Johannesburg - The Premier Soccer League announced that SuperSport International (Pty) Ltd. as the winner of the bidding process for the broadcast rights from the 2012/13 season, a deal which is worth more than R2 billion. A press conference was held at the PSL offices in Parktown on Friday to announce the continuing partnership.
This is a renewal of their deal with SuperSport that was signed in 2007 – a deal worth over R1.6 billion - and set to end when the 2011/12 season concludes with the PSL having sent out notices to tender for the rights at the beginning of July.
SuperSport will also receive internet and mobile rights as part of the package to take advantage of the increasing new media, according to the PSL chairman Dr. Irvin Khoza who made the announcement, and these new media changes will be implemented during this season.
“We have finalised the adjudication if these rights with the adjudication committee that included myself, Kaizer Motaung (Kaizer Chiefs executive chairman), Goolam Allie (Santos chairman), John Comitis (Ajax Cape Town shareholder), Mato Madlala (Golden Arrows chairman) and Zola Majavu (PSL Chief Executive Officer),” said Khoza.
“The winning tender was SuperSport and it’s for five years, and offered a composite package that includes internet and mobile rights. We need to be clear that it wasn't just the money that influenced us but looked at the growth and enhancement of our product on our current deal where we moved from being 30th ranked league in the world to the top ten.”
Imtiaz Patel, the group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SuperSport's parent company Multichoice said he was delighted with a renewed partnership with local soccer now among the most popular programs in the country.
The station still has to provide some matches to free-to-air channels, and will see the number of games increase to 140 per season for the free broadcaster, while 40 matches a season will be dually shown.
“Unfortunately because of the private clause that we signed, and for other broadcasters that also submitted tenders, we cannot give the exact amounts,” said Patel.
“But it's a vote of confidence on the PSL and a clear sign of the responsive relationship that we have with each other. I'll also say that it was Dr. Khoza and his very clever board who managed to extract the maximum deal possible from their partners,” he said happily.
Patel did not want to disclose any new soccer products SuperSport may launch but said that the Drifta – a mobile/TV product as big as a cell phone – is a must for soccer on the go who want to stay in touch with the game all the time.
The PSL board of governors will still have to sit down in order to map the way forward in terms of possible club monthly grants increases and where it can also benefit the National First Division (NFD).
Though, there will need to be some considerations done on ensuring that there is no money lost with another recession that has been a forecast for the next year or so, according to Dr. Khoza.
“We are planning on sitting down with the rest of board to discuss the budgets for 2012 going forward that will also include the first division,” the chairman said.
“But we have to draw up plans with certain considerations and have to be careful with the decisions we make.”