Beta Television has appealed to Super League clubs not to lose their patience over the broadcaster’s delay to pay K266 million for the exclusive TV rights.
The TV station’s director Maneno Mtawali was reacting to some clubs’ inquiries on when they will get paid.
“We are working on the same and teams will get their money soon,” he said.
Explaining the delay, Mtawali said this has happened because companies which initially committed to partner them pulled out.
“Someone [from the media] misquoted me and due to the misrepresentation of facts, a prospective partner pulled out. I [therefore], think I should not comment to avoid the same,” he said.
But when he was persuaded, Mtawali opened up and said: “We could have paid teams sometime back, but look, the economy was bad and as a result, prospective partners changed their minds.
“As of now, I am trying to get money which will be used to pay them [teams]. You [also] have to know that since Beta started beaming the league, we have not made any profits and this is the truth.
“But anyway, we are trying everything we can to meet our contractual obligations. In fact, just now, I was in a meeting with someone who will give us money. So be assured that we will pay,” he said.
However, he could not be drawn to comment on when the payment will be issued.
Be Forward Wanderers general secretary Mike Butao said they are surprised with Sulom’s silence on the matter.
“The league is now through, but there is total silence from Sulom and I wonder why Sulom is not cancelling the contract if they are unable to meet their contractual obligations.
“As clubs, our stand is that if Beta will not issue the payment then we expect Sulom to pay the clubs,” he said.
Butao also blamed other clubs for keeping quiet on the matter.
“The problem is that it is only Wanderers and [Nyasa Big] Bullets that are pushing for payment, so there is not much pressure on Sulom and Beta TV.”
He also said Sulom has not provided a copy of the contract they signed with Beta TV to the clubs as they promised prior to the Blantyre derby
“We have also not been given statements or radio broadcasting rights revenue. It is like Sulom work for themselves and not for the clubs,” he added.
On his part, Bullets treasurer Alex Gondwe said Sulom keeps on shifting the dates for payment.
“At first they said we would be paid in October then they changed to November then December. It has become more of a song now and we are tired of making enquiries,” he said.
But when asked yesterday on progress, Sulom treasurer Tiya Somba-Banda said: “We will advise within the next two weeks.” n