Many Ugandans who subscribe to and are counting on UBC TV to watch their national side, Uganda Cranes compete at the Afcon Finals for the first time in 39 years will be left stranded, because the national broadcaster will not be able to telecast the 2017 African Cup of Nations (Afcon), after government failed to pay Shs 2.5 billion for broadcasting rights.
In a letter dated January 11 and addressed to the minister of Education and Sports, Janet Kataha Museveni
, UBC managing director, Winston Agaba noted that they needed up to about Shs 2.5 billion to pay for the broadcasting rights of the tournament.
He says as members of African Union of broadcasters, they negotiated for €550,000 for and an additional $113,500 dollars. Non members of African Union pay €1.2 million to telecast the tournament.
"These fees as we highlighted in our previous letters were and are still out of our reach, we have approached your office and our line ministry of information, communication, technology and national guidance and none is in the position to help pay for the rights" Agaba notes.
He adds that it is on a sad note that they will have to communicate this to the viewers and the country at large, adding that UBC will only be able to relay highlights of the games and provide live radio commentary on all radio channels.
Agaba called for Ugandans to support the cranes and follow the games on other TV channels that might relay the program.
The communication comes at a time when Uganda makes a historic appearance in the Afcon after 39 years. Agaba says they are still trying to lobby for funds although they are not sure they will get. "It is way overboard and we just cannot afford it. As UBC we think we need to broadcast the games," he added.