The national broadcaster, Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) is negotiating with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to broadcast the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament on credit.
The tournament, currently being held in Egypt, began on Friday last week and UBC was able to broadcast the games for the first three days before it suddenly stopped.
In a statement, UBC said it had temporarily stopped the broadcast and that the matter would be resolved soon. URN has since established that UBC began broadcasting the tournament under the assumption that government would release the money for the broadcast rights.
UBC, which has been struggling to secure the AFCON broadcasting rights, recently wrote to parliament seeking Shs 1 billion so they can telecast the tournament since Uganda Cranes is also featuring after a 41-year absence. Cranes began the 2019 edition with a 2-0 game win against DR Congo.
In the letter, UBC managing director Winston Agaba, explained that UBC had engaged the African Union of Broadcasting (AUB), which gave a final offer of Euros 350,000 (about Shs 1.4 billion) which was a 53 per cent discount from their initial offer.
AUB is a professional body composed of the national radio and television organizations of the African states involved in the exchange of indigenous programming. Now, URN has learnt that UBC is negotiating with CAF and AUB to permit them to show the games and pay them later when the Ugandan government releases the money.
Agaba said that they are negotiating to show the games on credit and pay later when government eventually releases the money in the first quarter of next financial year.
“They wanted us to pay upfront, which we can’t because government can only release money in the first quarter of next financial year” Agaba said.
FUFA had signed an agreement with AUB guaranteeing payment of the funds to enable UBC broadcast the first games. He said they are in touch with FUFA and are hopeful that the remaining games will be broadcast.
Agaba says there hope is that they will broadcast, the Uganda Cranes game against Zimbabwe on Wednesday at 8.00pm EAT. CAF has reportedly demanded that during the games broadcast, the UBC feed be off all Pay TV platforms.
Uganda is currently top of Group A ahead of Egypt on goal difference.