Solum, Fam court SuperSport

Local football authorities have made a big leap in their quest for a landmark partnership with SuperSport International to beam the flagship Super League by courting the pay-per-view giant television organisation.

Nation on Sunday has learnt that SuperSport International’s head of Africa, Gary Rathbone, is scheduled to visit Malawi later this month for a preliminary meeting with Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and Super League of Malawi (Sulom) leadership on the prospects of arranging a trial run on local top-flight league games.

The meeting has been organised by FAM president Walter Nyamilandu and is being facilitated by football marketing consultant Felix Ngamanya Sapao.

However, Rathbone could not be reached for his comment.

Nyamilandu, Sulom president Innocent Bottomani and Sapao confirmed the development this week, saying they hope that the television revolution that has transformed Super Diski in South Africa and the top-flight leagues in Zambia, Angola, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana, could end up being a kiss of life for the local top league.

Said Nyamilandu: “We [jointly with Sulom] are already courting SuperSport and we expect their top official later in January for preliminary discussions and then we can take it up from there.”

Nyamilandu and Bottomani said the local flagship league stands to benefit a lot should they strike the deal in terms of sponsorship and exposure.

“The importance of partnering SuperSport cannot be overemphasised because a number of major leagues across the continent are making a lot of money through television involvement and it could be a big step for our football.

“However, I wouldn’t want to be rather too optimistic and create excitement before we even start the talks,” added Nyamilandu.

He also said Sulom will be the main player in the talks.

On his part, Bottomani said: “Broadcasting has been the key driver of clubs’ spectacular revenue growth across the world. It is the largest source of revenue for the major leagues around the world

“The finances of football clubs have been transformed worldwide in the recent past, propelled directly and indirectly by television, which has provided both a mechanism to deliver direct revenue and the exposure required to drive other key revenue streams and we need to take that path because our football will grow.”

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