SAFA, SABC finalise TV deal

2012-05-14 19:05
SAFA (File)

Johannesburg - The details of a three-year television rights partnership between the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and the SA Football Association (SAFA) will be revealed on Tuesday.

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Both parties agreed in principle last month on the terms that took over a year to be finalised, and believed to be in the region of R225 million over the next 36 months.

"We previously issued a statement to say that we have reached an agreement in principle and we waited for the [SABC] board to finalise the matter," SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said on Monday.

"We will officially sign the contract and reveal what the deal entails tomorrow [Tuesday]."

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 used match-by-match agreements since April last year for national team fixtures, including Bafana Bafana friendly games, while longer terms were being finalised.

Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula was also forced to intervene last October when there was no breakthrough towards a future agreement.

SAFA went on to initially table a R150m a year proposal to the SABC, which was then in a financial crisis and deemed the request too high.

Their presentation had contained a "premium package" where they proposed 60 national team matches a year and a magazine programme called Safa TV.

The SABC's finances have improved since then and confirmed by the group's acting chief of operations Hlaudi Motsoeneng when they announced a partnership with America's National Basketball Association (NBA) last month.

A fourth sports-dedicated channel will be added to the bouquet with the launch earmarked for October 1.

Soon after the SABC will switch focus on securing rights for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and 2014 African Nations Championship to be staged in South Africa, from Sport Five.

The French-based sports business firm holds the television and marketing rights of all Confederation of African Football (CAF) matches on the continent.

SABC expected SAFA to be part of the negotiations process.

Sport Five has been accused of holding broadcasters to ransom on costs of games with numerous negotiations with the SABC for Bafana games breaking down in the past.

Unlike the FIFA World Cup, where television stations negotiate directly with the world soccer body, CAF assigned Sport Five to deal with all broadcasting related rights.

The SABC failed to show two 2012 Afcon qualifier matches last year after they deemed Sport Five's price demands too high.

"We are still speaking and so far it has been strictly between us and SAFA," Kganyago said.

"When we do sit down with Sport Five we hope that we will go together with SAFA to assist us in the negotiations."

Read more on:    safa  |  sabc  |  soccer

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