The Africa Cup of Nations begins on Saturday in Gabon, with a number of Premier League stars heading out to the tournament.
Among the 16 countries to participate in this year’s tournament is the Uganda national team, the Uganda Cranes, having qualified for the first time in close to 40 years.
However, Ugandans who were anxiously waiting to see their national team feature in AFCON for the first time in as many years might not be able to. This is after the national broadcaster, Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC TV), announced that it won’t be broadcasting the matches.
In a January 12, 2017, letter by the station’s Managing Director, Winston David Agaba to the Minister of Education and Sports Janet Kataaha Museveni, he informs her that they have failed to secure the broadcasting rights for the tournament.
“Following our letter dated 14 December, 2016 addressed to your office, we regret to inform you that due to lack of financing to cover the fee involved, we shall not be able to telecast the Africa Cup of Nations 2017 (AFCON) games which kick off on 14 January 2017,” Agaba writes. He adds that the fees in question total US$113,500.
‘These fees as we highlighted in our previous letter were and still out of our reach. We have approached your office and our line Ministry of Information, Communications Technology and National Guidance, and none is in a position to help pay for the rights. It is with great sadness that we will officially communicate this to our esteemed viewers and the country at large. UBC shall only be able to relay highlights of the games, and provide live radio commentary on all our radio channels,’ Mr Agaba writes.