Promoter takes BSA to court over TV deal

2012-10-27 20:22

SABC agreement unlawful, according to Milenkovic

Leading boxing promoter Branco Milenkovic has filed an urgent court interdict to stop Boxing SA (BSA) from concluding abroadcast deal with the SABC.

Milenkovic filed his application at the South Gauteng High Court seeking an interdict to stop BSA from “the agreement to be concluded or already concluded between the first (BSA) and second (SABC) respondents”.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula is listed as the third respondent.

However, BSA chief executive Moffat Qithi denied they had already concluded a deal with the broadcaster.
“We haven’t concluded any deal with the SABC but certain people are representing their own interests and not those of boxing,” he said.

Milenkovic said he was fighting for justice. “Regardless of the SABC (boxing) blackout, we have managed to keep our fighters busy and their bank balance healthy.

“Thanks to our reputation abroad and great working relationship with Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank (both in the US) in the past five months, we managed to stage six IBF (International Boxing Federation) fights abroad.”

The interdict followed his several unsuccessful attempts to get answers from BSA.

Qithi didn’t deny this claim. “When someone is our licensee, we engage with them directly, not with their lawyers.”

At the centre of the dispute is an alleged BSA plot to control all the TV rights and decide on dates to screen tournaments.

But Qithi is confident that BSA is going to emerge victorious.

He said Milenkovic was seeking preferential attention and “we will have a meeting with all promoters to inform them and not individuals”.

Qithi, however, said it was difficult to meet with all 69 promoters across the nation “because they do not have an association ...”

BSA chairperson Ngconde Balfour said: “We are the custodians of boxing in this country.” He did not elaborate any further.

City Press has reliably learnt that Milenkovic’s legal team has also sent emails to e.tv and SuperSport advising them the agreement BSA has with them is also unlawful.

This was after media reports revealed that BSA had concluded a R33 million three-year TV deal with the public broadcaster and that it was also in negotiations with SuperSport and e.tv.

Clinton van der Berg, communications manager for SuperSport, confirmed they had received the email and that their “legal team is handling the matter”.

e.tv’s Monde Twala had not responded to an email by the time of going to the press.


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