The Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC), the public broadcaster says it will not be able to show the 2017 Total Africa Cup of Nations due to lack of funds to pay for broadcasting rights.
In a letter dated 11th January addressed to the Minister of Education and Sports,Janet Kataha Museveni, the UBC Managing Director, Winston Agaba said that they needed up to 2.5 billion Uganda shillings for both the AFCON fees and rights just to show the tournament.
He says as members of African Union of broadcasters, they negotiated for 550,000 Euros for and an additional 113,500 dollars. Non members of African Union pay 1.2 million Euros to telecast.
“These fees as we highlighted in our previous letters were and are still out of our reach, we have approached your office and our line ministry of information, communication, technology and national guidance and none is in the position to help pay for the rights”Agaba notes.
He adds that it is on a sad note that they will have to communicate this to the viewers and the country at large,adding that UBC will only be able to relay highlights of the games and provide live radio commentary on all radio channels.
Agaba called for Ugandans to support the cranes and follow the games on other TV channels that might relay the program.
The communication comes at a time when Uganda makes a historic appearance in the Afcon after 39 years. Speaking to URN on phone, Agaba says they are still trying to lobby for funds although they are not sure they will get. “It is way overboard and we just cannot afford it. As UBC we think we need to broadcast the games,” he added.
He blamed CAF and Laggade on the rights stating that Africa as a whole is being denied the rights to broadcast its own games. Uganda Cranes will open the 2017 Afcon campaign with a game against Ghana on January 17th.