BSA to wrest control from government

2013-04-28 14:00

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Body proposes amendment of the act to specify that TV, radio and motion picture rights reside with it

Boxing SA (BSA) plans to wrestle the sport away from government and create a ­ self-sustaining structure that will not be dependent on grants from the state.

This is contained in a “Boxing SA Business Model” document, a copy of which is in City Press’ possession.

The document has been given to Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula, who told us on Friday: “Its merits will be implemented as and when due processes have been finalised.”

Boxing is the only sports federation and sport that is still controlled by an act of Parliament and the document calls for major amendments to the SA Boxing Act of 2001.

The BSA believes this would enable them to generate more money for the sport.

In what they term “Boxing SA Migration Strategy”, the BSA has proposed “immediate amendment of the SA Boxing Act and regulations to specify that TV, radio and motion picture rights reside with BSA and are protected”.

The move comes despite a pending South Gauteng High Court case brought by Branco Sports Production seeking to stop the BSA from taking over television rights.

The sanctioning body aspires to also establish its own media production company to “produce fight videos, CDs and sell to broadcasters”.

BSA chief executive and compiler of the business model Moffat Qithi said promoters had no power to control anything in the first place.

“Practice cannot be adopted as law and we are very clear on that. Promoters own promotional rights and nothing else.”

Among other things, the BSA wants the act amended so it can contract venues for fights instead of promoters.

Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves Promotions, who gets paid R1.1 million per fight night at Emperors Palace as illustrated in the document, will soon kiss the deal goodbye if the BSA has its way.

According to Qithi, the BSA aims to employ governance similar to that of the Nevada Athletics Commission in the US.

Promoter and former BSA board member Andile Sidinile snorted: “There is nowhere in the world where a boxing commission is involved in issues pertaining to broadcast rights.

“If there are any policy changes relating to boxing, there needs to be proper consultation with promoters who are the business nerve of boxing.”

He said the BSA’s pipe dream of creating a level ground for promoters through the envisaged equal distribution of TV dates would remain just that.

Qithi said: “We do not have to consult promoters as the BSA has the final say.”

Another promoter who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “I don’t want to engage in anything that relates to the BSA because it is run by people who think they know too much.

“I have come to terms with the sad reality that mine is to do my thing and promote boxing, and let them run boxing to the dogs.”

The BSA’s dream is to generate a revenue of R35 million a year for the next three financial years.

This will be achieved through penalising noncompliant licensees, 20% of audited net profit from the Premier Boxing League, an increase in all licence fees, raising the sanctioning fee from 10% to 12% of broadcast income, and beefing up marketing and branding.

Qithi said: “The penalties will be about enforcement of the law.”

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