‘Siyaya will transform broadcasting’

Johannesburg - Siyaya TV, which acquired the rights to air Bafana Bafana matches for R1 billion, is poised to change the face of broadcasting, its major shareholder said on Monday.

“We are transforming the broadcasting industry by participating in it ourselves, and not just coming in and asking for jobs,” the Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela tribal chief John Molefe Pilane said.

Bafana Bafana supporters during the 2010 World Cup. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

“We will change the face of broadcasting through Siyaya TV.”

The Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela in the North West, led by Pilane, are the major shareholders in Siyaya TV.

On Monday, the SA Football Association confirmed a R1 billion TV deal with Siyaya TV to show all national team games live.

“When the current contract with SABC ends, the deal with Siyaya will begin. The SABC contract ends at the end of April 2015,” said Safa head of communication Dominic Chimhavi.

The contract allows Siyaya TV to broadcast live all senior national men's and women's matches.

In addition, the broadcaster will also have the rights to televise all junior national team games.

According to reports, Safa will be paid R175 million per year during the six-year contract with Siyaya TV.

Pilane said the Bakgatla were at the heart of rural development, building a city and developing the economy in Moruleng village in the North West.

“When government first called for expressions for digital terrestrial television (DDT), one of its goals was that DDT should reach rural communities. The Bakgatla are seizing that opportunity.”

Soccer was a hugely favoured sport in the country.

“We were advised to get other programmes. We decided to get the soccer before other products. Soccer is hugely popular in this country and is supposed to be bigger than rugby and cricket.”

Pilane said the television station targeted black middle and lower income earners, who were also at the forefront as soccer lovers.

Regarding the cost of the deal, Pilane said the R1 billion reported was probably an estimation of the whole deal.

“This deal is for a period of over six years. That is an agreement we have with Safa and all I can tell you is that we want to create a company that is worth more than a billion.”

“ and DSTV are worth more than that. We are also getting there.”