PSL, SS deal celebrate TV deal anniversary

The first anniversary of the SuperSport and Premier Soccer League's R1,6 billion broadcast deal was celebrated at a glittering function in Randburg last night.

The first anniversary of the SuperSport and Premier Soccer League's R1,6 billion broadcast deal was celebrated at a glittering function in Randburg last night.

The function, which doubled as the launch of the 2008/09 season, celebrated the many milestones achieved during the first year of the relationship and looked forward to the further innovations that will be introduced during the second year.

2007/08 provided many firsts in terms of PSL TV broadcasts. In financial terms, the PSL's previous broadcast deal was ranked lower than 50th in the world. It is now in the top 10 of all major football broadcast deals worldwide.

Sponsorship of the league increased from under R100 million to over R230 million during the past season (an increase of more than 130 percent) thanks to additional and improved broadcast exposure.

PSL chairman Irvin Khoza said: "The first year of our partnership with SuperSport exceeded all expectations and we look forward to bigger, better things in the coming years. The profile of the league has been significantly raised through this partnership, and I am confident we'll go from strength to strength leading up to 2010 and beyond."

Well over 200 matches were broadcast during the past season. Prior to the deal, less than a hundred matches were broadcast, on average, per season.

Broadcasting innovations introduced by SuperSport included an increased number of cameras at games (from as few as four to as many as 16 per match), enhanced viewing angles, super slo-mos, rail cameras, reverse angles, jib cameras, off-side lines, vast improvement of on-screen graphics, helicopter cameras and many more.

The Kaizer Chiefs-Orlando Pirates derby in Durban in November last year was broadcast to 20 million homes in Europe. The broadcast was later described by the head of Fifa's Host Broadcasting Services as "the perfect business card for South Africa" and the country's capacity to successfully stage the Fifa 2010 World Cup.

SuperSport International CEO Imtiaz Patel is also delighted with the first year of the partnership. "If you look back at the past 12 months, it has, indeed, been one in which everyone has emerged a winner." - Sowetan

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