Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC), the national broadcaster will be broadcasting some but not all of the games of the forthcoming 2022 FIFA Qatar World Cup, a development that has generated excitement amongst football fans.
According to Dr Chris Baryomunsi, the minister for ICT and National Guidance, the games will be on the UBC main channel and its Luganda sister station, UBC Star TV.
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be played from November 30 to December 18, 2022, where 32 teams will compete across 64 matches in the 22nd edition of the tournament. France is the defending champions after defeating Croatia to win the 2018 championship.
William Odochi, the UBC marketing manager said while they have secured rights to broadcast some of the games, their rights only allow them to broadcast 28 of the 64 games that will be played throughout the entire tournament.
“The number of games that have been given under the free-to-air business structure which is twenty-eight games. We are basically running what has been given to us,” he said.
But Odoch made it clear that among the 28 games, they will have games at all stages including a few games from the preliminary round (group stages) matches in the round of sixteen, quarter-final, semi-final, and the final.
According to the match fixtures, UBC will broadcast at least 18 out of the 42 games, four out of 8 games in the round of 16, one out of the two games in the semi-final, and the final game.
These include the opening match between hosts Qatar and Ecuador, Senegal against the Netherlands that will be played the following day, and Group D between France and Australia among other games. They will broadcast at least one game across all group stages every day. Asked how much it will cost them to secure the rights, Odochi said they have spent nearly Shs 1.6 billion.
“The government released Shs 1.56 billion towards these games, which covers the rights, administrative costs, that’s the money the government released for this,” he said.
Asked whether they were contacted in the selection of matches they’re going to broadcast, Odochi said the organizers selected the games.
“All games have been selected for us, there is no way you can decide which games you want to watch depending on the amount of money we paid,” he said.
The announcement has since sparked excitement among Ugandan football enthusiasts, who have already begun preparing to catch a peek of the action as top Football countries compete in this year’s edition of the Football’s most prestigious competition.