NAIROBI, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Once every four years, the world goes into frenzy about the FIFA World Cup, and that includes Kenyans.
Chinese multinational media company StarTimes, which offers digital global television and satellite services to consumers, has signed a deal to broadcast all of the 64 matches live to Kenyan audiences.
Many bars and restaurants in Nairobi and other major towns are preparing to cash in on the World Cup bonanza that gets underway on Thursday in Russia with drink and menu specials, increased staff, and new inventory and incentives to lure patrons to their premises.
Since most of the matches will be aired live late afternoon when people are working, fans will be compelled to either catch the action at their place of work, leave work early or watch the action in one of the many eateries that are making preparations to screen the games live.
"We are making adjustments on the sitting arrangement so as to accommodate as many patrons as possible who we anticipate to fill our premises, probably with the exception of weekends," Eric Nyariki, a waiter at a restaurant in Nairobi told Xinhua on Monday.
"We will not levy any charges towards those who will come to watch the matches, however, the patrons will be compelled to buy something to consume during the duration of a match because we are in business and will not entertain idle sitting," Nyariki said.
Most of the matches will be played between 3pm local time and 5pm because Russia has four time zones, with ten of the 40 group stage matches being played before 5pm when most workplaces close, but things change after the group stages, when some will be played at 9pm.
"It is not possible to craft all manner of excuses to sneak from work to watch the games at home for one month, therefore I will be compelled to catch the action from one of the cafes. After all football is enjoyable to watch in a noisy atmosphere as fans share the excitement," Patrick Nzioka, a Nairobi-based office worker, remarked.
Experts say that the World Cup will negatively impact staff productivity as employees secretly watch some of the games during working hours, sleep less hours because of staying up late to watch night-time matches, and working less hours as the workforce leave early to catch the action from the comfort of their living rooms.