Could Zim lose Supersport to the Swazi?

Noel Munzabwa

This is the big question if Sundaya��s a�?The World of Championsa�? almost flawless coverage of the blockbuster 2018 SMVAF Ingwenyama Cup final featuring two of the recent fierce rivals Mbabane Swallows and Royal Leopards played before a full house at Somhlolo National Stadium is anything to go by.

Just when the 2018 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League was entering Week Two and an Audio and Visual Broadcasting tender was been re-flighted, SuperSport arrived in Swaziland on an all expenses paid for live broadcast.

This was almost a replica of how the television channel appeared when it arrived in Zimbabwe with two all expenses paid for live broadcasts a�� the Dynamos versus Motor Action league in 2011 and the Mbada Diamonds Cup 2011 final.

In another striking similarity, the previous year Monomotapa had fared well in the CAF Champions League just as Mbabane Swallows did in the 2017 Total CAF Confederations Cup and just two weeks ago sealed easy passage to the Group stage of the 2018 Total CAF Champions League.

After the trial runs, SuperSport sealed a marriage with the PLS in 2012 in a deal that saw clubs receive an average of $20 000 per season over the six-year period whose end was announced by the league at the end of last season.

Just when hope was beginning to re-glow the broadcaster would reconsider and probably bid for the rights, it highly seems they have other ideas beyond Zimbabwe, Swaziland to be precise where the amount would probably be a good pay out here to local clubs.

For local Swazi sides, $20000 (250000 emalangeni) would be a huge cash injection to their cash flows, good enough to cater for at least a third of their respective seasona��s budgets while television coverage would in turn provide the missing link to player movements to foreign leagues.

At the moment, video clip unavailability has been the biggest hindrance to such breakthroughs.

On Sunday, Swallows came from behind to beat Leopards 2-1 in a match that was televised on SuperSport 9 on a slot that used to be a preserve for the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League and the Zambia MTN Premier League but of particular a big hint was probably thrown by Swazi born match analyst William Shongwe.

a�?SuperSport if you do see this big product then I dona��t know what else will,a�? said Shongwe, a former Manzini Wanderers and Sihlangu goalkeeper born and bred in Piggs Peak, a small town north of Swaziland and now resident in SA.

It remains to be seen if the monarchical blessings received from His Majesty King Mswati III would probably transform into a welcome for SuperSport to roll in ita��s equipment and set up base in the mountainous kingdom and probably announce a Zimbabwe loss turning to Swazi gain.