African Union of Broadcasters (AUB) leaders who have convened in Cairo, Egypt thanked President Paul Kagame as announced by the Director-General of Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA), Arthur Asiimwe who also attended the meeting.
CAF has offered rights to show games for free (terrestrial free-to-air) to Sub-Sahara African countries.
“African Public Broadcasters meeting this morning to discuss CAF rights..greatly appreciate support from @PaulKagame who challenged CAF 2 years ago to ensure AfCON rights are run by Africans. As result, AUB took the challenge & now viewership for #AFCON2019 increased by over 60%,” said Asiimwe in a tweet.
“Thanks...for many years broadcasting rights for African football were run by non-africans charging exorbitant prices, hence few countries could afford. With #AFCON2019 run by AUB, countries showing tournament increased from 13 to 30...good progress but more work to be done!” he added.
Asiimwe has told IGIHE that rights to show these games were expensive where African Broadcasters paid €450,000 (over Rwf 450 million as per current exchange rates) to show AfCON held in Ghana in 2017 while they have for this time paid only € 200,000 (over Rwf 200 million) enabling many institutions to show the cup.
In March last year, President Kagame who was assuming the Chairmanship of African Union (AU) became the first Head of State to attend AUB meeting held at Kigali Convention Centre and held talks giving insights in different areas on African continent.
The union told Kagame that broadcasters continue to lose trust over constantly providing explanations to the audience seeking clarifications why they can’t be shown their heroes over of financial issues.
The Chairman of AUB, Gregoire Ndjaka requested Kagame to raise their voice so that Africans can get rights to broadcast African games.
“During previous AfCON in 2017, only 13 institutions showed the cup. 40 others including RBA from Rwanda didn’t show the tournament. It is sad failing to show African tournament. CAF is not behaving like an African confederation. Your excellency, kindly accept to conduct advocacy to Heads of States for this issue,” he said.
Kagame said that it is frustrating that rights to show Africans playing in Africa are run by outsiders out of the continent. He advised how countries can concert efforts to compete for the rights to be offered at an affordable cost.
“We cannot be happy for it. How long should we work under such a situation? There are many countries paying to get rights to broadcast. Money is not an issue. Why can’t we use that capability to own the rights and reduce prices?,” he wondered.
Kagame promised them support saying that Africans cannot be passive on their suffering because they know what to do to change the situation.
AUB won rights to broadcast CAF games until 2023.
AfCON is taking place in Egypt from 21st June to 19th July 2019. The final match will take place on Friday with Senegal facing off Algeria. Nigeria has won the third place after beating Tunisia. A total of 24 teams participated in AfCON2019.