Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC), Shehu Dikko has assured that the new commercial and investment partnership deal it signed with Redstrike Sports will come alive in the upcoming 2020/2021 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.
The commercial agreement with the Nigerian arm of the UK-based Redstrike, which was sealed by the LMC on behalf of the NPFL two weeks ago, will amongst other things create a customized platform called NPFL.tv for streaming live league games to a global audience. Content from the league will also be distributed and broadcasted through other media channels, in addition to creating commercially-viable mobile apps for the 20 NPFL clubs.
Unlike the NEXT TV contract it signed last year which was not activated before the 2019/2020 NPFL season was aborted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Dikko said the Redstrike project is expected to be launched sometime in October before the commencement of the new NPFL season, subject to the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the country.
He stated that Redstrike has committed enough financial resources to suggest that they would implement the terms of the agreement when next season kicks off.
“That’s the objective; to start this season,” the LMC boss informed. “That’s the plan. All the plan is ongoing to make sure that happened.
“I don’t think the kind of financing they are committing upfront in guarantees and upfront payments, for example, they (Redstrike) will just do it like that and go and sit up, and be waiting for next season (2021/2022). Something will happen this (2020/2021) season, definitely.
“Once the contract goes through the way it is planned, something has to happen this season and we have to activate as soon as possible to make sure everything is in place.
“Of course, we are thinking to launch everything after the second week of October. We expect to have a launch of the project, and then, thereafter, the league can kick off. That’s the plan. I think everything will fall in place by then.”
Speaking to Kennis FM, the LMC chieftain said all hands are on deck, dotting the Is and crossing the Ts, with the sole aim of making the deal a reality, adding that the NPFL clubs are mandated to comply with the CAF/NFF Club Licensing regulations – especially in the upgrade of their infrastructures – as part of the contract with Redstrike.
“Everybody is working. If you can look at it, the NPFL.tv is being developed, it’s work in progress already,” the 2nd Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation added. “And all the technical things that need to be done are being worked on.
“So, we hope that the Covid – 19 situation and any other unforeseen situation that we did not anticipate might not be an impediment.
“But at least, the objectives and the plan and the contract that is signed is starting this coming season – 2020/2021.
“And also in the contract that we signed, you mentioned in the opening remark about the Club Licensing and stuff like that, the contract has a requirement for the Club Licensing as well, because they want to make sure they do it very well.
“They want to make sure our venues are good. They want to make sure every team is behaving in a professional way, because that’s the only way we can have the content that is valuable and can be easily monetized and make money back for the stakeholders, especially the clubs, which will now translate back to the players and officials and everybody involved in the game,” Dikko concluded.
The LMC/Redstrike partnership is expected to run for 5 years with an option for both parties to extend the agreement.