A broadcast production agreement was on Thursday in Abuja signed by the League Management Company (LMC) and the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) for production of matches of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
The papers were signed by the LMC Chairman Shehu Dikko and Mallam Yakubu Ibn Muhammed, the Director General of NTA.
An official statement jointly signed by the heads of the two organizations indicate that the LMC and NTA would be setting up a private sector driven company to manage the business of the broadcast production.
According to the statement, “the company which shall be operated as a private, commercial venture will leverage its operations on the huge infrastructure, technical and human capacity and equipment of NTA spread across the country. The equipment includes very high grade eight Outside Broadcast (OB) Vans specially designed for football and sports coverage, which had been acquired by the Federal Government at huge cost.”
It marks a new vista in the management of broadcast content in the annals of professional football league in the country as hitherto; broadcast right holders have also produced the games. However, in the new dispensation, the LMC treading the path of some European football leagues such as the English Premier League and Spanish LaLiga, is aiming to control the production and distribution of broadcast content across all media including live streaming, terrestrial and cable platforms.
This landmark venture has been facilitated and strongly supported by the Federal Government of Nigeria represented by the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. It is a culmination of strategic engagement initiated by LMC officials with the Minister of Information and Culture seeking to deploy the vast equipment procured by the Federal Government on behalf of NTA for past FIFA tournaments hosted by Nigeria. NTA also enjoys a robust network spread in the country with stations in every state capital and which the LMC hopes to leverage on to take the NPFL to the homes of millions of Nigerians in cities and rural communities.
Dikko, at the ceremony, explained that LMC will towards meeting modern broadcast standards, assist NTA to upgrade the OB Van equipment to ensure that contents produced will be globally competitive.
“The operation of the company, as envisaged will rely on the services of international technical partners and domestic expertise to provide the much needed vehicle for the production of high quality programmes and events for broadcast in the sports and entertainment industries. This model is in keeping with proven international best practices in sports content production, distribution and broadcast,” the two organizations declared in their joint statement.
Continuing, they gave an assurance that “as from next season of the NPFL, Nigerians are, therefore, assured of the enjoyment of high quality football matches to be produced by the independent media services company for distribution, sales and broadcast across all media platforms on a domestic and global basis.
Dikko noted that the production company will serve national objectives as it is not be restricted to just football or sports production but such other industries like entertainment and cultural, political and business events in general.
“All over the world, countries develop because they have a standard production broadcast company with capacity to serve not just the sporting industry but also the entertainment industry. We are delighted that the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Information, has backed this project and we look further to other fantastic partnerships,” the LMC Chairman concluded.
"For us, this is just another step for NTA to stamp its authority as the biggest broadcast network in Africa. We have the widest reach and sports, especially football is a big industry, and we are happy to be in partnership with the LMC and NFF,” Muhammed said.
Also in attendance at the event which held inside the Conference Hall of NTA were the General Secretary of the NFF, Dr Sanusi Mohammed, Director-General of the NTA, Chief Operating Officer of the LMC, Mallam Salihu Abubakar, Samson Ebomhe, Legal Adviser to LMC and other top management staff of the NTA.