Zuku seals Sh8.5m volleyball deal


VOLLEY-QUEENS-CELEBNAIROBI, Kenya, January 28 – Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) has entered into a five-year broad rights deal with pay television provider Zuku worth Sh8.5m (USD100,000) annually.

The partnership will cover the country hosting the World Championships Pool U qualifiers for men and women in Nairobi.

Kenya will stage the men’s qualifiers comprising of Egypt, Zambia, Cape Verde and Botswana from February 5 to 10 while the women’s event that runs from February 16 to 23, features Seychelles, Uganda, Tunisia, Senegal, Mozambique and Cape Verde.

According to Zuku head of sports, Gary Rathbone, the broadcast rights will help develop the sport in the country by exposing the players to professional teams in the world.

“We are proud to showcase more Kenyan sport, not just to viewers at home, but to fans beyond our borders especially in volleyball which is gaining popularity in the country and across the continent.

“It will be followed by the rugby Kenya Cup live coverage in the play-offs that will take place on March 1 as well as the finals on March 8.

“My intentions is to make sure practically every weekend, we air rugby matches for all fans,” the Zuku boss said on Tuesday at a press briefing to launch the deal.

Winners in each category will represent the continent for the World Championships, scheduled for September in Poland for the men while Italy will host the women’s event later in the year.

Volleyball is the latest sport to join Zuku, after Rugby who secured a five year partnership worth Sh250m (USD2.912m) and the University League basketball.

Speaking at the same function, KVF vice-chairman, Charles Nyaberi, said they will field the strongest side possible since this is the closest Kenya has come to have both men and women teams qualify for the World championships.

“We give equal attention to all our national team both men and women as we strive to expose them even though the women are few meters ahead in terms of performance.

“The federation is doing every thing to facilitate the coming back of all the professional players including Michael Chemos, Philip Maiyo and James Onteri, because we want to put together the toughest team since we have a formidable opponents especially Egypt.

“We are trying very had to host the Olympics qualifications, All Africa qualifications and Under-23 beach volleyball that will take place later in the year.”

The teams are currently on residential training camp at Safaricom Gymnasium in Kasarani.