End of blackout: five-year deal for SABC to air PSL matches
An agreement has been reached for Premier Soccer League (PSL) matches to return to television screens broadcast by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)‚ the various stakeholders involved announced on Friday.
The announcement was made in a joint statement sent out on behalf of the Department of Sport and Recreation‚ the PSL‚ SuperSport and the SABC‚ titled: “PSL‚ SuperSport and SABC conclude PSL broadcast deal”.
The statement‚ following negotiations overseen by Sports Minster Nathi Mthethwa this week‚ said that the period of the agreement reached is for “five years”.
The agreement covers both television and radio coverage‚ which had also been affected.
This brings to an end the blackout of PSL matches on SABC that had seen no games of the country’s top-flight football league televised in the opening few weeks of the 2019-20 domestic season.
The joint-statement read: “The Minister of Sports‚ Arts and Culture‚ Minister Nathi Mthethwa‚ in consultation with the Minister of Communication and Digital Technologies‚ the Honourable Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams‚ is pleased to announce that MultiChoice’s SuperSport has concluded an agreement on commercial terms with the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
“This will allow the SABC to broadcast Premier Soccer League matches on television. The deal was announced following constructive negotiations between the parties facilitated by Minister Mthethwa.
“The agreement between SuperSport and the SABC is for five years and recognises the need to ensure the sustainability of the PSL.”
Mthethwa said he was relieved that South Africans who do not have access to pay-TV channel SuperSport can view televised football matches on the public broadcaster again.
“I would like to thank all the participants – MultiChoice‚ the PSL and the SABC – for their positive approach which ensures that ordinary South Africans are able to access football in our country‚” Mthethwa was quoted as saying.
“We recognise the importance of sport and in this instance football in promoting national cohesion and commend all stakeholders involved.”
PSL chairman Irvin Khoza thanked Mthethwa for his assistance ending the blackout.
“We welcome the sports ministers’ intervention and his willingness to facilitate a commercial agreement with the SABC‚” Khoza was quoted as saying.
“We are committed to bringing as much access to South African football as is possible to the football-loving public‚ in a manner that ensures the sustainability of the PSL as one of the top 10 football leagues in the world.”
Negotiations between SuperSport‚ who own the TV rights to the PSL‚ and the SABC‚ to whom additional rights are sub-licensed by the pay channel‚ broke down in the week before the Absa Premiership kicked off earlier this month.