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KBC explains failure to air Nations Cup

The exorbitant price of broadcast rights for the 30th edition of the African Cup of Nations finals hindered the state broadcaster KBC from airing the matches.

In an interview with Nairobi News on Wednesday, KBC’s Managing Director Waithaka Waihenya said they had expressed interest to air the showpiece but could not agree with the Confederation of African Football on the pricing.

“The high costs of acquiring the rights deterred us. We offered them €250,000 (Sh30 million) which they rejected. They quoted €1 million (Sh116 million) which was beyond our reach. That is why state broadcasters in East Africa are not airing the matches,” Waihenya explained.

According to Waihenya, the high cost of acquiring broadcast rights coupled with the impending digital migration worked against them.

FINANCIAL MUSCLE

“The price they quoted was over 80 percent of our programming budget. The money comes from our coffers and not from someone else. It is simply ridiculous,” he said.

On his part SuperSport’s East Africa General Manager Auka Gecheo said:

“From my understanding, airing the competition will naturally portend different contract rights between the broadcast rights holder and pay television and free to air channels like KBC. This is because Afcon is considered an event of national importance but I’m not privy to what they should pay or whether the rates should be subsidized. At the end of the day, it all boils down to a broadcaster’s financial muscle,” Gecheo said.

Last year, KBC paid Sh 65 million to air the World Cup finals held in Brazil and forked out Sh 42 million to air the 29th edition of Afcon finals held in 2013 in South Africa.