StarTimes in liquidation crisis over USD 11 million debt


StarTimes to close operations over swelling debt (PHOTO/Courtesy)

Digital TV set-top box provider, StarTimes is facing possible liquidation over an USD11 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.

According to StarTimes East Africa Media relations manager Alex Mwaura, the case is however not a threat to region’s operations.

“A legal proceeding in Hong Kong is on-going to resolve any differences between the aggrieved parties; it’s an ongoing court proceedings and not a court order. A court in Hong Kong has no jurisdiction over Kenyan operations. Whatever decision reached is binding on both parties in that country only and would have no consequences on StarTimes’ operations other region where the brand operates,” said Mr Mwaura.

He says that StarTimes has not been subjected to any court order, in Kenya, Uganda or Tanzania in relation to the said dispute with beIN Media Group.

“Discussions with beIN are still ongoing and we hope to reach an amicable solution in the near future,” he added.

The same was echoed by Lazarus Ibeabuchi, public relations manager of StarTimes Nigeria who confirmed the 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.

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