The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has rejected accusations by the nation’s broadcaster Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) of unfairness in awarding television rights of the Ghana Premier League.
On Thursday, GBC, managers of national television channel GTV, released a statement expressing “disappointment and shock” of losing out on the rights to Chinese pay-TV outfit StarTimes.
According to GBC, it provided a “financially superior” bid.
The GFA, in a counter-statement released on its offcial website, says it is “shocked by the deliberate misinformation in the statement and wishes to respond with the facts.”
The FA explained after GBC tabled it’s first two bids: “[The] GFA Bid Evaluation Team had a meeting with GBC and informed them that none of the two bids they submitted met the valuation of the GFA. At that same meeting, GBC was told they were third in the GFA’s valuation. However, the GFA, in light of that, has made the highlights of the Ghana Premier League and the FA Cup non exclusive in order for GBC to benefit from it.
“It was at this meeting that GBC representatives indicated that they would consult their bosses and revert to the GFA.
“On January 2, 2019, GBC emailed a third and fourth bids (note that these were long after the deadline of the bidding period which ended at 17:00. on December 10, 2019).”
According to the GFA, GBC’s third and fourth bids also had a clause demanding a 30 per cent share of the league’s title sponsorship money should the GFA secured such a partner for the championship.
“It must be stated unequivocally that evaluation of bids is not only about the financials but includes all conditions, such as those GBC stated in their proposal, such as the 30% share GBC wanted on all Title Sponsorships,” the statement continued.
“Of utmost importance is the fact that the net value of the bid of GBC was actually lower than the amount quoted in the bid because of the proposed revenue share of Title Sponsorship (eg. should we activate that clause on the MTN FA Cup Title Sponsorship amount).
“It must be stated clearly that even if only financials alone were considered, the 4th bid of GBC (which was out of time) was not the bid with the highest financial consideration. Two other proposals were higher than the GBC bids but other conditions (due diligence) affected those bids.
“The GFA, having gone out of its way to make the highlights show non-exclusive for the benefit of all television stations, does not deserve the deliberate misinformation issued by GBC.”
In 2016, the GFA, then under the leadership of Kwesi Nyantakyi, signed a contract worth about $20 million (€18m) with StarTimes to cover all competitions for 10 years.
The deal was, however, abrogated by a new GFA administration last December, with the governing body opening a new bidding window for all interested media outfits. StarTimes interestingly won the bid again.
The 2019-20 Ghana Premier League, which is about to enter it’s third matchday, started on December 28 without an official TV partner.