Knockout for TV boxing

2010-07-18 17:15

Lights could go out on boxing broadcasting at the SABC after the

public broadcaster spent over R30 million during the soccer World Cup.

According to a highly placed source within the SABC and a few

promoters, the SABC does not have enough money to pay for boxing broadcasting

rights as a result of this excessive spending.

On average, the SABC pays promoters R500 000 (legitimate world

title fights), R250 000 (marginal world title contests) and R150 000 (SA title

bouts) for the broadcast rights per tournament.

About 36 tournaments are beamed live by the SABC per fiscal year,

which starts in April and ends in March.

But since April this year, only five tournaments have been

televised, and it seems there will now be even less boxing coverage by the

cash-strapped public broadcaster. A source told City Press that the tendering

process by boxing promoters – which usually takes place in January before boxing

dates are granted – has been put on hold.

But SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the SABC was still

finalising its sports strategy, which includes boxing.

“The SABC will communicate those details (regarding tendering) with

the boxing industry accordingly,” said Kganyago.

He could not say whether the lack of boxing dates was the result of

financial limitations.

“The SABC will schedule accordingly, as per budget,” said


Concerned about this precarious

situation which is threatening to harm boxing, National Promoters Association

chairperson Mzi Mnguni took the matter up with the SABC.

“After discussions with promoters, I made calls to the SABC

expressing our frustrations. Usually, dates are allocated by March but up to now

there has been nothing.

“The SABC’s response was that they understand our ­frustration.

They said the channel (SABC 2) has been given the budget and they are working on

it,” said Mnguni. He added that lack of TV coverage could undo boxing’s efforts

to reclaim its position. “It is a bad situation because without TV, boxing will

have problems. Boxing needs TV – both on SABC and SuperSport,” said


Affected by the blackout, Branco Milenkovic has been forced to

schedule the IBF junior lightweight fight between Cassius Baloyi and Mzonke Fana

– without any TV coverage – for August 27.

The fight had been postponed numerous times since April.

It is going to be an even more expensive mission for Milenkovic

without the money from TV rights, as the tournament also features top names

Moruti Mthalane, Takalani Ndlovu, Jeffrey Mathebula, Silence Mabuza, Evans

Mbamba, Zolani Tete and Tshepo Lefele.


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