The SABC and MultiChoice have concluded a five-year agreement that will allow the public broadcaster to deliver coverage on Premier Soccer League matches.
In a joint statement, the SABC was quoted saying the deal recognised the need to maintain the financial sustainability of the PSL while allowing the broadcaster to fulfil its mandate by serving the interests of South Africans regarding sport.
Until now, the pay TV operator and the SABC have been unable to reach agreement. Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa and communications minister Stella Ndabeni Abrahams were forced to intervene, setting up a meeting with PSL boss Irvin Khoza, the SABC and MultiChoice to find a way out of the impasse.
MultiChoice wanted R280 million for the rights, while the SABC said it had offered R72 million.
Neither party has revealed the costs of the new agreement.
“In line with our public mandate we are pleased to have reached an agreement, in the interest of the South African public,” said the SABC’s group chief executive officer (GCEO), Madoda Mxakwe.
“Most importantly, this commercially viable deal is aligned to the goal of having a financially sustainable public broadcaster. The SABC will continue to discharge its public mandate in a manner which is not only sustainable for the organisation, but ensures that the South African public have access to sports of national interest such as the PSL,” he added.
MultiChoice group CEO, Calvo Mawela, said the company remained committed to long-term investment into sport on the continent. “In the previous financial year the MultiChoice Group (MCG) invested over R2.3 billion in sports on the continent,” he said. “An important element of the investment is in sports broadcasting and sponsorship rights, which provide critical revenue streams for sports bodies that filter down to every tier and has an undeniable impact on the development of sport.”
The parties said they looked forward to a “mutually beneficial working relationship”.
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