To deliver basketball action from the coming season, Zuku, the Wananchi Group’s triple play and pay-tv business, will launch the Zuku University Basketball League (ZUBL) in Uganda, partnering with the National University Sports Federation of Uganda (NUSFU).
This introduction of the ZUBL in Uganda builds on the success of its first launch in Kenya in 2013. To bring the ZUBL to a local Kenyan audience, Zuku has made substantial investments in training for the university coaches, administrators and players, as well as journalists writing about the subject. The ZUBL initiative in Kenya and now Uganda is part of Zuku’s ongoing commitment to investing in unique and original programming for an East African audience.
Gary Rathbone, Head of Sport at Zuku, says, “We are really proud of the ZUBL and the impact it’s had in Kenya. It’s wonderful to see that our grass-roots investment in ZUBL has paid off, it has not only created a new sports market, but a local community game that really captured the hearts and minds of the country.’
Rathbone continues that expanding the ZUBL concept from Kenya to Uganda was always part of Zuku’s wider strategy to engage with sport across East Africa. With the ZUBL Uganda, Zuku will look to replicate the Kenyan model and bring the same enthusiasm for the game to a wider regional audience.
He adds: “But it is also important to note that our investment goes beyond the league. We will be providing great television content for our subscribers through our weekly magazine show BAQE as well as live coverage of the ZUBL Uganda playoffs and finals at the end of April and early May.
“Our magazine programming and live broadcasts of the ZUBL Kenya enable our audience to discover the emerging talent in Kenyan university basketball. Now we are really looking forward to being able to highlight the new stars of Ugandan basketball in the same way,’ Rathbone concludes.
Twenty male and female teams from the 10 universities competing in the Ugandan league will participate in the tournament that runs from 8 March to the playoffs on 26 and 27 April, and the tournament finals on 3 and 4 May.
With an estimated 180,000 students attending games, the ZUBL in Uganda, which is also in association with the Federation of Uganda Basketball Association (FUBA), will feature four universities in three conferences.
From 13 March at 20h30 EAT, Zuku will show highlights from all of the games and playoffs through the weekly magazine show BAQE on Zuku Sports and Zuku Sports HD.