Why is Zim not having 5pm and 7pm kick off games?

Noel Munzabwa
This is the question that begged an answer from me when asked by a colleague here in the mountainous kingdom as we followed soccer action from Harare last weekend.

I am glad so many of these questions, including a�?why is Zimbabwe not having reserve leagues?a�? which will next year give birth to the proposed Under-19 league, have been answered thanks to the fact that they were highlighted on this column in earlier subscriptions.

But this one for me has remained unanswered and probably will need Kenny Ndebele to respond.

Fine, not now since this question could have been inspired by Swazilanda��s need to spy on Zimbabwe football ahead of next Marcha��s back to back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers between the two nations.

One thing for sure, ita��s possible to have games under floodlights in Zimbabwe after all if last Saturdaya��s Chibuku Super Cup quarter-final match between Harare City and Triangle broadcast live on the world of champions Supersport is anything to go by.

Many questions have lingered on in a mere analysis as to why the sports digital television platform has continued weekend rotational broadcasting of at least four different leagues in the continent and viability has probably been the closest possible reason.

The other possible next hindering factor has centred on electricity shortages which in recent days have seen probably increased load shedding and probably had some fears as Harare City tore apart the Sugar Boys from Chiredzi.

With immediate memories of the ill-fated 2015 Independence Cup final between Dynamos and FC Platinum which ended prematurely by at least half an hour on Uhuru day owing to power cuts, the fear grew in leaps and bounds and what a huge relief when the final whistle came.

Unfortunately many of our acclaimed football analysts might have probably missed the a�?possibilitiesa�? all week through and possibly unlike their counterpart Premier League of Swaziland who have seen wisdom in evening games, our Premier Soccer League have chosen to ignore.

You see there is probably better attendance figures in evening matches especially in mid-week fixtures than afternoon matches during the week since most people would be at work.

Apart from pushing the gate takings, in a game which has the world over has revolved around better broadcasting rights and revenue, the evening kick offs would help lessen the programming headaches and probably see an increase in live televised games.

Using simple mathematics, the more the number of games televised, the more the revenue which surely help some of our fixtures which witness almost zero attendances and at least earn some revenue from TV rights.

If the National Sports Stadium can host matches under floodlights, I know for certain Rufaro Stadium can host 5pm or 7pm kick off matches having watched a couple of such games during my five-year stay in the capital.

I have heard floodlights at Barbourfields Stadium can consume more electricity than Rufaro but one thing certain is that it is very possible having watched Highlanders battle it out against Motor Action in 2006.

With Mandava Stadium having been upgraded, the floodlights might have been given attention as well.

Our clubs are surely also underestimating the marketing value that has increased the number of player sells to foreign clubs in the last two years our game has been televised to the world and just to imagine how much more players would break into foreign leagues with an increased number of televised games.

Perhaps our football administrators need to be reminded that football is big business and the earlier they wake up and smell the coffee the better.

Yes, we agree there is depressed football club sponsorship from the corporate world and therefore this leaves TV rights (or increased TV rights revenue) and player sells as the only next biggest resource avenue as gate takings and prize monies have failed to take adequate care of our various clubs.

Many saw how our Young Warriors dismally performed against South Africa under floodlights simple because most of them were probably playing under floodlights for the first time in their careers.

Who knows probably Safa technical department saw that technicality and pushed for a 7pm kick-off.

Who knows this could be the potential breakthrough to increased player sells, TV rights revenue and pouring in of sponsors seeking that marketing value the increased televised matches would bring to the world.

Food for thought!