Safa wants big slice of TV rights

2011-10-08 20:15

The South African Football ­Association (Safa) will demand between R50 million and R60 million a year for the new broadcast deal with the SABC.

A Safa insider told City Press that this is how much the association values its properties, which include Bafana Bafana, other national teams and ­various leagues.

The source said the ­association was apparently ­unhappy with what the public broadcaster was willing to pay. He said the previous deal was worth about R30 million a year.

This week the two parties were called to the negotiation table by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula to foster a deal that saw the public broadcaster screen live yesterday’s ­African Nations Cup qualifier between Bafana and Sierra ­Leone.

In terms of the deal, Safa was to receive a mere R1.8 million from the SABC for the match as the association had to inject R1.2 million of production costs back into the SABC from the R3 million the public broadcaster paid them.

“We entered into this deal ­because soccer is a national sport and we have to bring ­certainty to the people of South ­Africa. The national team ­belongs to the nation,” said the source.

The SABC and Safa will both meet French company SportFive to negotiate for future CAF matches, said SABC chairperson Ben Ngubane at this week’s press conference. He said they were ready to strike a deal with Safa.

“We have found a working ­relationship with Safa and will sign a new agreement soon. It was painful when we could not find each other previously. Safa will be sitting alongside us when we go to meet SportFive for away matches,” said ­Ngubane.

Safa chief executive ­Robin ­Petersen said he would not ­negotiate with the SABC through the media. He said the deal for ­yesterday’s match was a ­once-off contract and they were looking to sign a long-term ­contract.

“We intend to get a good broadcast deal in place which will be fair to us and the SABC as it will include all of our properties’ friendly and away ­matches. We will start full ­negotiations with our evaluations as we have our own strategic directions that we want to take and I am sure the SABC ­also have,” said Petersen.

He argued that it cost ­between R5 million and R6 million to organise an official Bafana game, considering the travel costs, accommodation, meals, bonuses and other logistics involved in organising a match.

“It costs even more to organise a friendly as you have to pay a match fee and – depending on where the opponents come from – have to fly them in and look after them all the way.”

Petersen said they intended to tie the deal before the Nelson Mandela Challenge which is scheduled for next month.
City Press has reliably learnt Bafana will meet Ivory Coast in Cape Town.


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