Soccer

Bafana 'blackouts over'

2012-05-15 14:54

Johannesburg - The SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on Tuesday guaranteed the coverage of national soccer matches for the next three years.

Bafana Bafana, the SA Under-23 national side and Banyana Banyana fixtures will take preference for the next 36 months in the newly signed deal with the SA Football Association (SAFA).

The broadcaster had been criticised for its lacklustre soccer coverage in the past and for giving priority to other television programmes.

"The days of blackouts are over. Not even a tsunami will move it," SABC group chief executive Lulama Mokhobo said at the announcement on Tuesday.

The contract is worth R215m over three years and will cover the teams' home and away friendly matches.

The previous deal between the parties expired in March 2011 and was significantly lower, at an estimated R30m a year.

The terrestrial broadcaster and SAFA had used match-by-match agreements since April last year for national team fixtures while longer terms were being finalised.

SAFA will receive additional coverage through a magazine programme, SAFA TV, in the soon-to-be launched SABC sports channel, planned for October 1.

"We have laid out scheduling for the next 36 months," Mokhobo said.

"Even our advertisers will be happy because they won't second guess whether the SABC schedule will change or not.

"Every single game will be live, and the new digital channel will be quality with better commentators."

Read more on:    safa  |  sabc  |  soccer
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