Ministers Nathi Mthethwa and Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams met with South African Broadcasting Corporation on Tuesday, to discuss the acquisition of the Premier Soccer League’s broadcasting rights.
What was the meeting about?
SABC executive members had a comprehensive conversation with the ministers, further elaborating on the circumstances that led to the “very regrettable and unfortunate” issue regarding the acquisition of the PSL broadcasting rights.
SuperSport and PSL unable to attend SABC meeting
A meeting request was sent out to SuperSport and PSL, and due to prior engagements, they were both unable to attend. As this has become a developing stakeholder engagement, both ministers will regularly engage with all parties involved in their joint efforts as well as individual capacities. Mthethwa is also noted to have met with the chairperson of the PSL, Dr Irvin Khoza regarding this.
“There is growing need to find each other for a lasting solution. It is unfortunate that broadcast rights holder could not attend the meeting today. Our being here is testament of our public mandate as public representatives and ours is to see the public interest prevail. That is the basis on which we are approaching these engagements. We are determined to this impasse resolved with haste,”
Minister Nathi Mthethwa
ICASA continues to formulate regulation
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) continues to formulate a regulatory framework, that will safeguard equal access of Sport Broadcasting Rights by all the broadcasters including the free-to-air channels in the country.
“Both Ministers are treating this matter with the utmost importance as their primary concern is to ensure that the South African public is adequately served by the SABC.
Further they have been informed that the SABC was expected to pay SuperSport R280 million for 144 matches per year for a period of five years, and during that period, the SABC would have made revenue of only R9.8 million per year.”
Department of Communications
The ministers were informed that the SABC has to pay SuperSport R280 million for 144 matches each year for a duration of five years.
“We are very concerned that sport as vehicle for social cohesion and nation building and its primary audience are the most affected by the current blackout. We mull this while mindful of the delicate balance that must be achieved despite competing interests.”
Minister Ndabeni- Abrahams
R1.3 billion loss for SABC
The SABC executives present stated that the public broadcaster has incurred a loss of R1.3 billion over the past five years. An official agreement by present parties was taken stating that only “financially sound” and sustainable deals should be taken.
The ministers agreed that the commercial agreement is alarming, and does not take into account financially burdened citizens who won’t be able to afford pay television platforms.
“They also noted that this would not have been a commercially viable agreement for the public broadcaster. That the public broadcaster’s offer for SABC Radio broadcasting rights for R53 million; in trade exchange for airtime; is yet to be accepted by the PSL was also cited to the Ministers.”
Department of Communications