BSA KOd by SABC snub in favour of English soccer

Boxing SA CEO Tsholofelo Lejaka
Boxing SA CEO Tsholofelo Lejaka

Boxing SA was left dumbfounded when the SABC announced on Tuesday that it would start broadcasting live English Premier League games while it has not shown any live boxing since last year.

The SABC said it was increasing its soccer offering on Saturday afternoons, with SABC1 showing live matches from the PSL while radio stations provide commentary in all SA official languages.

BSA chief executive Tsholofelo Lejaka said: "Quite honestly, we have been taken by surprise by the news because we know that such content does not come free, neither does it come cheap."

Briefing the portfolio committee on sports on Tuesday, SABC board chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini revealed that projections for the end of August are that the SABC will only have R26-million in the bank while it owes creditors about R694-million.

"What worries us is that the last time South Africans were treated to live boxing on SABC was in October 2017.

"The most saddening reality about their announcement is that it comes exactly on the anniversary of the joint roadshow which BSA has with SABC to brief promoters on the national broadcast framework which to date is yet to be implemented due to what SABC reported as financial constraints," Lejaka said.

SABC has resorted to filming boxing matches at no cost because it does not pay promoters - and broadcast those fights at a later date.