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Azam TV: Tanzanian Media Moguls Splash Cash on Kenyan Football

The Kenyan top-flight league has been without a broadcaster since the exit of StarTimes in 2021

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Tanzanian broadcaster Azam TV has sealed a deal to broadcast Kenya’s biggest football clash – the Mashemeji Derby – as well as one other game this weekend.

The deal, covering only two matches, is worth $60,000 (Ksh8.2) million. The cash will be shared among Kenyan Premier League (KPL) clubs, which collectively own the broadcasting rights. Each club is expected to receive around Ksh300,000.

Ksh2 million is expected to be channeled to referees officiating matches in the league.

Azam will televise live the clash between defending champions Tusker and Kariobangi Sharks on Saturday, 13 May 2023, and the Mashemeji Derby between league leaders Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards on Sunday, 14 May 2023.

The clash is being promoted by Azam TV in markets including Kenya and Tanzania.

The Kenyan top-flight league has been without a broadcaster since the exit of StarTimes in 2021. StarTimes terminated the Ksh860 million deal at a time when Kenya’s football was rocked by management failures and graft allegations against Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa.

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Prior to the StarTimes deal, MultiChoice owned SuperSport had exited the league after failing to agree with FKF on the expansion to an 18-team league. The exit dealt a big blow to the local game as clubs felt the loss of broadcasting cash, and the league’s international visibility decreased significantly.

The top flight league has also lost title sponsors including SportPesa and BetKing in quick succession, and currently remains without a title sponsor, further hurting clubs.

Sports CS Ababu Namwamba in December 2022 claimed he had struck a deal with Supersport to return to Kenyan football, but the broadcaster failed to issue an official announcement, fueling further speculation on who might scoop up the rights.

Azam TV is run by Yusuf Bakhresa as its Managing Director. Yusuf is one of the children of Said Bakresa, one of Tanzania’s richest men and founder of the Bakhresa Group of Companies.

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