A new vista is set to be opened in the reforms of the Nigeria Professional Football League with the return, this weekend, of live match commentaries on radio across the country.
The network service of Radio Nigeria will launch the highly welcome return with the live broadcast of the 2016/2017 NPFL season opener involving hosts Kano Pillars and visiting Federation Cup and Charity Shield champions, FC IfeanyiUbah this Saturday evening at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano.
The broadcast crew of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, now Official Radio Broadcast Partners of the NPFL, departed Abuja for Kano, Friday morning, with full compliments of broadcast equipment and personnel to deliver the historic broadcast which is expected to provide tap root for the advancement and growth of the game in Nigeria.
The drive to revive live broadcast of the NPFL had been on the agenda of the League Management Company as a deliberate strategic initiative to widen and deepen the reach of the league to feed the soccer passion of fans through all strata of the big cities and into the remote, hinterlands of the country.
To achieve this ahead of the opening of the new season, the LMC through its management and marketing partner, Westcoast Projects, entered into a relationship last December with the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria for the live broadcast of the league matches on the network service of Radio Nigeria with over 30 FM stations across the country hooking up.
Chairman of the LMC, Shehu Dikko, and Director General of the FRCN, Mansur Liman, have both expressed their commitment to the success of the initiative describing it as imperative for nation building.
“Our aim is to take the league to all corners of Nigeria, to ensure that football fans can follow the games everywhere and anywhere they are – on the road, in offices, at homes, in their market shops, in their farms, ranches, rivers, just anywhere,” said Dikko.
“It is interesting that spectators are filling up the stadiums on match days in many of the venues but the thing about football is you may have a full stadium of 20,000 to 30,000 spectators, as we have these days, there are millions of other football lovers interested in the matches and their clubs who are in different places and situations outside the stadium. They need to be serviced to keep abreast with the progress of the league, to know how their clubs and favourite players are doing, and radio is a most very effective medium to achieve this.”
For the DG of FRCN, the right to broadcast enables the corporation to meet its mandate of “informing the people and uplifting the nation.”
Managing Director of Westcoast, official radio broadcast marketing and management partner of the NPFL, Fred Edoreh, has called on brands and corporate organisations to support and take sponsorship and advertising advantage of the broadcast describing it as a unique leverage platform for marketing communications.
“The return of live radio broadcast of the league is significant in many ways. Football is a Nigeria passion. The league is the bedrock of any country’s football. Radio has the deepest penetration when it comes to communications. Radio Nigeria has the widest and strongest network with very effective FM stations across the country by which sponsors and advertisers can achieve the widest reach on marketing communications. Nigerians have always been nostalgic about radio broadcast of the league and it is just great that it has been brought back to provide more enjoyable experience of the game, keeping football fans close and engaged. In doing this, we are rebuilding and re-invigorating our national sports asset. There is every reason to see this initiative as a national project and to be part of it, especially so, as the LMC is continuously pushing itself and its strategic partners like the FRCN to chart brighter and brighter future for the league and our football.”