A tit for tat battle seems to be brewing between the SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) and SAFA (South African Football Association) with the masses caught in the middle.
Local football and the SABC were often viewed as an inseparable pair – they went together like cheese and crackers, mash and gravy, etc.
When rugby made the switch from SABC to pay TV, local football remained. When cricket followed suit, football remained. Even tennis made the inevitable switch and yet football remained.
However, all of that is set to change as SAFA have announced that all football matches run by SAFA, will no longer be broadcast via the SABC.
The net effect is that most South Africans will no longer be able to tune in to watch Bafana Bafana matches.
An extract from statement issued by SAFA declared: “SAFA further notes that the SABC recently concluded deals with the EPL to broadcast British Football in this country, and on 25 September 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.”
Furthermore, SAFA CEO Danny Jordaan announced on the Marawa Sports Worldwide show that the SABC’s offer for the rights dropped drastically from R150 million to R10 million.
Jordaan also highlighted the gulf in revenue between football compared to that of rugby and cricket. He said, "Rugby gets R2.8 billion over five years (R560 million per year), while cricket gets R1.24 billion (R248 million per year) where football must get R50 million per year."
Based on these factors, SAFA will be appealing to government to free them from obligations with the national broadcaster. This will enable them to accept more lucrative deals.
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