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One of two outside broadcast vans which is part of a 10-year agreement between StarTimes Communications Group and the Ghana Football Association (GFA) worth $4m is ready for delivery to Ghana.
The StarTimes –Ghana Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Hao Lei, who spoke to Graphic Online in Beijing, China, said what was left was the finalising of some documentation regarding tax waivers and other issues concerning the agreement that had to be cleared before the OB van could be finally shipped to Ghana.
Valued at about US$4 million, the van with state-of-the-art equipment is expected to boost the live telecast of all premier league football matches, not only in Ghana, but across the African continent and in all other countries covered by StarTimes’ telecasts.
It also has facilities for the replay of exciting scenes during matches as well as other features that make watching football exciting.
Mr. Hao said many African football lovers had turned to European football and the leagues of other nations because watching home matches on television were not exciting.
Technology also has a part in influencing the love of local matches he said, expressing the belief that with the support of modern technology in the telecast of live football matches many more people would love to watch local matches on screen, while it would also market the local game to other countries.
The Minister of Communications, Mrs. Ursula Gifty Owusu-Ekuful who was taken on a tour of the van in Beijing, China, said although she had not had much time to review the full details of the 10-year StarTimes, Ghana Football Association agreement which gave StarTimes the exclusive rights to telecast all matches, “if the OB van I have seen is anything to go by, we can be sure that they will be giving us world class recording and telecasting of all the matches.
“If the technology that I have seen is anything to go by, then we can be comfortable that we have anything to rival anything being done in the world.”
Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said Ghana needed more of such corporate engagements for its sports development to enable it move to the next level.
She noted that because of the power of sports and its unifying effects, “I am hoping that once they (people) start viewing it, it is going to send our league to the world stage because we will be exporting our talent, our culture, our unique ‘Ghanaianess’ and our brand of football as well, which is spectacular to watch.
“I am hoping that it would woo many people from the premier league and Serie ‘A’ and Bundesliga so that they can also enjoy our own premier league matches and see that we also have talent which can rival anything that any other league is showing across the world.”
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said she hoped the agreement would be the beginning of an exciting relationship between the GFA and StarTimes, which they could build on to do something great.
“And for all you know, they will also be queuing up to watch our premier league games in Europe and in the capitals of the Americas very soon because of the quality of the telecast and the quality of the game that will be played as well,” she said.