CAF expects to generate one billion dollar from TV rights

The Confederation of African Football (CAF), which is undertaking its general assembly in Addis Ababa, says it plans to generate one billion dollars for African football development in the coming 12 years from TV rights.

Of the total 60% money ($684 million) goes to member football associations of CAF, according to Mr. Suketu Patel, First Vice President and President of Finance Committee of CAF, who made the remark at a forum this morning.

“The first TV right was $50,000. Over a period of time it is our aim to continue increasing the revenue for African football. We changed a model in 2007. Until then we sold rights to individuals. It was $2 million [for a year].  After that we decided not to continue selling our [TV] rights to individuals who want to exploit and make money out of it,” he said.

“It is very important the money comes back to African football. We employed a marketing agency and in 2007 we worked with Lagardere Sports Africa and we came up with a figure of 150 million dollars for sport competitions for eight years period.  We actually managed to raise 240 million in minimum guarantee. The actual revenue we received as CAF was 326 million,” he said.

The income is expected through TV transmission of a total of 250 football games of CAF member states every year over the coming eight years. Meanwhile the number of countries signed contract with Lagardere Sports Africa has declined from 24 to 14.

CEO of Lagardere Sports Africa, Idriss Akki, on his part stated the need for improvement of TV production and transmission quality, among others. “Attaining the one billion dollars target needs volume and quality. Most of this needs money…But we will not increase the cost to national broadcasters in Sub Saharan countries,” he said.

So far 20% of all CAF’s income that is raised directly goes to national associations. In addition, CAF has been providing prize money of $1.5 million for winner team of African football trophy. This prize money will grow to $2.5 million for the coming 4 years, according to Mr. Patel.

“Our long term objective is to keep players within the continent. We need to provide the necessary financing though we can’t provide everything. We need to empower the clubs in different countries. For this CAF has doubled the number of teams that will play at group stage. Originally it was two competitions with eight teams and now it is two competitions with 16 teams. The minimum amount a club gets even if it is last is half a million dollars,” he said.

He further noted that CAF’s award to national league winner team has also been recently decided to increase to $1.5 million from it was half million dollars.

During the second day session, CAF’s assembly is expected to elect its next president. The 72 years old current president Issa Hayatou, who has been serving CAF for the past 29 years, is battling with the only candidate from Madagascar – Mr. Ahmad Ahmad to get the majority vote from member associations of 54 African countries.