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THE SABC will not be televising the final two Tests between the Springboks and England because it has a policy of “live or nothing”, says its spokesman, Kaizer Kganyago.
He suggested that rugby-lovers tune in to live radio broadcasts.
The public broadcaster is obliged to broadcast rugby Tests played on home soil under the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) regulations on sport of national interest.
The SABC turned down an offer from Supersport, which holds the rights to the tests, to allow it a delayed broadcast. Kganyago said yesterdaythat the SABC was not willing do this as it had adopted a strategy of not airing delayed broadcasts.
When the contracts for Bafana Bafana matches had been negotiated, it was clear there would be no compromise, said Kganyago.
The SABC recently reached an agreement with French broadcaster Sport Five to broadcast all Bafana Bafana’s matches live until 2015. The rights will include the away qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup and the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco. The three-year deal was worth R28 million.
“Therefore, we are saying to Supersport: live or nothing,”
Kganyago added. “When we broadcast delayed games, we are criticised; when we don’t want to broadcast delayed games, we are still criticised… I don’t understand what the issue is.”
He said the SABC would not fail to broadcast the game completely, as it had secured live radio rights.
In a report on its website, SABC acting chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng dismissed the offer by SuperSport. He said people needed to take the SABC seriously. “I mean, why should people watch a delayed match? So, we took a decision.”
The SABC’s refusal to televise the remaining games comes after Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula was challenged on the public broadcaster’s coverage of sports of national interest in a parliamentary question by Cope MP Kenneth Sinclair.
He said the SABC had “expressed financial challenges” as the reason for not having coverage of developmental and minority sport codes.
In addition, the SABC claimed that 98 percent of all events that fell within the Icasa regulations had been covered.
Icasa is the regulatory body responsible for the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors in the public interest.
Mbalula said while he understood that the needs of viewers had to be considered, his department was striving for “a partnership with the SABC, rather than making demands that their coffers cannot sustain”.