Ghanaian media regulator calls on GFA to publish StarTimes deal details

The chairman of Ghana’s National Media Commission has urged the nation’s football association to publish details of its rights agreement with pay-television broadcaster StarTimes.

Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh made the recommendation in a bid to diffuse rising tensions between the Ghana Football Association and the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Ghana’s public broadcaster, after heated exchanges between the duo in the last week.

Speaking at the GBC’s headquarters in Accra, Boadu-Ayeboafoh said that the GBC was only made aware of StarTimes’ success through the media.

Boadu-Ayeboafoh said the Ghanaian people should be able to see the details of StarTimes’ offer after the GFA released the equivalent details of the GBC’s offer during their public spat.

Quoted by Modern Ghana, the NMC chairman said: “In the same way that they published the details of the offer of the GBC, they [the GFA] should publish the offer of StarTimes. They should make it public so that the average Ghanaian can judge for himself whether indeed, that is the best deal that will offer us those opportunities.”

The NMC will now contact Kurt Okuraku, the GFA president, to discuss the rights award process.

The GFA awarded the exclusive rights to the Ghanaian Premier League and FA Cup competition, along with three other properties, to StarTimes in a four-year deal worth $5.25m (€4.7m).

In response, Mamle Asare, GBC director of corporate affairs, released a statement claiming that the GBC had submitted a superior financial offer.

Asare went on to describe the properties as “like a national treasure” and called for them to be “given to the national broadcaster and a consortium of local broadcasters”.

A 12-point statement was then issued by the GFA in response to Asare’s claims which appeared to rebuff claims that the winning bid was inferior financially.

The GFA said in its statement: “The GFA, having gone out of its way to make the highlights show non-exclusive for the benefit of all television stations, does not deserve the deliberate misinformation issued by GBC.”

The tender process was launched after the GFA and StarTimes cancelled an existing contract they had for the five properties which was set to run until 2026. The contract would have been worth a total of $18m over its lifespan.