Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa, and his counterpart from the Communications department Stella Tembisa Ndabeni-Abrahams are working hand in hand to probe the blackout of matches on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).
The opening weekend of the 2019/20 Absa Premiership season last weekend saw football lovers from around the country faced with a blackout from the SABC as matches were not shown live on the free-to-air television and radio channels, this after the public broadcaster failed to reach an agreement with rights-holders SuperSport to broadcast the matches.
The PSL issued a statement on the weekend stating that the league regrets that the football followers would not be able to watch the matches live ‘as a result of matters beyond’ the league’s control.
According to the league, the matter was brought to the PSL’s attention on 02 August 2019 by SuperSport, the broadcast rights holder.
The league further stated that, according to SuperSport, the SABC proposal is equivalent to discounting the PSL rights by ninety six percent, and the league has said that would be unacceptable.
With the Chairman of the PSL, Dr Irvin Khoza, having already written an urgent letter to the Ministers of Communication and Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, and informing them that the challenges being faced have legal, public and political implications, as confirmed by the league in their statement, the Siya crew got hold of the Chief Director of Marketing and Communications at Department Sport, Mickey Modisane, for the latest on SABC and PSL blackout.
“The minister (Mthethwa) is working around the clock to try and solve the problem. He is working around the clock to try and have a solution to the problem. It’s unfortunate that this has happened and our people should understand that the PSL is a commercial product. The position he (Mthethwa) would take would depend on him and the owner of that product. The PSL didn’t dictate to give the rights (to the SABC) from SuperSport at a certain amount,” said Modisane.
“The minister is trying to find a way on how to level the playing field so as to give an opportunity to the SABC to broadcast some of the games. The minister walks into these meetings from an appeal perspective, and also, I think from a political mandate. There’s quite a series of meetings that the minister has planned. Unfortunately, it is still premature, this can’t be sorted ahead of tonight’s (Tuesday’s) game. There’s no stipulated time frame. The minister must meet all the parties on their availability. The minister has reached out to everyone…he has reached out to SuperSport and the SABC,” he added.