Cecafa hit jackpot

British-based Gateway Broadcasting Television (GTV) is the new sponsor of the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.

British-based Gateway Broadcasting Television (GTV) is the new sponsor of the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.

The regional governing body, Cecafa and GTV signed a four-year contract deal worth $6 million yesterday.

The contract deal will runs until 2011.

The four-year contract deal starts in December when this year’s tournament kicks-off, meaning that the competition will also be broadcasted live in the countries that have GTV subscribers.

The Cecafa General Secretary, Nicholas Musonye told Times Sport yesterday by telephone from Nairobi that that, in GTV, they have secured a partner who would help in elevating the region’s football standards.

“The sponsorship deal is expected to cater for air tickets, prizes, accommodation, local transport and other expenses for tournament,” Musonye said.

Musonye said that despite DSTV of the Super Sport fame showing interest in sponsoring the regional event, it was their rivals GTV who came up with a better package hence getting full broadcasting rights.

“The secretariat found GTV offering good negotiating terms and a deal has been finalized.

“GTV is a strong and cooperative company which will steer the region’s soccer standards to the new heights as we head to 2010 World Cup due in South Africa,” Musonye added.

The Cecafa Secretary General confirmed that they took on a new sponsor after the expiry of the four-year contract they had with Ethiopian tycoon Sheikh Mohammed.

The Ethiopian tycoon has been sponsoring the Cecafa Challenge Cup to a tune of $600.000.

GTV has already had a say in regional football.

The company that owes its roots to Gateway Broadcasting of Britain has already tied the knot with Federation of Uganda Football Association to sponsor their national league.

The five-year deal worth $5m will see the firm relaying live some of the super league and Uganda Cranes games.
GTV service made its presence felt in the region and beyond when it announced that it had clinched exclusive rights to broadcast 80% of the English Premier League.

In a related development, Dutchman Rene Feller has been named as the national coach of Eritrea.

His appointment comes a month before the tiny Red Sea state plays in the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Tanzania.
The 64-year-old has moved up from a two-year stint coaching the country’s under-20 side.  Feller has also previously worked in Kuwait.

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