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Last Updated: Friday, 3 August 2007, 10:37 GMT 11:37 UK
Uganda clinch record sponsorship
By Ibrahim Sannie

Uganda national team
GTV takes ownership of the media and commercial rights of the Cranes

The Federation of Uganda Football Associations (Fufa) has announced a US$5m five-year sponsorship deal with Africa's new pay television, Gateway TV (GTV).

The deal is the biggest in Ugandan football, being bigger than the US$500,000 paid by mobile phone company MTN in June to sponsor the national team over three years.

The deal is a major boost for the country's league which has been hampered by the failure to secure a sponsor for the past two years.

GTV's sponsorship includes an annual cash contribution as well as ownership of the media and commercial rights to the Uganda Super League, Uganda Kakangulu Cup and country's national teams.

Fufa and GTV will set up a development fund to support five regional teams and they will also work together to improve playing conditions, including in the country's stadia.

Fufa president Lawrence Mulindwa said: "Fufa believes that the same growth in live football that pay TV has driven elsewhere on the world is also possible in Uganda with the support of GTV.

"Matches never before seen on television will now be accessible to football fans on GTV, not just in Uganda but wherever GTV broadcasts.

"Fufa and GTV are confident that ultimately, this deal will enhance the international competitiveness and popularity of Ugandan football."

The deal is an indication that GTV, which started its operations in Africa last month, will use football to bolster its subscriber base.

The British firm secured 80 per cent of the television rights to the English Premiership for sub-Saharan Africa for the next three seasons, edging out South Africa's Multichoice, who took 20 per cent.

"When we set up GTV, we knew football was crucial. We asked football fans what they wanted - first they asked for the English Premiership and we gave it to them," Julian McIntyre, founder and managing director of GTV said.

"Next, they asked us to support football at home. We are pleased to say we are partnering with national associations and local clubs to do just that.

"GTV aims to be the home of football in Africa, and that means investing in the sport nationally and putting your favourite local teams on TV."



SEE ALSO
Ugandan league gets sponsor
17 Mar 04 |  African


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