SABC’s PSL blackout should be resolved by this weekend

By Nick Krige

Minister of sport Nathi Mthethwa revealed the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and SuperSport would be meeting on Thursday to find solutions to the issues that have resulted in a complete blackout of Premier Soccer League (PSL) coverage on the public broadcaster’s television, radio, and online platforms.

PSL TV rights an ongoing issue

Mthethwa has been hard at work trying to resolve this impasse since it first became an issue at the start of August.

He, along with communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, met with the SABC a fortnight previously to hear their side of the story.

This was followed up by the two ministers engaging with Multichoice chairman Imtiaz Patel, CEO Calvo Mawela, and PSL chairman Irvin Khoza on Tuesday.

SABC and SuperSport to find a resolution by Thursday

Mthethwa is confident the meetings were successful and not only is he confident of a resolution being announced by Thursday 22 August 2019, he believes the interactions have ensured a sustainable and long-term solution will be reached.

PSL sponsors threaten to pull the plug

The pressure to fix this problem ramped up on the PSL this week when suggestions began to surface that the complete blackout on the SABC may start causing sponsors to pull out.

How the SABC and SuperSport’s impasse came about

The problem causing this issue involves licensing to broadcast PSL matches. SuperSport won the bid to renew their media rights for the PSL in sub-Saharan Africa for five years from this season following a tender process in 2017.

While the exact figure SuperSport paid is unknown, we do know they beat the SABC and Vodacom in the tender process and it is believed it spent more than the R2 billion it paid for the media rights in 2012.

There has been a standing offer from SuperSport on the table since it began negotiating with the SABC earlier this year.

However, the public broadcaster is adamant the R280 million SuperSport were asking for is unreasonable because the SABC only stands to bring in around R47 million from the PSL over the season. ,

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