League sponsors StarTimes backs down on live coverage at Wankulukuku
At the start of the much-delayed league, StarTimes restricted live coverage to only Mandela National Stadium, Namboole; StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo; and St Mary's Stadium, Kitende.
FOOTBALL | Express FC’s league game against Tooro United at Mutesa II Stadium, Wankulukuku, will be telecast live, ending nearly a month of cold war between the club and the league sponsors.
StarTimes Uganda backed down and on Friday morning sent a news release about adjustments in live coverage of league games having added Green Light Stadium in Arua, the home of Onduparaka, to the roster a fortnight ago.
At the start of the much-delayed league, StarTimes restricted live coverage to only Mandela National Stadium, Namboole; StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo; and St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende.
The league sponsors, whose Shs27 billion hamper included league title and broadcast rights, had advanced several reasons for locking out other stadiums, but could not convince the hierarchy at Wankulukuku.
A row erupted as Express FC accused StarTimes of usurping more than it was due to them and offering crumbs to clubs by adding only Shs17 million to clubs yet denying them the freedom to get pay TV sponsors.
At the time the StarTimes sponsorship was announced, Express were reportedly negotiating shirt deal renewal with DStv, while Onduparaka were also understood to have willingly ended their marriage with Betway having tapped onto a promising deal with Azam.
But StarTimes said it would not allow clubs to sign any deal with rival pay television companies going forward.
Kiwanuka Kiryowa, who had just taken office as Express FC chairman, was left seething by the StarTimes deal and the decision to lock Wankulukuku out of live coverage.
“If you give me Shs67 million and ask me to look for another sponsor other than your competitor and again limit my coverage, what do you mean? How will I convince a local company to bring in money when he doesn’t see the visibility?” he asked.
Red Eagles fans were equally angry at the snub and took to social media to vent their fury, leaving StarTimes naked.
As Express and Onduparaka led the cold war against StarTimes, the league sponsors found themselves having to make the difficult yet simple decision of taking their broadcast van to Arua and Wankulukuku.
The revised schedule
The league sponsors on Friday said there there will be 14 live games between Tuesday next week and December 12 in a roster that also has Champions Stadium in Mwererwe, Arena of Visions Stadium, Ndejje, and FUFA Technical Centre in Njeru in Jinja among the stadiums to facilitate live coverage.
The games at the eight venues are telecast live on StarTimes’ Sanyuka TV.
Tuesday 30th -Oct-2018 SC Villa Vs URA FC, Namboole
Wednesday 31st –Oct-2018 Express FC Vs Tooro United FC, Wankulukuku
Friday 2nd –Nov-2018 URA FC Vs Nyamityobora FC, Namboole
Saturday 3rd –Nov-2018 Vipers SC Vs KCCA FC, St Mary’s Stadium
Sunday 4th –Nov-2018 Police FC Vs Maroons FC, Star Times Stadium
Match –Day 7
Tuesday 6th –Nov-2018 SC Villa Vs KCCA FC, Namboole
Wednesday 7th –Nov-2018 Express FC Vs Vipers SC, Wankulukuku
Tuesday 13th –Nov-2018 Bright Stars FC Vs Express FC, Champions Stadium
Tuesday 20th –Nov-2018 KCCA FC Vs Nyamityobora FC, Star Times Stadium
Wednesday 21st –Nov-2018 Vipers SC Vs Paidha Black Angles SC, St Mary’s Stadium
Friday 30th -Nov-2018 BUL FC Vs Vipers SC, Njeru Technical Centre
Saturday 1st –Dec-2018 Express FC Vs Onduparaka FC, Wankulukuku
Tuesday 4th –Dec-2018 Ndejje University FC Vs Kirinya Jinja SSS FC
Wednesday 5th –Dec-2018 Vipers SC Vs Police FC, St Mary’s Stadium
Thursday 6th –Dec-2018 SC Villa Vs Maroon FC, Namboole
Saturday 8th –Dec-2018 Onduparaka FC Vs Paidha Black Angles SC, Green Light Stadium
Tuesday 11th –Dec -2018 Express FC Vs KCCA FC, Wankulukuku
Wednesday 12th –Dec-2018 URA FC Vs Vipers SC, Namboole