Disgruntled SAFA announce Bafana games will NOT be broadcast on SABC, accuses broadcaster of disrespectful TV rights offer
Cape Town - The South African Football Association (SAFA) has announced that the SABC will not be broadcasting the upcoming Bafana Bafana AFCON and Banyana Banyana international matches.
"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," a SAFA statement said.
The immediate matches in question are: Bafana Bafana vs Seychelles, Seychelles vs Bafana Bafana as well as Bafana Bafana vs Nigeria.
SAFA confirmed that it had opened discussions with the SABC as early as October 2017 to negotiate a new deal on similar terms and conditions as the immediate past agreement.
According to their press release, the SABC decided to make a "discourteous offer" to SAFA regarding international football matches to be played in South Africa.
"SAFA rejected this offer outright, and places on record that the offer is so minuscule that it amounts to an effective no offer. It is interesting to note that even the apartheid run SABC of old made a better offer to the association for their rights in this country.
"SAFA further notes that the SABC recently concluded deals with the EPL to broadcast British football in this country, and on September 25, 2018 announced a deal with CSA, to broadcast the T20 League in Sub Saharan Africa (which will include South Africa).
"SAFA has been repeatedly told by SABC management that it is in no position to conclude a contract /contracts whilst it is in a financial state of disarray.
"However, it is now patently clear that the SABC actions over the past few weeks in signing deals with EPL and CSA, is calculated towards engineering the financial downfall of SAFA, which the Association will not stand for.
"It is common cause that there is no other sport in South Africa that draws a larger TV audience attendance than Bafana Bafana - in excess of 4 million viewers regularly.
"It is also regrettable that the nation and the football loving public missed out on a great opportunity to witness Banyana Banyana defend their COSAFA title recently. SAFA offered the SABC the matches (including the final) at no cost, whilst negotiations were taking place - but the SABC declined.
"SAFA has written to both the SABC and ICASA and informed the Ministry of Sport and Recreation South Africa and the Ministry of Communications, that it wishes the SABC and ICASA to issue SAFA with a letter that will relieve the SABC of its obligations towards Sports of National Interest (football in particular) which would consequently allow SAFA to conclude an agreement with another broadcaster for the SAFA Rights in line with the commercial value SAFA attributes to such rights.
"It is common cause now that SAFA, in good faith, allowed the broadcast of the last AFCON qualifier vs Libya to be broadcast by the SABC, despite there being no contract in place - but on the promise and agreement that a contract would be concluded prior to the next Bafana Bafana AFCON qualifier, being the Seychelles match at FNB Stadium on Saturday, October 13 2018 at 15:00.
"With the SABC showing no meaningful interest in concluding an agreement on terms and conditions that would give respect to the SAFA Rights, the Association regrets to inform the public that all future International football matches involving national teams - the u23, u20 and u17 - as well as Regional Football Championships run by SAFA, will not be broadcast on any SABC platforms."
The matches in question, among others are:
• All Bafana Bafana 2019 AFCON Qualifiers, home and away
• ALL Bafana Bafana 2022 World Cup Qualifiers, home and away
• ALL Bafana Bafana international friendly matches
• Annual Nelson Mandela Challenge, involving Bafana Bafana
• All Banyana Banyana matches
• The soon to be launched Annual Winnie Mandela Challenge (involving Banyana Banyana)
• All u20 international matches
• The ABC Motsepe National Play Off Final
• The SAB National Championships Final
• The SASOL League Women's National Play Offs Final
• The u19 Men's National Championship Final