Johannesburg - The Premier Soccer League (PSL) and SuperSport International’s 10-year anniversary on Saturday could culminate in a huge windfall for clubs.
City Press has been reliably informed that a major announcement regarding the extension of the sponsorship was on the cards.
“We got wind that our monthly grant could double because of the new deal. But the details are sketchy as no one wants to talk at this moment.
"You know the secrecy around these kinds of issues as only a few people are involved in the negotiations,” said a club official who did not want to be identified.
The PSL/SuperSport relationship started in 2007 with a R1.6 billion broadcast deal over five years. This was followed by a deal for R2bn in 2011.
The 16 Premiership clubs currently get R1.5m monthly grants while National First Division sides get R500 000.
Should our mole be spot-on, Absa Premiership clubs could receive around R3m every month from the PSL after the new deal has been signed.
PSL chairperson Irvin Khoza, who at last year’s PSL elective conference hinted there could be a major announcement at the dinner party, poured cold water on the expected windfall on Friday.
An uncharacteristically cagey Khoza said if there was any announcement, it would have to be made by SuperSport International.
“Our broadcast sponsorship deal will only elapse at the end of the 2017/18 season and there is still a long way to go. Anyway, it would first have to go out for a tender for bidding process,” he said.
Support the coaches
SuperSport communications manager Clinton van der Berg said he was not aware of any pending announcement.
“I don’t know anything about the nature of any announcement as no one has mentioned anything to me. All I can say is that we are thrilled to be celebrating this giant milestone in the history of South African football.
"We are looking forward to spending the evening with all football people,” said Van der Berg.
Imtiaz Patel, chief executive of Naspers Video Entertainment, could not be reached for comment. He sent a message that he could not talk and failed to respond to the SMS sent to him.
Khoza said the partnership has gone from strength to strength.
Referring to the MultiChoice Diski Challenge (MDC), Khoza said the sponsorship has had a major input towards development.
“It has infused a new spirit within the youth and today we have about 23 players who have moved from the MDC to the Premiership.
"Again, the life skills programmes have helped to support the coaches and players in terms of communication skills. They are also IT savvy.”
The winning team also gets the opportunity to travel overseas, a good initiative from the sponsors, Khoza said.
“But more than anything, the relationship is [about] more than money. It showed wisdom from MultiChoice – for them to have a good product they must invest in [it] and the results are there for everyone to see.”
He said the Premiership and the National First Division had never been this competitive before.
“It makes it viable as it is unpredictable.”
Khoza said in an era where products jostle for media space, “if you are not competitive you lose out, but we have remained relevant to the market.
“Everywhere you go on the continent people talk about this league because of the broadcast deal as it is beamed not just here but in other parts [of Africa] too.”
He urged the invited guests to put on their dancing shoes as the gala would be marked by a lot of razzmatazz.
Former chief executive officers of the league – including the British Bulldog Trevor Phillips and Kjetil Siem – are expected to grace the black-tie event at Sandton’s Convention Centre.
Other dignitaries include delegations from the English Premier League, Fifa and Safa officials.