SABC may broadcast PSL matches again after intervention

Watching soccer on TV. Picture: iStock

Watching soccer on TV. Picture: iStock

The public broadcaster says its only hope is the Independent Communications Authority (Icasa) reviewing regulations governing sports broadcasting.

As millions of soccer enthusiasts continue to endure a blackout of Professional Soccer League (PSL) matches on national television, the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is pinning its hopes on a review of sports broadcasting legislation to enable it to show matches again. The broadcaster is hopeful the impasse between itself and the MultiChoice-owned pay-channel SuperSport over broadcast rights could be resolved by the Independent Communications Authority (Icasa) reviewing regulations governing sports broadcasting. Icasa is analysing submissions from the SABC, PSL and SuperSport in response to the Sports Broadcasting Services Amendment Regulations putting national sports broadcasting interests above profits. According to SABC acting chief operations officer Craig van Rooyen, at the core of the standoff between the public broadcaster and SuperSport was that the latter expected the SABC to pay SuperSport R280 million for 144 matches a year over five years. Van Rooyen said the SABC had to end negotiations with SuperSport without clinching a deal “because the SuperSport offer is not commercially viable”. “To salvage the deal, the only option left is for SuperSport to come back with a more lucrative offer. The SABC incurred R550 million losses in sport in the past financial year and the trend cannot continue....




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