The ongoing wrangles between the Namibian Football Association and the National Broadcaster (NBC) cannot be left unchallenged and it’s about time somebody swallows their misplaced pride and smells the Java for the good of the game.
The Brave Warriors match against Zimbabwe in the maiden edition of the African Nations Championship qualifier was not televised because the two parties could not agree on a broadcast fee demanded by the country’s football authorities.
The author has it on good authority that forces at Soccer House demanded the national broadcaster to fork out a staggering amount of N$100 000 for the screening of the match.
Fair enough, the NFA is within their right to demand a broadcast fee for the live transmission of its intellectual property. However, the main concern is the exorbitant fee of N$100 000 and yours truly would like to know how my learned friends at Soccer House arrived at that figure.
Broadcast fees are determined on a pro rata basis and not even the financially muscled Supersport would have forked out that amount of money for a match involving Namibia and Zimbabwe – that’s the naked truth.
Broadcast rights is about selling a product and the current product is certainly not in heavy demand, judging from the team’s lukewarm performance in recent matches and until such time some people start negotiating from a position of knowledgeable authority – the status quo is likely to remain.
If yours truly is not mistaken – there’s a little line beneath the NFA logo that claims to bring the people’s game to the people, but alas, how is that objective going to be achieved if the very same NFA does not play ball.
Taking the game to the people can only be done through the power of the Kassie and the NFA honestly needs the involvement of people with thorough knowledge when it comes to dealing with Television Rights and Namibia is certainly not short of those blokes.
People like Sebastian Kamungu would come in handy in this regard and the powers at Soccer House should do away with the “Know Everything Syndrome”- if we are to take our football to the next level.
After all, is this not the very same organisation that rubber-stamped the appointment of Jochen Figge, and now claims to have second thoughts about the appointment of Figge after apparently conducting its own alleged research about Figge’s patchy past.
When the recommendation was forwarded to them by the German Football Federation, why did they not do a spot check before they boastfully paraded Figge as the real Messiah in absentia?
This is the very same organisation that has the guts to issue a press statement telling the nation that a new Technical Director had been appointed to replace Figge, without bothering to explain as to what happened to the much-hyped appointment of Figge.
The loser is neither the NFA nor NBC – it’s the masses out there and of course the sponsors who lose out big time in mileage because the targeted audience is certainly not the few thousand paid customers in the stadium but the masses who follow the action on Television.
Both entities have a duty towards the masses out there and the current twist is not about a misunderstanding or failure to reach an amicable solution on this matter – it all boils down to egos, misplaced arrogance and personal interest at the expense of the very same public we so dearly claim to serve.
If the NFA was really serious in disposing broadcast rights – why did they not demand the same with radio because radio is the most essential vehicle of information and the NFA needs the various language stations to carry their message and sell their product.
Some oakes need to realize the importance of Television – football is a mere product trapped in the Television industry. It’s not vice versa – that’s the bottom line.
On the other hand, NBC cannot expect to be spoon-fed all the time and should start putting their ducks in a row in order to meet their partners halfway.
We are living in a World of give and take and NBC cannot just pitch up at events and start filming at random, without considering compensation for intellectual property.
I rest my case.
Story by Carlos Kambaekwa