By Duncan Mlanjira
Four media houses, Zodiak Broadcating Station (ZBS), Times TV, Malawi Broadcasting Station (MBC) and Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) presented their bids to broadcast matches when the TNM Super League games resume.
All TV stations have bid to broadcast 80 high profile matches with Times TV pledging to invest a total of K191 million; Zodiak TV at K18 million; MBC at 60 million while MIJ did not indicate how much it intends to invest.
Surprisingly, Mibawa TV — which was dominant in covering high profile matches since last year up to the period when matches were suspended due to COVID-19 pandemic — did not present any interest for the TNM Super League.
The bids were publicly opened in the presence of the media on Monday at Super League of Malawi (Sulom) offices at Chilomoni Stadium and Sulom executive member and chairperson of the media and broadcasting rights, Chimwemwe Nyirenda said a committee will be set up to scrutinize the bids.
In the presence of Sulom treasurer, Malinda Chinyama and staff members, Nyirenda said the committee shall comprise some Sulom executive members, representatives of the clubs and some technical experts in live broadcasting.
“The station that will be identified to broadcast the matches shall be announced in two weeks time,” he said. “Let me remind you that in the Expression of Interest we flighted in the media we indicated that we shall not be bound to accept the highest bidder.”
Both Nyirenda and Chinyama took cognizance that when the games shall resume, they might be played without supporters and in that event they shall consider to probably have two or three games per venue or have matches be played from Friday through to Sunday.
This arrangement is also one of the plans Football Association of Malawi (FAM) intends to carry out should the government allow it to resume matches without fans.
Across the world, matches resumed without fans after the COVID-19 infections in their countries were controlled.
In the meantime, cases in Malawi are still rising and as of Monday, August 17, 53 new cases were registered with one death and 64 new recoveries.
According to a situation report by co-chairperson of Presidential Taskforce Force on COVID-19, Dr. John Phuka, the new death is from Lilongwe.
Of the new cases, 49 are locally transmitted infections and of the locally transmitted infections, one is a healthcare worker from Mzimba South, 19 are from Blantyre, nine from Dedza, five each from Nkhata Bay and Nkhotakota, three from Mzuzu North, two from Mangochi, and one each from Balaka, Karonga, Lilongwe, Mchinji and Salima.
Four of the new cases are imported — three of them were identified among 77 returnees coming through Mwanza Boarder, and one was identified through routine screening at Songwe border.
Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 5,125 cases including 162 deaths and of these cases, 1,088 are imported infections and 4,037 are locally transmitted.
Cumulatively, 2,690 cases have now recovered bringing the total number of active cases to 2,273. The country has so far conducted 39,764 tests in 45 COVID-19 testing sites of which 550 tests have been done in the past 24 hours of Monday evening.