Cape Town - The SABC is lying over claims to have secured Bafana Bafana
TV rights to show any national team soccer games on television and no valid
contract with the SABC exists, pay-TV operator Siyaya TV and SAFA say.
a joint statement, the South African Football Association (SAFA) and Siyaya TV,
the new pay-TV consortium, said the SABC is lying.
comes after the public broadcaster's famously matricless and highly
controversial chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi
Motsoeneng on Wednesday said the
SABC and SAFA have reached a 3-year agreement over the broadcasting rights to
show all local Bafana Bafana games, Banyana Banyana, as well as the men's
under-20 and under-23 games.
Motsoeneng went on SABC2's Morning Live on Wednesday
to announce the deal – which Siyaya TV and SAFA say doesn't exist.
TV which got its pay-TV licence from the Independent Communications Authority
of South Africa (Icasa) in November 2014, now threatens to sue the SABC if for
instance the Banyana 2016 Olympic qualifying game on Sunday against Gabon is
negotiating with e.tv to show soccer
TV owns the rights to all of the national soccer games after the consortium
last year signed a R1 billion contract with SAFA in a 6-year deal and says it's
actually busy negotiating with Sabido's free-to-air commercial TV channel e.tv
to show the national soccer games.
After Hlaudi Motsoeneng bragged on Morning Live over securing the rights, the SABC
also issued a press statement in which it said the SABC's agreement to show
Bafana and other national team games will run from 2015 to 2017, with the SABC
giving soccer-loving South Africans "an opportunity to see their national
teams in action".
SABC will continue to prioritize sports of national importance," said Hlaudi Motsoeneng, while the SABC
statement also included a quote from SAFA CEO, Dennis Mumble, saying "We value
the loyal audience that the SABC has always delivered to our national teams and
have agreed to partner with the SABC to strengthen that bond with our
supporters. We thank the SABC for ensuring the South African public enjoys the
national teams on live television and radio".
a joint statement from SAFA and Siyaya TV, the two organisations say "SAFA
wishes to place on record that Siyaya TV is and will remain a long-term
strategic broadcast partner of SAFA. We emphatically reject any speculation or
statements to the contrary."
partnership between the two parties (SAFA and Siyaya TV) has enabled SAFA to
take its broadcast platform to an entirely new level, which will now enable
soccer-loving fans greater access to the beautiful game".
TV: SABC doesn’t hold any broadcasting rights
another separate statement Siyaya TV's founder Aubrey Tau launched a scathing attack on the SABC
and Hlaudi Motsoeneng's claims,
saying the public broadcaster is lying over having any broadcasting rights.
SABC does not hold any of the broadcasting rights to Bafana matches, and
therefore cannot claim otherwise. Any position taken by the SABC that it holds
the Bafana Bafana broadcast rights is false and misleading," says Siyaya
TV is the sole and exclusive owner of these rights, in terms of its signed
contract with SAFA".
Tau says Siyaya TV approached the SABC two
months ago in order to discuss the granting of free-to-air broadcasting rights
to the SABC, but that Siyaya TV was "summarily rejected by the SABC who
refused to deal with Siyaya TV on the matter".
TV has since not heard directly from the SABC, but has in the meantime been in
talks with SAFA regarding the possible granting of free-to-air broadcast rights
to the SABC, and is at the same time also engaged with e.tv in similar
TV has made no commitments to and signed no contracts with any other
broadcasters regarding the soccer broadcasting rights, and remains the sole and
exclusive owner of these rights at this point in time," says Aubrey Tau.