PREMIER Soccer League chairman Twine Phiri has defended the TV rights deal signed with South African sports channel SuperSport last week, insisting football will benefit.
The 16 PSL teams will split US$120,000 equally for the remainder of the season, rising to US$400,000 for the full season next year.
The purse will increase by seven percent every subsequent year until 2017.
Phiri admitted they had a difficult time justifying why they signed the deal which pales into insignificance when compared to what SuperSport pay out to South African Premier League clubs.
For instance, next season, clubs in Zimbabwe will each receive US$25,000 compared to the US$2,1 million SuperSport pays to each South African club.
Phiri says they had to start somewhere. Their previous attempts to negotiate a TV deal with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation collapsed after the state-run monopoly broadcaster asked clubs to PAY to have their matches on TV.
“Clubs are now brands that are marketed outside our borders,” Phiri said. “With this deal, we hope companies will see sense in sponsoring clubs and advertise through uniforms, replica jerseys and billboards at our matches.
“It’s a good platform for companies to get mileage. Our players will now be watched all over the world and we hope Zimbabweans can support SuperSport through buying decoders from MultiChoice so that they watch their favourite clubs and players in action.
“It’s the beginning of a new challenge and we are confident football will benefit. PSL board members congratulated us for a job well done after we explained the negotiation process.”
SuperSport is yet to release a schedule of the matches to be screened this term with 10 matches to play before the Zimbabwe season ends.
SUPERSPORT DEAL: WHAT EACH CLUB WILL GET PER SEASON
2012 - US$7,500
2013 - US$25,000
2014 - US$26,750
2015 - US28,622
2016 - US$30,626
2017 - US$32,769