Will boxing ever survive SABC blackout?

2015-01-25 15:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

It is unclear when professional boxing will return to the living rooms of South African fans.

This was revealed by Boxing SA (BSA) chairperson Ntambi Ravele this week, who brushed aside talks that the fistic sport would be televised live from April by the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

This follows a protracted blackout that has been imposed on live bouts by the public broadcaster since 2010. Pay-TV channel SuperSport is the only platform on which live local and international tournaments are available.

Promoters have been crying foul over what they believe is a move by BSA and SABC to deprive them of earnings by not having their fights broadcasted.

World champions have been forced to defend their titles overseas, away from their local fan base.

A good example is that of promoter Branco Milenkovic’s charge Zolani Tete from East London. Tete won the International Boxing Federation super flyweight title outside his home country by beating Japan’s Teiru Kinoshita in Kobe, Japan last July. His fight was not televised.

But Ravele said although the broadcasting of bouts by the SABC was a thorny issue, she was optimistic that this matter would be resolved.

“Discussions between BSA and the SABC on bringing back the live broadcasting of boxing to our homes are in progress. We hope to reach finality on the matter soon,” said a confident Ravele.

“It’s a pity that most promoters have had to bear the brunt of this blackout as they are disadvantaged. It’s unfortunate that everybody blames BSA for boxing not being televised.”

She said one of the resolutions taken at the 2013 national boxing indaba was that the boxing body must negotiate with all broadcasters for the dates and allocate them accordingly.

“BSA is optimistic that this year will have good tidings for professional boxing,” explained Ravele, adding that the issue of the suspension of BSA chief executive officer will also be finalised.

The association has been operating without a chief executive officer after the suspension of Loyiso Mtya in October. He was acting in the position after predecessor Moffat Qithi was charged with misconduct in 2013.

Milenkovic said it would be great for promoters and other stakeholders for boxing to return to on SABC channels. “As promoters who depend on TV money, we are frustrated by the protracted boxing blackout. This is not good for the sport,” he said.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said: “Once all issues are dealt with, we are ready to broadcast all fights because boxing is a sport of national interest.”

Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula’s spokesperson Esethu Hasane said a task team met this week and was working on recommendations for “speedy implementation by the beginning of next month”.

But the question remains: For how long will boxing continue to be floored by this blackout?

Only time will tell.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.