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Page last updated at 16:40 GMT, Sunday, 1 February 2009

African football counts GTV cost

Salomon Kalou in action for Chelsea
Fans across Africa are missing out on coverage of the Premier League

Several football federations and millions of fans in Africa of the English Premier League have been left high and dry by the liquidation of pay television broadcaster GTV.

The company went into liquidation last Friday, citing the effects of the global financial crisis.

Gateway Broadcast Services supplied programmes under the GTV banner to countries from Kenya to Botswana, and sponsored several domestic leagues, including Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda.

GTV were also the sponsors of the East and Central African tournament, the CECAFA Cup.

The president of the Tanzanian Football Federation and head of CECAFA, Leodegar Tenga, told BBC's African sports programme Fast Track that it is a big blow.

"GTV had invested about $500,000 in CECAFA every year, and $600,000 a year in the Tanzania Premier League, so it's a huge loss," Tenga told BBC Sport.

"CECAFA was planning to look for additional sponsors, we haven't secured any yet, but I'm very optimistic.

"We thought they would have been additional sponsors to GTV, but right now we have to start afresh."

Fans who watched the English Premier League on GTV, at home or in sports bars, missed the action over the weekend.

"We realise the negative impact this has had on our loyal customers, creditors and staff," GTV said.

"We have tried every possible step to keep the company going but we are all unfortunate victims of the current global economic crisis."

English Premier League spokesman Dan Johnson told BBC World Service's Sportsworld that they hope to find an alternative broadcaster in Africa swiftly.

"We're working very hard and we're hopeful that we'll have a solution in place as quickly as practically possible," said Johnson.

"Clearly there are some people in the market place who are capable."

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see also
GTV goes into liquidation
30 Jan 09 |  African
TV tussle gets tough in Africa
21 Nov 07 |  African
Sponsorship boost for Cecafa
06 Nov 07 |  African
Kenya league signs TV deal
26 Nov 07 |  African
Ugandan League could be delayed
30 Oct 07 |  African
Uganda clinch record sponsorship
03 Aug 07 |  African

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