Companies line up to get slice of PSL rights tender

2011-03-05 19:43

After the controversy that followed the awarding of bonuses to the officials who clinched the R1.6-billion broadcast rights with SuperSport International in 2007, the PSL has moved swiftly to appoint a middle man to negotiate the new
deal.

Since the PSL sent out a tender ­notice last week there has been great interest from local and international companies willing to assist the league in packaging its broadcast and new-media rights.

This is after the league invited interested parties to submit proposals that would help it to develop a strategy for maximising revenues from the exploitation of its broadcast and new-media rights.

PSL chief executive Kjetil Siem said the response had been overwhelming, with no fewer than 10 companies ­showing interest.

He said, however, it was too early to give a final figure as the bid would close only at the end of the month.

“This is how it is done internationally. The chairperson (Irvin Khoza) thought it would be wise to follow this model and the executive agreed. We are all ­excited by this move and I think it’s the best way to go,” Siem said.

By going this route the league is trying to avoid the controversy that ensued after the broadcast deal with SuperSport International, when certain executive members received bonuses for negotiating and clinching the current sponsorship, which made the PSL one of the richest leagues in the world.

The league had set aside about R70 million – the finder’s fee – payable to the person who participated in the ­successful conclusion of the broadcast agreement.

The fee was approved and authorised by the board of governors in October 2007 and the final allocations were ­confirmed in 2008.

But this move did not go down well in certain quarters.

Even sports and recreation minister Fikile Mbalula bemoaned the situation whereby sports administrators paid themselves bonuses, to the detriment of football development.

“You cannot have a situation where 80% goes into the bosses’ pockets and only 20% goes to development,” ­Mbalula said at the time.

Siem could not be drawn into discussing the reasons for the tender move.

He said interested companies would have to outline their detailed plan on how the league could maximise its rights, including for the internet and mobile television.

“Through this process we should be able to know how best to structure the next phase of the broadcast rights and how we should sell them and to who.”

Siem said they expected more companies to submit their applications before April 1.

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