Safa sells Bafana for R1 billion, leaves SABC out in the cold

2014-08-03 06:30

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The SA Football Association (Safa) has signed a ground-breaking R1 billion broadcast deal with new kid on the block Siyaya TV.

Just as in 2006, when SuperSport signed a R1.6 billion deal with the Premier Soccer League, this development leaves public broadcaster the SABC out in the cold, since it will have to buy the rights from Siyaya if it wants a slice of Bafana Bafana.

The deal gives Siyaya TV the rights to broadcast all Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana matches, including friendlies, as well as games involving all the junior national teams, the ABC Motsepe League (First Division), Sasol Women’s League, the Safa Magazine Programme (Safa TV) and the annual Safa Awards.

In return, the football body will help the consortium secure more events from Fifa, the Confederation of African Football and the Union of European Football Associations (Uefa).

Siyaya TV expects to go live next June, and the deal kicks in on May 1 next year because the SABC agreement lapses at the end of April 2015.

The deal is set to cause a stir. The government has previously insisted that Bafana’s matches – “a national asset” – be shown by the public broadcaster.

Safa has in the past complained that these stringent measures restricted its money-making ability, especially when compared with other sporting codes like rugby and cricket.

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