Digital TV set-top box provider, StarTimes is facing possible liquidation over an Sh11 million debt. beIN media has moved to court seeking to wind up the company over unpaid football broadcasting rights.
According to court documents, StarTimes failed to honour a contract for broadcasting rights between themselves and the French football league, Ligue 1.
StarTimes signed a deal with beIN media group which holds international Ligue 1 rights from 2018-19 to 2023-24. The deal gave StarTimes the rights to broadcast English and local language Ligue 1 in sub-Saharan Africa.
Before the 2019-20 season, both parties agreed to a monthly payment plan at a Hong Kong court, but StarTimes missed the first installment.
Thousands of StarTimes TV boxes will be rendered useless if the petitioner’s wishes are granted. This means families will be unable to access the services and face potential losses from the costs incurred to purchase the digital boxes.
Lazarus Ibeabuchi, public relations manager of StarTimes Nigeria confirmed to a local news media channel that indeed the company has an ongoing court case with beIN Media Group.
“Though in Hong Kong, a legal proceeding is on-going to resolve the differences between both aggrieved parties; it’s an ongoing court proceeding and not a court order,” the statement read.
According to Ibeabuchi, the Hong Kong court has no jurisdiction over operations in other countries.
”Whatever decision reached is binding on both parties in that country only, and would have no consequences on StarTimes’ operations elsewhere,” he said.