Kampala-Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC), the National Broadcaster has announced that it will be broadcasting some of the games of the forthcoming 2022 FIFA Qatar World Cup a development that has generated excitement amongst football fans.
This was confirmed by Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, Minister for ICT and National Guidance while addressing journalists at the Uganda Media center in Kampala on Friday. The games will be on the UBC main channel and UBC Star TV. The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be played from 20 November to 18 December 2022.
32 teams will compete across 64 matches in the 22nd edition of the tournament. France is the defending champions after defeating Croatia to win the 2018 championship.
In an exclusive interview, William Odochi, the UBC Marketing manager said while they have secured rights to broadcast some of the games, their rights only allow them to broadcast 28 games out of the 64 games that will be played throughout the entire tournament.
“The number of games that have been given under the free-to-air business structure is 28 games. We are basically running what has been given to us”, he said.
But Odoch made it clear that among the 28 games, they will have games at all stages including a few games from the preliminary round (group stages) matches in the round of sixteen, quarter-final, semi-final, and the final.
According to the match fixtures, UBC will broadcast at least eighteen games out of the forty-eight games, four games out of the eight games on the round of sixteen, 2 games out of the 4 games on the semi-final, and the final game.
These include the opening match between hosts Qatar and Ecuador, Senegal against Netherlands that will be played the following day, and Group D between France and Australia among other games. They will broadcast at least one game across all group stages every day.
Asked how much it will cost them to secure the rights, Odochi said they have used nearly 1.6 billion. “The government released 1.56 billion towards these games, which covers the rights, administrative costs, that’s the money the government released for this”, he said.
Asked whether they were contacted in the selection of matches they are going to broadcast, Odochi said the organizers selected the games. “All games have been selected for us, there is no way you can decide which games you want to watch depending on the amount of money we paid,” he said.
The announcement sparked excitement among Ugandan football enthusiasts, who have already begun preparing to catch a peek of the action as top Football countries compete in this year’s edition of the Football’s most prestigious competition.
Hussein Katumba, a typical German fan told URN that such a development will help him have the games on his screen at home. “This is going to help us so much, remember during the previous world cup matches we used to come back home late after watching those games at night, I believe this will save us a lot.”
Jeremiah, Kasadha, a big France national team fan told URN that although he will not be able to watch all the games as he would wish, the development will help him rest his DSTV decoder for a month at least.
“I was thinking about renewing my subscription because I badly needed this tournament, but if they are giving us 28 matches, I can hold on because I will be able to watch one game every day,” Kasadha, told URN.