The 2020-2021 season of the top Nigerian league kicked off last weekend, and it has already generated a lot of buzz home and abroad
Tens of thousands of people in the United Kingdom have subscribed to watch the Nigeria Professional Football League, the country’s top-flight division, on NPFL TV, says President of the Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick.
According to the football administrator, the official league online broadcast platform is expected to generate over 18 billion naira annually, a revenue source that could see NPFL become an integral part of the Nigerian economy.
Ten games were played on matchday one, with NPFL TV and the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) televising four matches.
The matches shown include the goalless draw between Akwa United and Dakkada FC at the Nest of Champions, Uyo, on Monday and the Abia derby between Enyimba and Abia Warriors, at the Enyimba Stadium, Aba, which the People’s Elephants won by the narrowest of margins.
Fans also saw live Wednesday’s clash at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt, where Rivers United secured a 1-0 victory at Enugu Rangers’ expense.
However, Pinnick has called for more support needed to sustain the endeavour even as his administration continues to work on growing the league.
“The NPFL TV has come to stay, and we are very excited about it,” the NFF boss told Channels TV, as per the Punch.
“We are projecting about N18bn that we will be making from it every year. It is free-to-air at the moment, but we are looking at a subscription fee of N1,500. With that, you can sit in the comfort of your home and watch the NPFL games.
“It is going to have a huge impact on the economy because we are looking at an economy beyond oil, beyond other areas.
“Why can’t we do what they do abroad? We appeal to Nigerians to give us support. Our traducers, come and join us. Let us build this together.”
“Only yesterday (Wednesday), 36,000 people in the UK subscribed to watching the league on their tabs.
“People should understand that we want to minimise mistakes, and that is why it took this long for the league to start. We are growing the league to make it an integral part of our economy, and we will make it better.”
The 2020/21 season of the NPFL commenced on December 27 after a nine-month break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.