Fufa, UPL, StarTimes in land mark deal

StarTimes Pay TV has taken over the naming and broadcast rights of the Uganda Premier League (UPL) and Fufa Big League for the next 10 years.

The development brings to an end the short-lived Fufa-Sports Broadcasting Limited partnership signed early this year, which – according to Fufa president Moses Magogo – was “mutually terminated.”

The new land mark deal announced on Thursday morning at Hotel Africana is worth $7.24m (Shs27b), the biggest figure in a single sponsorship pact in the country’s sporting history.

According to StarTimes CEO Andy Wang, “The rights secured include distribution of all audio and visual transmissions while the media and commercial rights include public viewing, distributing all content for media and commercial rights.

“We took the decision to give back to the people of Uganda through football because of the passion they have towards the game.

“Football touches a lot of people from the grassroots It is our way of thanking the public for supporting our business and making us the leading pay television with 70% market share after only eight years.”

Fufa president Magogo thanked StarTimes for their continued key role in the development of the game.

“We are so grateful that today we enter into a huge partnership with StarTimes,” he said, “We are aware that we still have a lot to do in order to achieve that but we are confident we are on the right path.

“The deal with Startimes is in line with our Vision of becoming the number one football national in Africa both on and off the pitch.

“Sponsors are strategic shareholders in football and it’s incumbent upon the football fraternity, leaders, players and everyone to support StarTimes who have selflessly demonstrated their goodwill to see Ugandan football progress with this historic sponsorship.”

On his part, the UPL board chairman Arinaitwe Rugyendo praised StarTimes for knowing where to put their money.

“We know the value of sponsorship in club football,” he said, “This will help in creating more competition among clubs. Sanity leads to good things like sponsorships we are witnessing in football.”

Aldrine Nsubuga, the StarTimes Vice President in Charge of Branding and Marketing said they even go beyond just the day’s occasion.

“Today is a very historic day in Ugandan football.  We don’t just want to entertain football fans with foreign football. We want to be relevant to local football fans.

“We want them to appreciate their local football and support it with a greater passion which is why we want to bring the local league in every household through our broadcast platforms.”