Back on! PSL, SuperSport, SABC agree deal to end TV, radio blackout
Cape Town - MultiChoice Group’s SuperSport and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) have come to a commercial agreement regarding the broadcasting of Premier Soccer League (PSL) matches.
South African football fans were left disappointed at the start of the month by a 'blackout' of all PSL matches on SABC TV and radio as the 2019/20 season commenced.
However, starting this weekend, all matches will now be televised live on the free channel to air - including on radio.
"We welcome the sports ministers’ intervention and his willingness to facilitate a commercial agreement with the SABC. 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," said PSL chairperson Irvin Khoza in joint-statement released.
Sport24 reported earlier in the week that the three corporations along with the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, were locked in talks seeking consensus.
"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," said Mthethwa.
"We recognise the importance of sport and in this instance football in promoting national cohesion and commend all stakeholders involved."
A five-year deal was agreed upon which will help financially stabilise both the PSL and the SABC while also satisfying the South African public's football viewing pleasure.
"We remain committed to long-term investment in sports in South Africa and the rest of Africa. In the previous financial year, MCG invested over R2.3bn in sports on the continent. An important element of the investment is in sports broadcasting and sponsorship rights, which provide critical revenue streams for sports bodies that filter down to every tier and has an undeniable impact on the development of the sport," said MultiChoice Group CEO Calvo Mawela.
The SABC’s Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), Madoda Mxakwe stated: "In line with our public mandate we are pleased to have reached an agreement, in the interest of the South African public. Most importantly, this commercially viable deal is aligned to the goal of having a financially sustainable public broadcaster. The SABC will continue to discharge its public mandate in a manner which is not only sustainable for the organisation but ensures that the South African public have access to sports of national interest such as the PSL."
Compiled by: Tashreeq Vardien