Safa shoots past SABC for Bafana TV rights

2010-10-17 12:48

SA Football Association (Safa) intends taking away ­the exclusive rights to broadcast Bafana Bafana matches from the SABC at the end of March.

The SABC shot itself in the foot last week by failing to televise Bafana’s African Cup of Nations qualifier in Sierra Leone.

Losing the rights would be a big blow for the cash-strapped SABC, which would lose millions in advertising revenue from Bafana sponsors.

The public broadcaster would have to ­negotiate to be at Bafana matches in future and even pay broadcast rights ­holders for the privilege.

In a high-level meeting this week, Safa read SABC the riot act.

A senior Safa official told City Press that football’s top brass ­wanted the rights to be distributed to other parties.
He said Safa was not happy that soapies, notably ­Generations, took precedence over Bafana matches, that have to start after the popular soapie just after 8.30pm.

“They have been taking us for a ride for a long time and we will fish elsewhere, that is for sure,” said the official.

He said they might pursue a deal similar to the one the Premier ­Soccer League (PSL) has with ­SuperSport and the SABC.

SuperSport International paid about R2 billion for the PSL rights for five years.

“It is clear that the SABC does not have the capacity to cope and we must be flexible where they cannot ­deliver,” he said.

He added Safa was also unhappy with the amount the SABC had paid for the rights, believed to be about R30?million.

Safa president Kirsten Nematandani said they were working towards a workable ­solution with the SABC.

“Obviously the SABC, as the ­national broadcaster, has to show our games but we will go for what is best for our football,” said Nematandani.

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