Athletics nets broadcast deal with SABC

2013-03-07 11:53

Cash-strapped Athletics SA (ASA) have a reason to smile on the back of their financial trouble.

The local athletics controlling body has penned a year-long agreement with SABC for coverage of track and field events, as well as elite races such as the Two Oceans, Comrades and the Soweto marathons.

Although the financial details of the deal were not revealed, City Press has reliably been informed by independent sources close to the two parties that ASA will receive around R10 million.

The previous broadcast deal, which held the exclusive rights to ASA-sanctioned events, was valid for a five-year period and expired in March last year.

ASA president James Evans said the agreement came at a critical time for ASA.

“It is no secret that we are financially challenged as a sporting federation. The SABC’s commitment is a new lease for us to continue to stage world-class events with the country’s biggest broadcaster.

“The SABC has been and will continue to be ASA’s most critical partner. I would like to thank Mrs Mokhobo (Lulama Mokhobo, SABC group chief executive) for her continued belief in ASA,” said Evans in a statement.

ASA’s debt was sitting around R4.3 million late last year, a figure that included around R600 000 in outstanding prize money owed to athletes.

Staff at their headquarters were also not paid their salaries for the last month.

Evans and SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago did not answer their phones when City Press tried to get their comments.

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