PSL in jeopardy as sponsors threaten to pull out over SABC blackout

PSL in jeopardy as sponsors threaten to pull out over SABC blackout

- The future of the PSL looks uncertain as sponsors say they might pull out

- This follows the SABC blackout of PSL games for the whole season

- Broadcasting PSL games only on SuperSport may not be worth many sponsors' while

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A number of Premier Soccer League (PSL) sponsors are threatening to stop supporting the league.

This comes as the SABC has failed to secure the rights to broadcast local professional soccer matches, which include PSL games.

This has stripped sponsors of the ability to advertise to millions of South Africans via the SABC. As a result, the future of the league is in danger.

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The SABC has not broadcast any PSL games for the entire 2019/20 season, has gathered. 

According to The Sowetan, SuperSport purchased the exclusive TV rights for all PSL matches in a five-year deal which reportedly cost over R2 billion. SuperSport has offered the SABC partial TV rights at the cost of a whopping R280 million.

The public broadcaster is already severely cash-strapped so such an arrangement is unlikely to be feasible, eNCA has reported.

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Only 7 million South Africans have access to SuperSport and of those only half regularly watch local games, in contrast to the tens of millions who tune in to SABC for such coverage. What this means is that the viewership for PSL matches under SuperSport will be dramatically reduced. As a result, sponsorships for the PSL will not be able to reach as many people as they had before and may no longer be financially viable. 

Some sponsors have reportedly pressured the league to find some kind of resolution to the situation. However, it is unclear at this point if an arrangement can be reached which is acceptable to all parties.

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