Nigerian league signs commercial and streaming rights deal with UK-based Redstrike

An OTT streaming platform is to be launched to showcase matches from the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) after Redstrike, the UK-based sports marketing agency, invested in an agreement to commercialise the league’s rights.

Redstrike Media Nigeria, a company formed by Redstrike and G2P Sports, a Nigerian football management agency, has agreed a deal with the NPFL’s League Management Company (LMC) and the clubs to acquire the rights and create the NPFL Marketing entity.

NPFL Marketing will stream live league matches on its platform, along with ensuring distribution and broadcast through other media platforms.

Announcing the agreement, the length or financial terms of which were not divulged, the NPFL said that Redstrike will be “launching opportunities for companies and brands to sponsor the NPFL” and will also build club apps to integrate within and generate more revenues for the teams.

Redstrike Media Nigeria was established in Lagos together with G2P Sports to exploit the exclusive license for sport for its Next Gen 360° broadcast platform.

Backers of Redstrike Media Nigeria include Howard Thomas, former chief executive of Sale Sharks and Premier Rugby (now Premiership Rugby), Mike Farnan, a former commercial executive at English football clubs Manchester United, Sheffield United and Sunderland, and Bola Adefehinti, chairman of G2P Sports.

At the end of 2019, the LMC unveiled a five-year broadcast rights agreement with Next TV Digital, a subsidiary of Next Satellite Television and a consortium of media companies Nigus International, NigComSat, and CGWIC.

Eyebrows were raised among fans and the media alike after that deal was hailed as worth a total of $225m (€190.3m) over five years, including commercial aspects, but did not get off the ground. Speaking in April, Harrison Jalla, president of the National Association of Nigeria Footballers (NANF), told Nigeria’s Best Choice Sports: “The LMC launched a bogus Next Television sponsorship deal with so much fanfare and razzmatazz.

“In a frenzy their media cohorts went to town paying glowing tribute to their pay masters in a purported deal that will rake in hundreds of millions of US dollars. But how do you enter into a contract with a cable television station that has no presence in Africa?”

The league was previously showcased by SuperSport but the dominant pay-television broadcaster ended its deal in 2017. SuperSport’s agreement was due to run from 2016 to 2019.

Commenting on the new deal, LMC chairman Shedu Dikko said: “The effect of this ground-breaking development for Nigerian Football is that every Nigerian football fan will be able to follow their team and watch NPFL matches every week. We also expect that the new broadcast arrangements will energise interest in the Nigerian Football Leagues.”

Redstrike’s Farnan added: “This partnership with the NPFL is 100 per cent in line with Redstrike’s mission of investing in emerging markets and rights with unfulfilled potentials. The Nigeria Professional Football League (the elite League in Nigeria) is exactly that with turbo boosters.

“I have not been as excited about an opportunity in football since my Manchester United days. It is a fantastic honour to be involved with Nigerian Football and one I and my team will fully commit to. We will deliver commercial success to the NPFL.”