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NPFL NEXT TV Deal, Not Worthy Of An Applaud Yet



For a country that has been termed a “Football Crazy Nation”, one of the biggest in African football and indeed in the World; 6 FIFA World Cup appearances (3 round of sixteen finishes) 3 AFCON trophies, 3 Olympics medals 1Gold, 1Silver and 1Bronze medals, 1 FIFA U20 World Cup final appearance and 5 FIFA u17 world cup wins; it is a sad situation that football fans in the country can’t watch any of its local leagues on Tv.

The League Management Company (LMC) for the second time in as many years announced a new TV deal with NEXT TV worth millions of dollars for the next five years with many more deals expected as soon the deal commences with over $200 million.

Before now, Multichoice’s DSTV pulled out oF the NPFL, since then the league has been without TV coverage aside from the 2019 Championship Play-offs in Agege Lagos.

However, while the deal is a welcomed development, history shows that it may not be as straightforward as it seems and for all said and done, previous TV deals in the NPFL, NNL and the Nationwide League one have been all noise and no substance. Just like it has been done with much fanfare and higher expectations but not one-third of it was met.

In 2017, the Nigeria Television Authority signed a deal to broadcast the Nigeria National League, (NNL) Nigeria’s second division but two years down the line the situation around the deal is not identifiable and while a couple of games in the NNL was shown, the quality of broadcast was definitely not going to attract new fans or impress the few who still follow.

Then there was a PIPUL TV deal with the Nigeria Nationwide League one in 2018 but up till now, PIPUL TV existence is obscure and the tool expected to move the NLO1 into prominence and exposure, has so far failed.

In fact, PIPUL TV seemed to have ridden on the little popularity of the NLO1 to break into the market and gather a bit of attention which they failed to utilize. The less said about the financial implications of the deal the better.

However, the NLO1 alternatively made good use of the MyCujoo app where lower league games across the world are featured and streamed live, but with the way the league is played and, not many fans would want to exhaust data on the lower league games.

Be it as it may, the NEXT TV deal with the NPFL sounds like another wishy-washy, cosmetic deal aimed at covering the various shortcomings. According to the news surrounding the deals, NEXT TV is a part of NIgcomsat entity, but it left to be seen if the deal will be a success or maybe it’s still another cosmetic deal, another Pipul TV deal with lots of expectations but little end result and nothing to show.

If a deal worth over $220Million is invested in the NPFL, it calls for joy and subsequently within a week or two the difference should be felt but with news coming in about the possibility of the Nigeria Referees Association wanting to go on a strike ahead of Matchday 2, maybe it’s time to dig deep its not worthy of an applaud yet or rejoice because it’s not yet “hurray” with the NPFL/Next TV deal.






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Daniel is a passionate lover of Nigerian football. Follows local football and the national teams religiously. Aside from writing, he also does Sports analysis on Radio. Write to me on or follow me on twitter@danycrusoe95



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