Local football fans hoping to watch yesterday’s crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier between Trinidad and Tobago and Panama on television were left bemused as despite being on the scheduled programming, the match was not broadcast live by Flow Sports.
And the chances of a deal being struck for Tuesday’s qualifier against Mexico currently look slim as the TTFA and Flow are still far off on the negotiating table.
All TT’s previous qualifiers in the hexagonal stage as well as some from the previous round were televised on Flow Sports Channel 95.
A press release by Flow yesterday at 1.52 pm stated: “The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) and Flow Sports were unable to reach an agreement with regard to the televising of the Trinidad and Tobago World Cup Qualifier match today.
We regret the inconvenience this may cause our local viewers.” Trudy de Verteuil, Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations at Flow Trinidad, explained to Newsday why her company was unable to acquire the rights to show the match.
“Well the thing is we made several offers to the TTFA and all of those offers were declined. So at this point we are not in a position to broadcast it because we don’t have the rights for it. We tried our best. We do have the rights for the other games like the USA vs Honduras - you would be seeing that. We did make several offers to them, it wasn’t one but they all were declined,” she said.
Asked when exactly negotiations broke down, De Verteuil continued: “Earlier this week there was a final offer made. Our main concern is to bring the content that our customers want. We know our fans and customers would want to view the game.
We’re even now trying our best and continuing to try and negotiate with them (for the Mexico game on Tuesday).” Asked if she is optimistic that both parties would reach a common ground, she admitted, “Based on what happened with today’s game, no we’re not. We’re not sure that we would be any more favourable with that one than with today’s game.