Nigerian football fans will not have the opportunity of watching matches of the English FA Cup, the world’s oldest cup competition this season
The situation is a fall-out of the award of the rights to a new entrant into the Pay TV market
Sources disclosed that the new entrant participated in a tender process that also involved other broadcasters, including the one that had always broadcast the English FA Cup in Nigeria
Desperate to have the football property, the new entrant offered a considerably bigger sum and it got awarded the rights as well as that for the FA Community Shield match, the traditional opener to the English football season However, the new entrant was unable to meet its financial obligations to the rights owners, a development that made them pull the plug on the broadcast deal, leaving football fans in Nigeria, for the first time in decades, without the excitement of the FA Cup, a tournament known for its unpredictability, and the FA Community shield match played last weekend
Industry sources disclosed that it is the fierce competition for rights to broadcast content like this and the resultant offer of astounding sums of money that keep driving up Pay TV prices, as providers are left with no option than to pass a portion of the cost to subscribers
Last weekend, Nigerian football fans were livid when they could not watch the FA Community Shield match between Manchester City and Chelsea
Their anger was exhibited on the social media, with much of it directed towards MultiChoice, owners of DStv and GOtv
The provider, on its official Twitter handle @DStvNg, had to explain that it does not have the rights to the FA Cup and Community Shield matches.
“Dear esteemed subscribers, we don’t have rights to air the FA Cup & Community Shield this year, but you can enjoy pulsating football action from the #PL, #UCL, #LaLiga & the recently added Italian #SerieA and Uefa Nations League. Thanks for choosing DStv,” the provider said in a tweet.