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SABC cannot say how much it’s paying for EPL games

The SABC is keeping mum on how much it costs to broadcast EPL games.
The SABC is keeping mum on how much it costs to broadcast EPL games.
Image: BackpagePix

SABC chief operations officer Chris Moroleng on Wednesday said it could not divulge how much the cash-strapped public broadcaster was forking out for the rights to beam the English Premier League to South Africans.

The SABC recently acquired the rights to show EPL games.

However‚ Moroleng was more than happy to tell South Africans that the broadcaster was unable to flight Bafana Bafana matches because the South African Football Association (Safa) demanded R110m per annum‚ while the SABC could only afford to pay them R10m.

Moroleng also ducked and dived when asked about the costs of the T20 cricket rights they recently acquired from Cricket South Africa.

Moreover‚ he could not for certain say whether or not Bafana Bafana would ever return to the public broadcaster's small screens‚ other than saying: "We are still engaging with Safa.”

According to Moroleng‚ it would be financially disastrous for the SABC to bend over backwards and give in to Safa’s demands. This while he admits that it was part of the SABC's "public mandate" to show matches of national teams on TV‚ including Bafana.

The SABC spends R4.2bn on carrying out it's public mandate‚ chief executive Mxakwe revealed at the same press conference‚ hosted at its Auckland Park head office.

Said Morolong: "We are unable‚ at the cost of R110m per annum‚ to basically turn a profit and even break even. We are not looking at making hyper profits or even benefit extraordinarily from covering Bafana Bafana because we understand this is part of our mandate.

"What we cannot do‚ given the financial position of the SABC‚ is place the corporation at risk by entering into sport rights deals that ultimately are not financially sustainable. We indicated to Safa…that with what we have we cannot make an offer of [more than] R10m because we would be taking these rights on a non-exclusive basis."

Moroleng said Safa would still be allowed to sell the right to other broadcasters had they agreed to the SABC’s offer.

On the EPL and CSA deals‚ Moroleng said the contracts they entered into had confidentiality clauses that do allow them to tell the how much they are paying.

"The commercial terms of our arrangements are subject to non-disclosure to an extent we cannot give the exact detail‚" said Moroleng.

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