The league's Dr Irvin Khoza. Photo Credit: Samuel Shivambu/Backpage

JOHANNESBURG - The Premier Soccer League (PSL) yesterday announced the extension of their TV broadcast deal with SuperSport International for another five years, but the two parties remained unusually tight-lipped about the worth of the new terms.
It was expected that the pay-channel would again win the bidding for the media rights in Sub-Saharan Africa despite efforts from cash-strapped SABC and new-kids-on-the-block Kwese Sport, who forced a delay having requested more time to submit their application.

The two competitors could have also pushed SuperSport to up its stakes in clinching the rights following a public tender process.

There were reports that Vodacom and Telkom had been sniffing around, showing interest as they look to expand on several innovations. But they were never really any match for SuperSport, whose strong ties with the PSL is unrivalled.

“PSL is delighted to continue its special relationship which has existed over a 10 year period and has seen the Premier Soccer League grow into a world class product. We feel the relationship has resulted in tangible benefits for the Premier Soccer League, its clubs, players and South African football generally,” the league’s chairman Irvin Khoza said in a statement.

It’s believed the value of these TV rights deal, which will run from the start of the 2019/2020 campaign, is significantly more than the R2-billion from the previous agreement. SuperSport paid the PSL R1-billion when the partnership first began in 2007, a milestone which then forced the national broadcaster SABC to sub-license the matches.

“Under the terms of the arrangement, PSL matches will continue to be covered on a free to air basis, acknowledging the requirements of its fans throughout South Africa,” the league said, acknowledging that the financial challenges faced by the SABC will not close the door on the average football fan being able to catch the action on their TV screens.

The PSL broadcasting rights cover TV IPTV internet and mobile transmissions for the league’s competitions - and SuperSport controls all of it.

“The decision allows us to further entrench an outstanding soccer product in the hearts and minds of supporters across the continent. We must thank and acknowledge the PSL for entrusting us with their product,” said the channel’s chief executive, Gideon Khobane.

The Star

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