Sports / Updates
Friday, 07 Apr 2017 17:24 EAT
South African pay television firm SuperSport has terminated its contract with the Kenyan Football League (KPL) over what it termed as breach of licence agreement. SuperSport, whose contract with KPL saw them broadcast the Kenyan Premier League matches, said the situation became untennable and it put SuperSport at risk, leaving it with no option but the terminate the contract.
In a brief statement to the media Friday afternoon, SuperSport re-affirmed its "commitment to providing the best sports content in Africa via platforms with cutting-edge technology and on multiple devices". "'Formal notice of cancellation of the contract has been given and all the necessary procedures and steps are being put in place to manage the exit from this league,'said the broadcast company.
Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa are the countries where SuperSport still hold broadcasting rights of the local league. In Kenya, there has been a build up to the termination as the two organizations tussled behind the scenes, leading to the cancellation of live match broadcasts over the last two weekends.
The dispute centred on the recent expansion of the Kenyan Premier League to 18 teams this year, from the previous 16. A tussle between Kenyan Premier League and parent body Football Kenya Federation (FKF) over the expansion of the league ended up at the Sports Dispute Tribunal.
FKF wanted the premier league teams expanded to 18, while KPL, the company that manages the league on behalf of the national federation, insisted on maintenance of the status quo-16 teams, arguing that the 18 team format was too expensive to run. The matter ended up at the Sports Disputes Tribunal, who ruled that the league be expanded to 18.
SuperSport takes note of the fact that when it renewed the contract with KPL, extending it to 2019, KPL projected itself as the body authorised by FIFA to run the league, yet it is subordinate to FKF, the national federation. SuperSport says that in its decision, the Sports Dispute Tribunal ruled that KPL was subordinate to FKF.
This means FKF has the FIFA mandate to determine the size and composition of the league, its against this background that SuperSport accused KPL of breaching the licence agreement.