Gov mediates in ‘too broke SABC’, SAFA impasse

The South African government will mediate in the broadcast rights impasse between the SA Football Association (SAFA) and the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), it said.

The sports department said they will try and find a lasting solution to the issue. The SABC and SAFA are currently at each other’s throats over soccer broadcast rights. The cash-strapped public broadcaster wants to stop broadcasting the Absa Premiership games, saying they are very “costly”. It recently didn’t broadcast the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier between Bafana Bafana and the Seychelles at FNB Stadium.

Soccer betting bookmarkers and lovers stand to be affected dearly. Sports department director-general Alec Moemi said minister Tokozile Xasa has asked him to resolve the soccer broadcast impasse between the SABC and SAFA after the former’s broadcast right expired April 2018. The SABC is said to have lost R1.6 billion paying to air local football because it had to sub-licence the PSL rights from pay channel SuperSport.

Moemi said solving the issue will take them as government “sometime” and were asking soccer lovers to be “patient as we deal with the matter”.

“We have identified the processes that are going to form part of our mediation as government and the parties have agreed to them,” he told the 013NEWS reporter over the phone.

The “too broke” SABC wants to pay R10 million for the soccer broadcast rights but SAFA wants R200 million each year.

On the day of the match between Bafana and the Seychelles an SABC broadcast crew were allegedly ordered out of the FNB stadium. SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe reportedly said that in the previous financial year, it spent R644m on general sports rights but generated R12m only in advertising revenue, thus making a loss of R632m.

Meanwhile, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICSA) has requested SAFA allows SABC to broadcast the Bafana and Banyana Banyana games because of the “national interest” issue but SAFA is said to he going to Parliament to ask the lawmakers it not be forced to do it.

(edited by MLM)

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