Champagne flowed

I waited all weekend for the SABC to grant me permission to pop champagne after they swallowed their pride and did what was right for football by agreeing to sub-licence rights from SuperSport International.

I waited all weekend for the SABC to grant me permission to pop champagne after they swallowed their pride and did what was right for football by agreeing to sub-licence rights from SuperSport International.

Well, when the good advocate Dali Mpofu or, is it his rough around the edges spin-doctor Kaizer Kganyago's call, didn't come, I decided to go ahead and celebrate without their permission.

I was reprised - in a very harsh, personal statement - to keep my champagne not in the fridge but the garage when I dared to express my optimism that the PSL had a case to remove the television rights gate-keeping duties from the inept SABC to someone more competent, SuperSport International in this case.

A total 255 games guaranteed live on television is more than enough reason to celebrate for anybody who loves their football as much as I do and why wait for someone's permission to get the celebrations going.

I am satisfied in my capacity as a football supporter. I know the clubs are over the moon with a potential balloon payment of about R10 million at the beginning of each season and the monthly grants headed for the magical R1 million figure. When the SABC's sub-licensing deal was signed last Thursday, there were smiles alround from all television parties involved, including Mpofu.

On hearing of the latest developments, I perused the PSL fixture whose release must have been synchronised with the conclusion of the long-awaited deal. I was not disappointed as the league clearly rose to the occasion spreading the fixtures intelligently.

There is no doubt in my mind that there will be fewer dull week days. In fact, the coming fixture promises to be a sizzler packed with action on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday adding to the traditional weekend action. I mean real league humdingers and crucial stages of the various PSL competitions.

With SuperSport as the new gate- keepers there has been an improvement in fairness with regard to the distribution of games but there is still clearly lots of room for improvement.

In this pioneering deal, the SABC were successful in making sure their competition, e-tv, is muscled out almost completely. This they ensured through the worst form of brinkmanship and playing both the sentiment and affordability card.

X