NTV Press Box has on its Twitter account profile a tag, #ComingBackSoon. This was added earlier this week onto the original tagline, “East Africa’s Biggest Sports Show, Monday, 10pm.”
Put another way, inflation, high diesel price and road carnage, even if combined in a wrath, cannot stop cassava from being enjoyed, so a week after NTV announced that its premier sports show, the Press Box, was ending four years of Monday night joy, the station now intends to return on air with more of the same.
The move has unsettled Andrew Kabuura, the brain behind the show, who last week quit NTV after being convinced that the cassava he was getting at Serena was not roasted to delectable taste as the one whose aroma has been wafting from the ashy sigiri at Next Media Services in Naguru.
Kabuura was seen grinning ear to ear like a bunny cartoon strip receiving fresh corn – at a time cassava is trending – during his tour of his new contractor’s headquarters in Naguru. The visit, tweeted by Next Media boss Kin Kariisa, more than confirmed that the seasoned sports media personality had joined a trolley of NTV staffers who have crossed over for better cassava at NBS in the recent past.
However, while the likes of Douglas Lwanga, Zahara Toto, Anatalie Ozzie, MC Kats, Solomon Sserwanja, and Sheilah Nduhukire just left with only their brains, bras and boxers, Kabuura is understood to be intent on carrying along more than these by including the entire brand he led.
“#NEXTPressBox,” Edwin Danze, head of digital marketing at Next Media, tweeted gleefully, suggesting that the show Kabuura would be putting out on NBS would carry the same brand, Press Box.
However, NTV are not letting Kabuura have his way and said he can leave with his cassava and for better cassava or whatever but he will not carry any Press Box with him. Apparently, Johnson Omollo, the NTV Uganda managing director, is all sold for the idea of retaining the brand since it has been known as “NTV Press Box.”
Kabuura is the brain behind Press Box, whose content he has been selling to NTV over the four years he hosted the show at the Serena-based media. It
Insiders have intimated to this paper that Mr Omollo and Mr Timothy Ntale, the Nation Media Group-Uganda corporate affairs manager, see no intellectual property over the name and that if there was any, then what Kabuura can claim is a flat “Press Box.”
Busoga Today understands various names had been floated around but with NTV management pressing ahead with Press Box, it leaves Kabuura and NBS in a tight spot if they reproduced a similar name. It is a situation a reporter at NMG likens to SONY and SQNY. The Q in the latter is a loud fart for a duplicated brand.
But Kabuura does not see it that way and, speaking to Busoga Today, sounded at pains that NTV has continued to advertise the show even after he had left.
Kabuura has been a content provider and not an employee of NTV.
Content providers for shows such as Press Box are usually paid per agreement. Host stations generate revenue from ads and other endorsements. In some cases, a content provider works with external production companies and record and presents only the final product for airing especially in case of recorded productions.
However, depending on the agreement, a show might be produced in-house by the host media and the revenue is shared.
Kabuura is all smiles inside NMG newsroomSsali in a boat after NBS floats cheque
In the wake of Kabuura’s cassava move (please ignore the pun), celebrated sports journalist Mark Ssali had his name floating allover social media with many suggestions that he was already with Kabuura in Naguru.
Ssali and Kabuura were the only members of the NTV Press Box team who were not staffers with NMG Uganda and the current reorganization will see Mwanguhya and Ismail Dhakaba Kigongo retained with Patrick Kanyomozi filling the void left by Kabuura while Darren Allan Kyeyune, who impressed the audience during the Tokyo Olympics whenever he appeared on the show, is a possible addition.
Busoga Today can reveal that Ssali has received cassava offer from Next Media but he is yet to smell its aroma and take a deep breath. Ssali has also not yet engaged with NTV on his commitment but sources privy to the developments say the veteran journalist will be dragged by the ears with a thigh-size organic cassava being dangled in his face so he agrees to eat the tubers from a hotel instead of the hilly suburbs of Naguru.
The thigh-size cassava, according to insiders, comes in the form of Ssali having to register a company that would then co-own the show so that the revenue sharing is paid to the company for all the parties involved. This would mean thatAndrew Mwanguhya, Dhakaba and Kanyomozi, all staffers in NMG, would receive enough cassava to make President Museveni and his minister Matia Kasaija proud that the national cassavasation programme is working.
The challenge is if Ssali bites the hook from Next Media. It means the panelists working on the new show will have to find an alternative company for engagement with NTV. Ssali’s departure would also open the door for Kyeyune to join the Press Box panel.
To their relief, the show’s main sponsors, Guinness, have no qualms continuing with regular supply of cassava to the show, and unless something drastic happens, will renew their partnership in coming weeks.
This paper also understands Jacinta Kabaliisa, the business manager in charge of special projects at NTV, had proposed that the show takes a month-long break to iron out some details but the panelists are adamant they must get back on air as soon as yesterday, fearing a possible lacuna that could see fans move on.
Now, remember the Dance Party craze during lockdown? The competition between NTV and NBS was steaming hot but at the time there was no cassava. Now cassava is bigger than bread.
Stay tuned… for legal battles, not the show.