BTV to screen title decider in two live broadcasts
Armchair fans of the Botswana Premier League are in for a treat in a Super Saturday of televised action as the league reches its final day climax.
BTV have gone out of their way to televise the games that are likely to decide who finishes the season as champions in simultaneous live broadcasts that will see their cameras in action in Palapye and Francistown.
Following uncertainties about the suitability of the pitch, the game between Miscellaneous and Township Rollers has now been confirmed for Palapye Swallows Ground, with the game between Ecco City Greens and Mochudi Centre Chiefs being played in Francistown. Both games kick off at 3pm.
There is an outside chance that BDF XI could upset the schedule should both Rollers and Chiefs lose and the army side beat Orapa, but that possibility has not apparently been considered.
Although no official announcement from the national broadcaster was made at the time of going to press, a reliable source from within the Mass Media Complex said: “Historically BTV has usually been unable or unwilling to broadcast northern-based fixtures due to the logistics involved such as travel and accommodation for the crew that will be on the road.
“This time around two crews will be dispatched, one to Palapye and the other to Francistown.
The two games are going to be broadcast interchangeably.”
The source added that BTV will also have a third crew in Gaborone where they will air the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) awards later in the evening.
The Premier League CEO Bennet Mamelodi said they were yet to get final confirmation from BTV, but said it was a welcome development.
“It is standard practice to show league deciders on TV, but nevertheless we are waiting to hear from the broadcasters themselves.
All I know is that it is an obligation that BTV broadcasts our games and we have written to them requesting that they broadcast these games,” he said.
Mamelodi assured fans that whichever team wins the league this weekend they will be awarded the trophy at the end of the game live on national television for the whole nation to see.
He added that despite having limited resources they are doing everything in their power to make sure that Batswana enjoy every moment of the festivities as the league wraps up.
Mamelodi noted that kick-off times where changed to allow everyone a chance to celebrate; those winning the league, those securing Top 8 spots and relegation survivors.
“We have also categorised matches in terms of risk levels and crowd expectations and there is no doubt that a larger crowd is expected in Palapye.
Therefore we have liaised with security personnel including the police for assistance security-wise,” he noted. The league CEO further added that medics will be on alert.
The league sponsors beMOBILE have also hailed the idea of broadcasting games in the north saying it has been long overdue.
BTC spokesperson Golekanye Molapise said this was a step in the right direction looking at the fact that all the broadcasted games this season had been in the south.
We at beMobile value our customers and Batswanain general the same, therefore we are happy that finally our subscribers will have an opportunity to witness northern based games live on BTV. It also brings a lot of excitement so that we can end the league in style,” Molapise said.