The SABC announced today [Wednesday 27 May] that it had signed a three year deal with the South African Football Association (SAFA) to broadcast local Bafana Bafana games on its radio and television platforms. But Siyaya TV holds the exclusive rights to national team games on television and denies any deal to the contrary. Michael Bratt contacted Siyaya TV and the other players in the soccer broadcast game to clarify the situation.
In a statement, dated 27 May 2015, Siyaya TV’s founder, Aubrey Tau, says, “SABC does not hold any of the broadcast rights to the Bafana matches, and therefore cannot claim otherwise. Any position taken by SABC that it holds the Bafana Bafana broadcast rights is false and misleading.” The pay-tv broadcaster went on to say that it, “has made no commitments to and signed no contracts with any other broadcasters regarding the soccer broadcasting rights, and remains the sole and exclusive owner of these rights at this point in time.”
Tau said Siyaya had approached the SABC over two months ago in order to discuss the granting of free-to-air broadcasting rights to the public broadcaster. Siyaya says it was summarily rejected by SABC who refused to deal with Siyaya on the matter. Tau’s statement goes on to say that “SABC ignored Siyaya, and subsequently approached SAFA on the matter of buying the broadcast rights, however were duly informed by SAFA that the rights now belong exclusively to Siyaya. Siyaya has since not heard directly from SABC, but has in the meantime and in good faith, been in talks with SAFA regarding the possibility of granting free-to-air broadcast rights to SABC, and is at the same time has also engaged with e.tv in similar discussions”, Tau said.
The Siyaya statement was accompanied by a joint Siyaya SAFA statement which says that “SAFA wishes to place on record that Siyaya TV is and will remain a long term strategic broadcast partner of SAFA. We emphatically reject any speculation or statements to the contrary.”
However, to the contrary, SAFA CEO Dennis Mumble is quoted in the SABC release stating, “We value the loyal audience that the SABC has always delivered to our national teams and have agreed to partner with the SABC to strengthen that bond with our supporters. We thank the SABC for ensuring the South African public enjoys the national teams on live television and radio.”
The SABC statement also quotes the public broadcaster’s Chief Operations Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng who says, “As the SABC this agreement will provide a platform for soccer loving South Africans, through our various channels, which have a far reaching footprint across the country, an opportunity to see their national teams in action. The SABC will continue to prioritize sports of national importance as we have seen the pivotal role that sport plays in nation-building and creating role models for the youth.”
The Media Online reported on 26 May 2015 that e.tv had lost broadcast rights of the UEFA Champions League, to SuperSport.
Read the Safa/Siyaya joint press release here: SAFA SIYAYA Presso 1
Read the Siyaya press release here: Siyaya PRESS RELEASE-27 May 2015
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