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Wananchi Group defends role in Kenyan rights dispute

Wananchi Group has defended its broadcast deal with Kenyan Premier League club AFC Leopards, stating it does not interfere with the league’s agreement with SuperSport.

Wananchi Group Limited, the owner of East African pay-television operator Zuku, has defended its broadcast deal with Kenyan Premier League club AFC Leopards, stating that it does not interfere with the league’s rights agreement with rival pay-television broadcaster SuperSport.

The Standard Digital website reports the KPL has ordered the Leopards to terminate its deal with Zuku as it infringes league regulations. The league said the club faces suspension if it fails to do so.

Zuku has said its deal with the Leopards will result in the development of Ingwe TV, Kenya’s first ‘football fan television show’. Richard Bell, chief executive officer of Wananchi Group, has maintained the agreement has been reached with the best interests of Kenyan football at heart.

Bell said: “The deal is not an infringement of any existing broadcast rights or in breach of any standing contract as it will provide support to the club and produce a magazine programme targeting AFC Leopard’s fans with news and information on the club, its players and their activities.”

He added: “We are proud of our local football talent and proud to be bringing the first local football fan programme to our audience. We are not engaging in any underhand or illegal activity, we are simply giving the stage to local initiatives.”