StarTimes withdraws Kenya premier league broadcast rights

The sponsorship was supposed to last seven years.

[FILE] Football Kenya Federation (FKF) on Thursday, 26th November 2020, announced StarTimes as the official broadcast partner in a seven-year deal worth $1.1 million.

More woes pile on Football Kenya Federation (FKF) as StarTimes has withdrawn their media and commercial rights sponsorship with the now disbanded FKF.

A statement from the Chinese broadcaster seen by this writer read in part, "the execution of the said agreement has been wanting, occasioned by different acts of commission or omission including but not limited to a number of reasons:"

One of the reasons for the terminations was a the governing body's failure to ensure matches were broadcasted live. "Despite prior confirmations, several fixtures including one Mashemeji derby in the 2020/21 season were not delivered," StarTimes revealed.

Frequent changes to confirmed fixtures was another reason for the termination. "We have had to work with an unstable fixture that has constantly changed, at times on short notice. This has led to lack of cohesion and promotion of wrong fixtures," read the statement in part.

The persistent acrimony between the governing body and its key stakeholders such as media and top tier clubs also negatively affected the relationship between the two entities.

"Being a subscription broadcaster who leverages on content popularity, the constant confrontation has led to limited uptake and viewership of the property as seen through monitored performance on our platform," revealed StarTimes.

FKF is also accused of failing to honor agreed contract deliverables. Some of the deliverables included; failure to broadcast weekly free to air fixtures, providing weekly magazine shows and acknowledging the media sponsor as the official broadcast partner.

The final nail in the coffin was due to failure and delayed delivery of scheduled fixtures have exposed the brand to constant subscriber backlash.

The deal, that was assigned in September 2020 was set to run for the next seven years but a year into the deal, the company has decided to walk out on the same day Nick Mwendwa's case was closed.

"Football Kenya Federation wishes to inform FKF members and the general public that the court has today, 25 November 2021, closed the case against Nick Mwendwa following the failure by the state to prefer charges against him," the FKF said in a simple statement.

Mwendwa, who was initially arrested on November 12 and spent a weekend behind bars, was released on Sh4 million bail as further investigations were carried out. He has previously denied any wrongdoing.

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