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SABC’s Struggle To Secure Broadcasting Rights For Bafana Bafana And Banyana Banyana Matches

After continued negotiations, the SABC reached a last-minute agreement with MultiChoice, enabling the broadcast of all nine confirmed matches played by the Mens Proteas team and the semi-final.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is facing challenges in its ongoing negotiations with the South African Football Association (Safa) to secure the broadcasting rights for Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana matches.

Despite their efforts, the two organisations have been unable to reach an agreement, with Safa claiming that the SABC is facing financial constraints.

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According to a Sunday Times report, the SABC’s lack of funds has been the primary reason for the prolonged negotiations. An unnamed source stated, “The challenge is that the SABC wants the rights, but they don’t have money.

That’s the paramount reason the negotiations have dragged for so long. It is on that basis the two parties have fallen out. SuperSport were prepared to come in. That’s why we are here.”

As a result of the failed negotiations, the SABC was unable to broadcast the first leg of Banyana Banyana’s Paris Olympic third-round qualifier against Tanzania.

Furthermore, the public broadcaster will not air the second leg at Mbombela Stadium. In response, Safa made a temporary agreement with SuperSport to broadcast Banyana Banyana’s matches.

Safa CEO Lydia Monyepao has stated that the organization is still open to offers from the SABC to conclude the deal. The SABC’s previous three-year contract with Safa expired in November 2023.

Monyepao said, “We are still negotiating with the SABC for the free-to-air broadcast rights, and the door is not closed.”

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Mmone Seapolelo, acting group executive for corporate affairs and marketing at the SABC, assured that the company is working diligently to secure the rights.

She stated, “In terms of the upcoming home leg, the corporation can confirm that it is doing everything in its power to secure the rights and would like to further state that the contractual negotiations between SABC and Safa are at an advanced stage to broadcast the upcoming games.”

This is not the first time the SABC has faced challenges in securing broadcasting rights. In September and October 2023, the public broadcaster engaged in negotiations with MultiChoice, the owner of DStv, over the rights to broadcast the Cricket World Cup.

The SABC submitted an offer to MultiChoice for sub-licensing rights, aiming to enhance access to premier cricket content for the masses. However, the SABC’s offer was initially rejected.

After continued negotiations, the SABC reached a last-minute agreement with MultiChoice, enabling the broadcast of all nine confirmed matches played by the Mens Proteas team and the semi-final. Despite the agreement, the Proteas were knocked out by Australia in the semi-final.

In a separate instance, the SABC faced difficulties in sub-licensing the rights to broadcast the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Initially, the SABC refused to pay the requested $2 million (R38 million) for confirmed and potential Springbok matches.

However, after a warning from the Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture, Zizi Kodwa, and support from South African Breweries, Hollywoodbets, and Pineapple, the two companies managed to strike a deal. The R57-million agreement granted the SABC rights to 16 live matches and knockout stage games involving the Springboks.

The SABC’s struggle to secure broadcasting rights for Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana matches highlights the financial challenges faced by the public broadcaster.

Despite the setbacks, both Safa and the SABC remain open to further negotiations in the hopes of reaching an agreement that will allow South African audiences to enjoy these important sporting events.

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Florence Sibiya for SurgeZirc SA
Florence Sibiya for SurgeZirc SA
Florence Sibiya is a highly dedicated and talented reporter for SurgeZirc SA Business News. With her passion for business and her commitment to delivering accurate and reliable news, she has become an invaluable asset to the team.
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