SABC radio presenters hit hard by blackout

TV rights dispute with SuperSport means that SABC can't even carry matches on radio. / Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
TV rights dispute with SuperSport means that SABC can't even carry matches on radio. / Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) sport presenters and producers have detailed their struggles and frustrations since they cannot cover PSL matches.

SABC Sport has been barred from covering PSL matches after the cash-strapped public broadcaster rejected a R280m deal with SuperSport, who have the exclusive rights, to screen PSL matches.

SABC Sport shows have been hit hard, leaving presenters and producers scrambling for content.

"It's a huge struggle. We can cover the national teams, obviously and other sporting codes, as well as international football. It's bad," admitted a producer, who's with one of the top SABC radio stations.

Listeners can call in, but are also advised not to talk about the PSL.

One of SABC's most popular sport radio shows Marawa Sports Worldwide - which simulcast on Metro FM and Radio 2000, appeared to be battling on Monday. The show is hosted by renowned sports presenter Robert Marawa, but Lelo Mzaca has been on the hotseat in Marawa's absence, who's thought to be on leave.

On Monday night, TS Galaxy coach Dan Malesela came through talking about their CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round first-leg 1-0 win over St Louis Suns United of the Sychelles, and the conversation went on for quite sometime ostensibly because there was not much to discuss about other-related football matches like the PSL.


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Cosafa Cup champions Banyana Banyana were also hosted. SA FM sport show, Sport On - hosted by Thabiso Mosia, on Monday spent time talking cricket and also spoke to fellow sport broadcaster, Mpho Letsholonyane, about women in sport on a month that women are celebrated.

"This is not sustainable. They won't keep it going the whole week," said a source close to the SABC sport broadcasting.

On the TV front, it's been two weeks without the popular SoccerZone, which is flighted at 10pm on Mondays. Instead, the SABC are profiling celebrities in this slot.

SABC spokesperson Vuyo Mthembu confirmed that the situation at the public broadcaster has not changed.

"The status quo remains and there's still no contract - no agreement [with SuperSport]. As to whether it would be resolved soon, I'm not in a position to say that. I don't know," Mthembu told Sowetan yesterday.

SABC acting chief operations officer Craig van Rooyen told Sowetan sister publication, TimesLIVE, recently that "for the financial sustainability of the SABC, we will not continue with deals that are not commercially viable".

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