KAMPALA. The nation will officially know the kickoff date of the 2018/19 StarTimes Uganda Premier League (UPL) next week when stakeholders converge at a media briefing to announce several deliverables including TV schedules and venues.
Bernard Bainamani, the UPL CEO, early last week told this newspaper the fixtures would be out about the same time, but it turns out they – according to other Daily Monitor sources – have been delayed by television preparations.
When asked why the fixtures did not come out as scheduled last week, Bainamani’s one-liner response hardly gave out much.
“We release the fixtures on Wednesday as per (current) plan.” The UPL have already submitted the draft fixtures to Fufa and StarTimes.
Daily Monitor understands the three abovementioned parties have already agreed to and confirmed September 28 as kickoff date. We also understand that StarTimes are considering televising matches played only at Namboole, StarTimes Lugogo and St Mary’s Stadium as compared to last season when predecessors Azam televised games from almost all venues.
StarTimes vice president Aldrine Nsubuga confirmed they will actually televise from only the aforementioned three venues.
“Yes,” he told this newspaper, “It’s contractual. The (StarTimes, St Mary’s and Namboole) are the ones that meet the minimum live broadcast standards for international TV. We are on an international platform.”
The above would mean that some clubs home matches scheduled for TV would have to forfeit home advantage, something that is still a point of contestation among stakeholders.
Vipers will bid to defend the title when action finally gets underway later next month. Twelve-time champions KCCA will definitely come out strong to reclaim the title they lost to Vipers, while observers will be keen to see how rejuvenated Express and Villa apply themselves.