European TV courts PSL
The Premier Soccer League has received a unique Christmas gift after a leading European sports television channel made a request to broadcast 200 of its Absa Premiership matches.
This was announced by Irvin Khoza, PSL chairman, at a media briefing in Parktown yesterday to deal with their achievements in 2008.
Also present at the briefing was Molefi Oliphant, the outgoing Safa president and veteran soccer administrator Leepile "LM" Taunyane, who turned 80 last Sunday.
"We recently received a request from Eurosport to buy the rights to show 200 of our matches live on the channel," said an elated Khoza.
"Their interest shows the improvement in the quality of our product, which is encouraging. There is a discussion on the matter."
The interest by Eurosport can be attributed to the success of the PSL, which is now rated among the best 10 financially secure leagues in the world.
Local soccer has been getting great service from SuperSport but SABC television treats the sport shabbily, especially the midweek games. These are seldom televised live because of the soapie Generations.
The SABC mostly televises matches late as was the case with Wednesday's Free State Stars-Kaizer Chiefs league game, which was shown at 10pm, "delayed live".
This arrangement has proved unpopular among soccer fans.
Speaking at the same media briefing, SABC's acting chief executive Gab Mampone said they were working hard to improve their product.
On the latest regarding the National First Division sponsorship, Khoza said: "It's just unfortunate what is happening in the financial world worked against us. We are positive about getting something before the end of the season."
The PSL was on the verge of clinching a deal with a prospective sponsor, who are reported to have since withdrawn because of the global financial meltdown.
Khoza also announced that the PSL will still have the MTN 8 next season following a request by the sponsors after the success of the inaugural tournament.