SAFA want R150m a year

2011-08-07 15:50
Kirsten Nematendani (File)

Johannesburg - The SA Football Association (SAFA) value their television rights to be worth between R130 and R150 million a year, a top association official revealed this week.

"The figure is the association's own evaluation after having obviously viewed audience potential," said the senior official, who would not be named.

"It's difficult because before we couldn't make evaluations based on real figures, and cannot use the previous deal that we had with the SABC as a benchmark for the new one."

This package would include a total of 60 matches a year for all national teams, including Bafana Bafana, and the proposed magazine programme called Safa TV.

SAFA was looking to renew its rights with the national broadcaster, the SABC, after the previous deal between the two parties expired in March.

The expired deal was worth in the region of R30 million, a figure that had risen considerably since South Africa hosted the 2009 Confederations Cup, 2010 World Cup and their climb in the world rankings over the last year.

The national Under-23 team, Baby Bafana, and the women's side, Banyana Banyana, were also impressive over the same period, with both standing a strong chance of qualifying for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

SAFA, however, did not expect the financially challenged SABC to afford the full amount, the official said, and had proposed different packages that would suit the pocket of the broadcaster.

The first contained "premium properties" which gave the broadcaster exclusive rights to Bafana, Banyana and the U-23 team.

The second package would have the added benefit of new media and included working alongside the continental soccer body, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), for the rights of the Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup qualifying matches.

The proposal was in the hands of the SABC, according to the official, with SAFA waiting for a reply.

It could take months before the new deal was finalised, with the broadcaster having had some recent top management changes.

"We gave them a package and they asked us to give them time to value it," he said.

"So the association said 'fine no problem, come back to us and then we can argue over price'.

"We are offering them about 60 matches, so it's about how many of those they would like."

The idea of moving the national team's matches to satellite television - following a similar path as the Premier Soccer League (PSL) - had been thrown out the window by SAFA to ensure they would reach a larger audience on the free-to-air network.

The current multi-billion rand PSL deal, also under negotiation, was signed with SuperSport International in 2007.

"The money is with SuperSport, but the audience is with the SABC and the target is to reach a broader market in the events of national interest," said the official.

In a statement issued by SAFA on Friday, president Kirsten Nematendani said "principal matters" had been agreed with the national broadcaster.

"We await a final quotation on the total revenue to be expected by the association through this exciting new venture," Nematandani said.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago told City Press on Sunday that SAFA had asked for "a lot of money".

The newspaper also said the live broadcast of Bafana's friendly international against Burkina Faso in Johannesburg on Wednesday could hang in the balance after SAFA demanded R5 million from the SABC to broadcast the game.

The broadcaster, however, had already advertised the match for an 8.15pm kick-off on SABC 1.

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