SABC hits back at Safa over Bafana TV blackout

The broadcasting corporation has responded to the football association in a press release.

The SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has responded to the SA Football Association (Safa) statement claiming that no future games featuring Bafana Bafana, Banyana Banyana would be broadcast on the public broadcaster’s platforms.

This comes after Safa on Thursday released a statement saying that Bafana’s back-to-back Afcon clashes against Seychelles, as well as the Bafana Bafana vs Nigeria games, will not be broadcast by the SABC after talks between the association and the public broadcaster over a new broadcast deal hit a deadlock.

The statement reads: “Safa can confirm that despite it having opened discussions with the SABC as early as October 2017 to negotiate a new deal on similar terms and conditions as the immediate past agreement, the SABC decided to make a discourteous offer to Safa for international football matches to be played in South Africa.

READ: No more Bafana/Banyana games on SABC

“Safa rejected this offer outright, and places on record that the offer is so minuscule that it amounts to an effective no offer. It is interesting to note that even the apartheid run SABC of old made a better offer to the association for their rights in this country.”

But the SABC has hit back in a press release of their own claiming that “it made a commercially viable offer that would enable the SABC to deliver football matches to South African audiences on SABC platforms and this offer was rejected by SAFA.”

The public broadcaster also revealed that Bafana’s match away to Seychelles on October 16 will be shown on TV.

The SABC statement:

“The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has noted the statement by the South African Football Association (SAFA) announcing that all future international football matches involving the national teams, Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana will not be broadcast on SABC platforms.

The SABC would like to place on record that it made a commercially viable offer that would enable the SABC to deliver football matches to South African audiences on SABC platforms and this offer was rejected by SAFA. This follows the expiry of the previous contract between SAFA and the SABC. On the previous contract, there were obligations and milestones which the SABC has met, including the payment milestones of that contract, albeit late given the SABCs dire financial situation. In this regard, the SABC made full and final payment on the agreement as agreed with SAFA.

The outstanding SAFA obligations due to SABC from the previous contract are the two remaining 2019 AFCON qualifier matches which are, the Bafana Bafana vs. Seychelles match on 13 October 2018 and the Bafana Bafana vs. Nigeria match on 17 November 2018.

The Seychelles vs. Bafana Bafana match scheduled for 16 October 2018 will be broadcast by the SABC since these rights do not reside with SAFA.

With reference to SAFA allowing the SABC to broadcast the last AFCON qualifier match Bafana Bafana vs. Libya we contend that the broadcast of the match had nothing to do with a promise of a new agreement but was based on the payment milestone which the SABC has since met from the previous contract.

The SABCs financial position is a known fact and has been made public by the SABC, despite this, the SABC has ensured that it met all its financial obligations to SAFA. The SABC is therefore prepared to broadcast the two remaining 2019 AFCON qualifiers.

It is unfortunate that the SABC and SAFA legal dispute is in the public domain but the SABC remains committed to engaging SAFA on fair terms.”


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