GOtv Kenya General Manager Simon Kariithi (left) and MultiChoice Kenya Corporate Communications Manager Phillip Wahome (right) pose for a photo after unveiling that Italian football league Serie A will be showing on GOtv

GOtv is banking on the massive star power of Cristiano Ronaldo in its bid to attract more customers to the pay TV service. On Tuesday, it unveiled the Italian football top flight as one of its offerings for subscribers in the coming football season.

The premier Italian football league, known as Serie A, will be shown on GOtv with the pay TV service provider saying that all 380 matches will be aired beginning mid-August for its GOtv Max package customers. For Ksh1,299, subscribers will afford the opportunity to see Ronaldo at his new home in Turin, as well as other top clubs such as Milanese rivals Internazionale and AC Milan, capital clubs Roma and Lazio as well as Neapolitan based club Napoli.

“For the first time ever, this 2018-2019 football season will see GOtv subscribers get a full serving of the Italian Serie A on our top bouquet which is GOtv Max,” said GOtv General Manager Simon Kariithi. “You can now catch Cristiano Ronaldo live from the comfort of your home.”

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Ronaldo is one of the games biggest global stars and is considered by some to be one of the greatest ever in the sport’s history. His move from Spanish giants Real Madrid to Italian superpower Juventus caused shock waves in world football but the same seems to be also affecting related markets such as the TV rights business.

Securing of TV rights involves high level negotiations at an international front but is regarded as harbouring lucrative returns considering that sports is among the leaders in content provision for its capacity to offer neutral, family feel rated entertainment to not just those who ascribe to the global phenomenon but also to those in need of uncompromising sources of leisure.

Ronaldo’s appeal is major, and his move to Serie A has fans asking what his fortunes may be as he has formerly played in England and Spain, two of Europe’s top leagues. The curiosity has already fostered the return of Italian football to Supersport, the leading sports viewership offering in sub-Saharan Africa. SuperSport is a sister company to GOtv Kenya.

On securing of the TV rights, Mr. Kariithi said, “Through our sister company SuperSport, and with Supersport being a global leader in sports acquisition content — not only football but also all the tops sports such as cricket and golf and Formula 1 — so it is able to negotiate competitively for some of the biggest leagues.”

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Alongside Serie A, GOtv will continue to show La Liga, Spanish football’s top flight meaning a minimum of 760 matches will be available for GOtv customers. The matches will encompass Spain’s top clubs — Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid as well as global superstars such as Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann.

“La Liga was able to rack up over 1000 goals last season… we also have a season in La Liga without Ronaldo and a new Real Madrid. So for us, it loooks to be a season of regeneration at the [Estadio Santiago] Bernabeu (Real Madrid’s home stadium) but one thing is for certain. It will not be boring,” said Phillip Wahome, MultiChoice Kenya’s Corporate Communications Manager.

MultiChoice Marketing Communications Manager Phillip Wahome (holding microphone) addresses the press during the unveiling of GOtv’s newest football package alongside GOtv General Manager Simon Kariithi

GOtv’s football offering — which will also be available for its GOtv Plus subscribers at least twice a week for selected matches — will also feature selected Premier League games through its partner company Supersport, as well as two UEFA Champions League matches on nights when the prestigious European club cup competition will be on display.

It is however the dazzling brilliance of Ronaldo that GOtv will hope to push its subscriber numbers up following on from the World Cup which according to Mr. Kariithi “brought back some of its customers.”

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The Portuguese star’s appeal was such that Tuesday’s media briefing was punctuated by a video that — on its third take after minor technical hitches — showed the former Real Madrid star arriving in Turin, Italy where Juventus is based. “Or maybe the [technical] system was shocked by Ronaldo’s presence,” joked the GOtv Kenya General Manager.

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