in to partner with the streaming platform, Propel Sports Africa, which currently has the rights to broadcast the Nigeria Premier League games on its platform.
However, the telecommunication giants are to provide the appropriate data plan for NPFL followers via their network as the plan is to beam at least 300 games live this season.
The deal will include in-and-post-game highlights delivered in real-time to MTN subscribers through the NPFL Live OTT platform.
Meanwhile, the financial details of the deal have not been mentioned by any of the parties nor has it been stated what the clubs will earn from this MTN exclusive streaming rights deal.
What the stakeholders are saying
MTN’s Chief Operating Officer Hassan Jaber expressed the company’s excitement at having the opportunity to be a part of Nigerian football at this crucial time.
“We are excited about this opportunity to deliver entertaining content to our subscribers. It is a testament to our commitment to sports development in Nigeria.
“We know Nigerians love football and we are glad to partner with Propel Sports Africa and GTI to deliver Nigerian Premier League matches in high definition to our customers. We are confident that this partnership will transform the reception and appreciation of the Nigerian Premier league,” said Jaber.
“The engagement with the team at MTN has been amazing, from the Digital VAS to the Marketing and Commercial team, their approach has been consistently professional, and their enthusiasm for the NPFL content has been infectious.
“From the very start of our negotiations, we knew MTN was the right partner to give our great content, the platform it deserves,” said Chairman of Propel Sports Africa, Basil Kabbani.
Commenting for GTI, the strategic partner of the NPFL, the Group Managing Director, Abubakar Lawal stated:
“This is the testimonial of the journey of the NPFL to the global space. The partnership is very good for the football ecosystem of Nigeria as we strive to deploy technology and efficient solutions to create value for all the stakeholders and other prospective partners of the league.”
Meanwhile, the chairman of the NPFL board, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye said:
“The Nigeria Premier Football League is excited about the partnership potential to elevate the league’s visibility and engagement. We are thrilled to welcome MTN as our exclusive telecommunications partner.
“Their (MTN’s) expertise and commitment to innovation align seamlessly with our vision for the league. With MTN’s support, we look forward to not only reaching a wider audience but also enhancing the overall experience for our dedicated fans.
“This groundbreaking collaboration marks a significant milestone in the realms of sports and technology, promising an elevated viewing experience for football enthusiasts across the nation.
What the fans are saying about the deal
The majority of the NPFL fans believe that the league should not make the NPFL exclusive to a platform or telecommunication giants. Others, who are based outside the reach of MTN, have voiced their opinion as to how they might not get to watch the NPFL because of the exclusivity.
Meanwhile, it has also been reported that StarTimes have also tendered a bid in the region of N1.5B Naira a year for a possible broadcast deal for Nigeria’s top-flight league.
In all of this, the kickoff date for the 2023-24 NPFL season is not known yet, but many believe a date will be fixed soon following this announcement.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago