PSL takes on SABC in court

Pumza Fihlani

Pumza Fihlani

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) will today take on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) in the Johannesburg high court.

The broadcasting rights to PSL matches are at the centre of the brawl.

The PSL says it is not obliged to stick with the SABC and that it should be free to offer the broadcasting rights elsewhere.

Millions of rands are stake.

The public broadcaster, which has had a monopoly in broadcasting PSL games, is fighting to hold onto the deal.

It made an urgent application to the Johannesburg high court yesterday for an interdict that would stop the PSL from negotiating broadcasting-rights contracts with other broadcasters.

SABC news reported this week that the PSL's broadcasting contract with the corporation comes to an end in May.

The PSL argues that if it were allowed to negotiate with other broadcasters the SABC would probably raise its offer.

In court yesterday, the PSL's Trevor Phillips stressed that the sports body was not at all obliged to renew its contract with the SABC.

Phillips said: "Our job and mandate is to maximise our commercial rights and all we are looking for, as far as TV rights are concerned, is to get a fair, market-related price."

The SABC said it expected to be first in line if the PSL were thinking of negotiating a new contract.