Sports News of Sunday, 4 January 2015
Ghana FA Spokesperson Ibrahim Sannie Darra is urging the nation’s Parliament to introduce a new law prohibiting Ghanaian free-to-air television stations from showing live foreign league matches to improve the patronage of the domestic top flight.
Currently, TV3 Network is the only free-to-air television station that has the broadcast rights to televise this season’s English Premier League while Metro TV and GTV share the rights to show the German Bundesliga.
“In England, Parliament has introduced a law that does not allow their local free to air television stations to show foreign league games live. They only allow pay-per-view stations like Supersport to show the international leagues. So, in response I think the Parliaments in Africa, especially in Ghana must introduce a law that stops our local TV stations from showing live EPL matches,” Sannie Darra told an Accra-based radio station Montie FM.
Most Ghanaian club administrators and pundits have blamed the live coverage of the foreign leagues including the English Premier League and the German Bundesliga on local free-to-air television stations as one of the major causes of the declining patronage of the Ghana Premier League and low attendance recorded at match venues.
“During the day, you will see TV3 or GTV showing live EPL matches. Parliament has to do something fast because the packages that are not available in England to free-to-air stations are given to African stations at a cost because it’s a ploy to get fans on our continent to follow their league when they won’t allow this in their country,” the ex-BBC sports broadcaster added.
If the Parliament agrees to pass a law against the live telecast of foreign league matches on free-to-air TV stations, these media outlets would have no choice but to contact the Ghana Premier League’s broadcast rights holder Supersport to get an approval to televise the domestic top flight matches live, which would promote the local game.