Zimbabwe: PSL, ZTN in Game Changing Deal

Premier Soccer League chairman, Farai Jere, says their landmark deal with Zimpapers Television Network is a huge step forward, in their quest, to transform the fortunes of the domestic top-flight.

The PSL are today set to unveil their latest sponsorship deal, with their all-weather partners, Delta Corporation, to cover the championship and the Chibuku Super Cup.

Yesterday, they sealed an agreement with ZTN, which is a product of three years of negotiations.

The deal was signed at the Zimpapers headquarters, in Harare.

Under the arrangement, ZTN are expected to broadcast PSL matches, by livestreaming them on their growing online television platforms, in a pay-per-view model.

The first matches are expected to go on air next week, when the season-opening cluster tournament, featuring the 18 top-flight clubs, get underway across four venues.

Fans will be able to watch the matches online using their various gadgets.

“This is a milestone agreement, it will be a pay-per-view agreement which we are happy with,” said Jere.

“That will mean our fans will be able to watch matches, even on their gadgets, wherever you are, you won’t need to rush to sit down in front of television set to watch a match.

“We are very excited because it’s a move, in the right direction, for the PSL where we would want to commercialise a lot of these things.

“ZTN have the equipment, which we looked at, I think the equipment will be able to do the job, and we have a product that we all know.

“So, this is a very fair partnership, it’s a win-win partnership, where both parties are going to benefit, we can’t wait for the matches to start.

“This is the first partnership that we have signed and we are hoping to sign more.

“It’s a partnership, not a sponsorship package.”

The league boss said the deal comes at the right time, as fans will not miss the action, when football returns, under the Covid-19 regulations.

Jere said the PSL were satisfied with the quality of ZTN productions, which helped in convincing them to seal the deal, with the country’s fastest rising television network.

“We are extremely proud to be establishing a partnership with one of the most exciting, innovative and dynamic media companies in Zimbabwe,” said Jere.

“ZTN has an outstanding track record of delivering top quality programming.

“Our special relationship with ZTN started last year, during the Castle Challenge Cup between Highlanders and FC Platinum at Barbourfields, where we achieved a record viewing of 600 000, across the board.

“We have a partnership based on ‘we eat what we kill.’

“We share what we would have brought on the table.

“We are confident that this broadcasting partnership will provide our fans with greater access to the game, which they love so much.

“The coronavirus pandemic affected all areas of our lives and our football was not an exception.

“With fan access to the stadium restricted, due to the virus, we are happy that this partnership has come at the opportune time and will enable our fans, dotted across the globe, to catch the action live from the comfort of their homes, offices, or wherever they would be.”

Zimpapers chief executive, Pikirayi Deketeke, hailed the deal, saying the two parties already had a long-standing partnership.

This has seen Zimpapers, over the years, providing the widest coverage of the top-flight matches, and activities, throughout the stable’s newspapers.

“It is, indeed, a culmination of a relationship that has been going on for a very long time,” said Deketeke.

“As you know, Zimpapers is diversifying into television but has always been in the media for a very long time.

“So, our relationship, in terms of media coverage, has been on for a long time, in our papers.

“I think most of us grew up, at a time when getting onto a bus, you would see people holding their Herald, turned the other way round, because they are reading what is going on in terms of our football.

“It (football) has always been a big draw for our audience.”

Deketeke said the new deal will take the partnership to a higher level, in a changing environment.

“Now, we taking this relationship to even a higher level, where now, because of multimedia, people are not just reading about their football but they can now watch their football on the gadgets of their choice,” he said.

“Gone are the days when people would probably wait in the lounge and watch television.