The SABC and the PSL have been locked in a dispute over a 5-year contract for broadcasting rights after the parties had failed to reach an agreement when the league’s previous 5-year contract with the SABC had expired.
Chris Loxton (SC) has, according to a PSL statement, “dismissed the SABC’s complaints with costs”.
“… this binding decision confirms that the PSL never acted in bad faith and that the process it followed in securing the exploitation of its media and broadcasting rights has been entirely correct and justified,” Dr Irvin Khoza, PSL chairperson, said in a statement.
SuperSport has since successfully tendered for the TV broadcasting rights for five seasons to the tune of over R1.6-billion. The SABC did not tender for the rights because of the dispute.
The SABC believed if the arbitration had been decided in its favour, the PSL/SuperSport deal could have been declared void.
Khoza said in the statement the matter was now “history”.
Kaizer Kganyago, SABC spokesperson, however, told TheMediaOnline the SABC was still awaiting advice from its legal team on “the way forward”, following the arbitrator’s decision.
With regard to the effect of the SuperSport deal on viewers without pay-TV access, Khoza said: “The perception that was being given by the SABC over the last 12 months was that the PSL was intent on depriving the South African people of televised football. (That) could not be further from the truth. The PSL was only looking to achieve the best possible product for the greatest number of viewers.”
An agreement between the PSL, SuperSport and the SABC for the 2007-’08 season is in place according to which the SABC gets the broadcasting rights to 143 games of which 110 are exclusive. According to Khoza some teams have also “opened up negotiations with the SABC, at this point, for their radio rights”.