AFCON 2013 Live Broadcast: Nigeria Is Not A Cash Cow – Maku

As Nigerians continue to fume over the inability of any local station to broadcast live matches from the ongoing African Cup of Nations in South Africa, the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku on Monday, said that the development was in the interest of sports development in the country.

Maku said this during an inspection of ongoing work at the Inland River Port in Oguta, Imo.

The minister, who apologised to Nigerians for the blackout on live matches of the tournament, said that the demand of the rights holder was highly exploitative.

According to Maku, “it is necessary for Nigeria to call their bluff because they were not willing to bring down the price despite efforts by the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON)

“All efforts made by BON through the agent LC2 did not work. From €8 million, they came to €6 million then €4.5 million; so you can see that it is not a scientific charge, it is a kind of casino pricing.

“BON decided that this year, Nigeria should call the bluff of this agent and maybe next time the Confederation of African Football will be more sensitive when it comes to hiring of agents to vent the broadcasting rights of the African Nations Cup,” he said.

The minister said that Nigeria would no longer tolerate agents who would turn the country into a cash cow.

“Nigeria cannot be a cash cow for every agent to come and exploit. We have to call the bluff of people that want to abuse our generosity.

“We are making this collective sacrifice for a better future. We will work with BON to agree on a new formula for these prices and we will want to see that what we pay should not be different from any other African country.”

Maku disclosed that the Federal Government had offered to shoulder some of the cost if BON could negotiate a fair price but the agents remained adamant on the price they were offering.

Likewise, he said the BON advised government against the move. “They said they will not want the government to use public money to any agent because it is not good to our country and the agent has not treated Nigeria fairly” Maku said.

He however assured that Nigerians would get a better deal in 2014. (NAN)




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