Bafana Bafana

SABC beef up Bafana coverage

SAFA (File)
SAFA (File)

Cape Town – From 2016 the SABC will go back to broadcasting all of Bafana Bafana's away matches in a multi-million Rand deal with SportFive.

This follows after years of the SABC not having the broadcasting rights to Bafana Bafana matches played outside of South Africa and the public broadcaster not willing to pay the per-match broadcasting rights fees for individual games from the French-based SportFive.

SportFive is the official Confederation of African Football (CAF) broadcasting rights holder who sells the rights for all of the organisation's tournaments and once-off games to individual companies and broadcasters like the SABC. 

In July last year the SABC told parliament that paying for sports rights was putting the organisation under enormous financial pressure, and that it was costing around R500 million per year.

The SABC told parliament that the revenue the public broadcaster derives from sports coverage does not cover its costs with a shortfall of millions of rand per year and that the SABC cannot continue to pay for sports rights going forward in the future on a unsustainable basis. 

In 2015 the SABC went blank on Bafana Bafana several times as the public broadcaster was a no show with matches the national team played outside of South Africa's borders, but they will start showing these again from 2016.

It is part of a new 3-year from 2016 to 2019 that was signed on Tuesday between the SABC and SportFive. 

The new deal means that all of the remaining 2017 Afcon qualifier matches, as well as the 2018 World Cup qualifiers will be broadcast on SABC1. 

"We agreed on the final phases of the African Cup of Nations in Gabon in 2017," says Idriss Akki, SportFive managing director.

"Part of the deal is also the next Africa Cup of Nations in 2019 in Cameroon where we agreed on the qualifier matches and on the final phase."

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