'Multichoice and SABC to resolve local football blackout impasse by Thursday' - Nathi Mthethwa
Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa is confident that the SABC and Pay-TV company Multichoice will find a solution to the PSL broadcast rights impasse which has led to a blackout of local football at the public broadcaster.
Mthethwa said this following Tuesday's meeting he and communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams held with Multichoice's chairman Imtiaz Patel, CEO Calvo Mawela, and Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairman Irvin Khoza.
In a statement, Mthethwa said the meeting has "paved the way for a sustainable and long-term solution to the dispute that has resulted in PSL matches not being broadcast on the public broadcaster".
The meeting follows another one between the two ministers and the SABC two weeks ago. Mthethwa said all affected parties will now meet within 48 hours in an effort to resolve the matter which has denied millions of South Africans access to local football since the league season started over two weeks ago.
“What is a crucial outcome on this day, is that both the PSL and Multichoice honoured the appointment and that is an indication of their appreciating the gravity of this matter. I am happy that both parties understand that despite the contrasting interests they represent, which are valid on individual accounts, what can no longer be treated lightly is the heavy toll this impasse has taken on South Africans," Mthethwa said.
He added: "After this interaction, we are confident that a resolution to this impasse is imminent as of Thursday.”
The SABC has already indicated that acquiring the rights at their current value of R280m for 144 games per year was not commercially viable, as the cash-strapped public broadcaster would make revenue of just R47m per year.