2010 PSL launch: Much ado about nothing

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The official launch of the new Premier Soccer League (PSL) season turned out to be an anticlimax since observers who had gathered at a local hotel were expecting the league to unveil a sponsorship package.

While stakeholders expected the unveiling of a new sponsorship package, the league only managed to go into a partnership with the struggling Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH).

At the official launch, ZBH’s chief executive officer, Happison Muchechetere, claimed the local broadcaster would be beaming live all the premiership matches.

PSL chairman, Twine Phiri, however said the broadcaster was only going to beam one match per week, covering matches that would be played in Harare until they had the capacity to expand, depending on the response from the corporate world.

“It’s obvious that the broadcaster would not be able to cover all the matches live because they do not have the capacity to go to all the venues around the country. We have started off by covering one match per week and every team that will be visiting Harare will get coverage until such a time we are able to expand because it would be impossible to cover all the matches at once,” said Phiri.

According to the deal, in return for covering the matches, PSL and ZBH would share the money accrued from the revenue collected from selling advertising space.

The exact details of the sharing ratio between the ZBH and the PSL were not revealed.

The ‘secrecy’ has raised suspicion among football analysts that the deal could suffer a stillbirth. This is because ZBH is struggling to lure the corporate world to buy advertising space on television and national radio stations.

Most Zimbabweans prefer to watch stations like SUPERSPORT, shunning the local broadcaster.

The Premier Soccer League has roped in an advertising agency, Gary Thompson & Associates to market the matches and to sell advertising space.

Thompson said the most expensive advertisement would cost $200 000. The cocktail of rights included advertising, promotions, radio linkage, production, segment branding and sport advertising.

A spot advertisement on radio would cost $2 000.