By Tunde Oyedele –
The Nigeria Professiobal Football League (NPFL) again, received a big boost on Tuesday, 23 May, 2023, when organisers of the league IMC, GTI and Propel Sports Africa signed a $5m deal to stream league matches live on digital platforms from next season. It is expected to be a five-year deal.
Chairman of IMC, Gbenga Elegbeleye, while speaking during the unveiling ceremony held at GTI headquarters; 4, Tinubu Street in Marina, Lagos, believes the deal will breath a new life into Nigerian football generally.
According to the league organisers, the project had been enabled by world’s most advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI), which will make the Nigerian league the first to deploy the technology in Africa.
Elegbeleye, while applauding GTI for its efforts, that is glaringly changing the Nigeria Professional Football League for the better, is anticipating a situation where the lowest paid player in the Nigerian League will earn a minimum of N1 million.
“If we can pay our players well, with the new innovation being introduced by GTI and Propel Sports Africa, the Nigerian league will be more attractive and competitive. Not only that, we will see players from other African countries and rest of the world coming to feature for Nigerian Clubs just as we had those days”, the IMC boss said.
Breaking down the deal on Tuesday, Ed Simons, Chairman of Propel Sports Africa, explained that the Nigeria Professional Football League will be the first topflight to use AI with livestream, adding that the project will to run for five years.
Mr. Kabbani Basil, another Director at Propel Sports Africa expantiated that the live streaming will be on smart (mobile) phones via OTT platform.
“The goal is NPFLLive to be powered by GTI and Propel Sports Africa. This fantastic innovation will begin come August this year. This will enable mllions of Nigerians home and abroad to see the games via live streaming of the NPFL matches”, Kabbani said.
Earlier before the signing-in ceremony, Group Managing Director of GTI Group, Abubakar Lawal expressed his excitement over the turnaround of the fortune of the Nigerian league, adding that what many Nigerians believed was not possible, became possible by God’s factor.
Lawal said; “The risk we took is working now, and we hope that things will get better, where we can make more money for the government, clubs, sponsors and followers of the game generally”.
Davidson Owumi and other top executives of IMC as well as former Super Eagles players; Daniel Amokachi, Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Tijani Babangida, attended the ceremony.
The ex- internationals applauded the IMC for bringing innovation that is uplift the Nigeria Professional Football League.
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