For lovers of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL), it was a job well done by the League Management Company when they finalized the deal to ensure live streaming of match games via the Npfl.tv app and NTA Network. The previous television deal that ended in 2017 was signed for about 35 million USD. The long wait to renew such lucrative business deal left many enthusiasts puzzled as the league went off TV for a while.
Just before the commencement of the new league season, the LMC announced another sponsorship deal with Red Strike media group for live broadcast of the league season. Not long after, the NTA Network keyed in and showed NPFL game on match day.
The Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) have witnessed alternate periods of successful and average season since its inception in 1972. The top tier football division in Nigeria is managed by the League Management Company which is responsible for planning and executing the league seasons.
From the turn of the decade, in 2000, the NPFL have been on a downward spiral with loss of interest from many Nigerians. The primary cause of this is lack of innovation, poor funding, reduced quality of the league and general violence on match venues.
Over the years, the recurring tale of the competition was the win at home at all cost mindset. This sad tale left the league in shambles as poor officiating became the order of the day with officials scared for their safety compromised the standards to favour the home teams.
The security challenges faced in the country has not helped the growth of the league. Lesser number of fans going to match venues to see live games. In the 80’s and 90’s, there was a large following of the league in Nigeria, making it unarguably one of the best in Africa. Although the NPFL was ranked the best league in Africa in 2012, there is a sharp contrast with the performance of her teams in continental tournaments.
Thus, the securing of the Red Strike deal by the LMC to stream league matches live was widely accepted by sports followers in Nigeria. Since the commencement of the agreement, there have been general improvements in the quality and performance of the top tier teams. This primarily is caused by the awareness that millions of people are now interested virtually in the league, and foreign clubs now scout good talents for signings.
Beyond the lucrative deals and global exposure of our league, TV has given home based players a platform to showcase their talents and show the world the round leather game is just as beautiful in Nigeria as it is in other climes.