SABC hit back at SAFA 'no Bafana on TV' allegation

Cape Town - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) have hit back at a statement from the South African Football Association (SAFA) over the broadcasting of Bafana Bafana and other international games. 

On Thursday afternoon, SAFA released a statement claiming that no future games featuring Bafana Bafana, Banyana Banyana or other age group related South African teams would be shown on channels of the public broadcaster.

"SAFA wishes to announce that as matters stand, the upcoming AFCON matches for Bafana Bafana as well as international matches for Banyana Banyana will not be broadcast on any of the SABC platforms," part of the SAFA statement read.

SAFA claimed that SABC decided to make a "discourteous offer" regarding international football matches to be played in South Africa. It went to to say that despite their financial difficulties, the SABC were broadcasting English Premiership football and signed up as the broadcaster of the new South African T20 cricket league that will get underway at the end of the year.

But the SABC have hit back in a press release of their own claiming that "it made a commercially viable offer that would enable the SABC to deliver football matches to South African audiences on SABC platforms and this offer was rejected by SAFA."

The SABC confirmed that the Bafana Bafana match away to Seychelles on October 16 will be shown on TV "since these rights do not reside with SAFA."

Full SABC statement

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has noted the statement by the South African Football Association (SAFA), announcing that all future international football matches involving the national teams, Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana will not be broadcast on SABC platforms.

The SABC would like to place on record that it made a commercially viable offer that would enable the SABC to deliver football matches to South African audiences on SABC platforms and this offer was rejected by SAFA. This follows the expiry of the previous contract between SAFA and the SABC. On the previous contract there were obligations and milestones which the SABC has met, including the payment milestones of that contract, albeit late given the SABC’s dire financial situation. In this regard, the SABC made full and final payment on the agreement as agreed with SAFA.

The outstanding SAFA obligations due to SABC from the previous contract are the two remaining 2019 AFCON qualifier matches which are, the Bafana Bafana vs. Seychelles match on 13 October 2018 and the Bafana Bafana vs. Nigeria match on 17 November 2018.

The Seychelles vs. Bafana Bafana match scheduled for 16 October 2018 will be broadcast by the SABC since these rights do not reside with SAFA.

With reference to SAFA allowing the SABC to broadcast the last AFCON qualifier match Bafana Bafana vs. Libya we contend that the broadcast of the match had nothing to do with a promise of a new agreement but was based on the payment milestone which the SABC has since met from the previous contract.

The SABC’s financial position is a known fact and has been made public by the SABC, despite this, the SABC has ensured that it met all its financial obligations to SAFA. The SABC is therefore prepared to broadcast the two remaining 2019 AFCON qualifiers.

It is unfortunate that the SABC and SAFA legal dispute is in the public domain but the SABC remains committed to engaging SAFA on fair terms.