How much do Afcon winners take home?
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) released a statement this week boasting that the 2012 African Nations Cup tournament co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea attracted a television audience of 6.6 billion viewers. Now that is a massive global audience no matter how you look at it.
If anything, this shows that the AFCON was no longer a Mickey Mouse tournament played by “some” African countries “somewhere” in the continent. But it has become a global event that would not have reached this milestone had international broadcasters like Al Jazeera, SuperSport, BBC, CNN to mention just a few, not purchased the rights to broadcast it worldwide.
However, I expected CAF to go all the way and explain to me in layman’s terms, how much this translates in monetary terms. It is all very well for them to dazzle me with impressive audience figures about people who watched Pierre Aubameyang, Dede Ayew, Chris Katongo etc; the bottom line is how much has their television partners paid to broadcast the continental showpiece?
I read with interest as Uefa released awe inspiring figures from television networks that have purchased the rights to broadcast their events. Now if CAF has been able to attract that earth shattering global figure, it goes without saying that their broadcast rights have been sold to an even wider audience.
The question is: “For how much?”
I tried to inquire from my Zambian comrades how much Chipolopolo earned to win the 29th edition of the African Nations Cup in Gabon. And I asked the question knowing full well that I am not going to get the answer I demanded. I expected conflicting statements and indeed, that is what I received.
A few ventured to explain that they think Zambia received US$2-m, others were unsure and claimed they suspect it was a little less and amounted to probably US$1.5-m. Okay, I agree and accept that we cannot compare ourselves to Europe, but here is an interesting piece of information from Europe.
All the 16 teams that qualified for the 2012 Uefa Euro tournament to be staged in Poland and Ukraine will receive Eur8-m each. And if a team wins a match they will receive a further Eur1-m for their efforts, Eur500 000 for a draw and zilch for a loss during the group stages.
The incentives increase for the quarterfinal stages with Eur2-m for a win and a semifinal victory is worth Eur3-m. In the final, the winning team will receive Eur 7.5-m and the runners-up Eur4.5m. A team finishing third receives a Eur1-m. In all, the Euro champions will walk away with a staggering Eur23-m.
I am not being sarcastic or a spoilsport, but I would have preferred CAF to also go a step further after releasing their impressive global audience figures and gave us a breakdown of how much the African champions receive from winning the continent’s Holy Grail so that we should stop guessing.
By the way, I was greatly impressed to hear that AmaZulu would be playing a friendly game against Manchester United at the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium during the off-season. I can only imagine how much excitement has been generated among AmaZulu players about this proposed match, not to mention the general populace down Durban way.
In my view, this is a positive step towards marketing our teams. I imagine the global audience that would be watching AmaZulu taking on the Red Devils. Imagine also the global stage and the opportunity afforded AmaZulu players to market themselves.
AmaZulu are showing the way and our clubs need to generally consider coming up with similar initiatives like Celtic who are reported to have also invited teams from Portugal, Holland and Germany for the off-season. Moroka Swallows are reportedly going on an international tour to the Fat East.
And I think once our clubs realise that they too are capable of attracting big name brands to our shores; maybe sponsors will also open their palms to them and perhaps they (clubs) will also stop barking at the moon about events that are happening next door.