CAPE TOWN – Football fans around the country will be able to enjoy the beautiful game once more on radio after the SABC met with Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and Minister of Sport Tokozile Xasa on Monday.
A statement on Monday evening from Xasa announced that PSL games will now be broadcast on SABC radio, starting with Tuesday’s fixtures between Kaizer Chiefs and Wits, as well as Polokwane City against Mamelodi Sundowns (both 7.30pm).
This follows the SABC’s revelation last Friday that they were unable to come to an agreement with the PSL.
“This decision follows careful consideration to the SABC’s business operations, and the unsuccessful negotiations with the PSL to secure the broadcast rights for soccer matches on radio,” the broadcaster said at the time.
“The SABC and PSL could not reach a consensus with regards to the terms of the contract, and this has unfortunately led to the SABC not being able to close the deal with PSL.”
But on Monday, Mokonyane and Xasa met with the SABC board and management to solve the radio crisis, as well as look at the broadcasting of sports events in general.
The TimesLIVE website reported on Monday that the SA Football Association chief executive Dennis Mumble said the SABC “have just been refusing to enter into an agreement with us (to broadcast Bafana Bafana matches) because they say they do not have any money,” while R50 million was still outstanding from the SABC to Safa from the previous deal.
“This meeting (on Monday) follows the urgent need to align on some outstanding issues on the existing contract between the SABC and Premier Soccer League (PSL),” the Ministers’ joint statement said on Monday.
“The SABC briefed both the Ministers in order to provide an in-depth understanding of the events that led to this unfortunate situation, the liquidity issues affecting the SABC and the acquisition of sport rights in general.
“Both Ministers are concerned with the situation that the SABC finds itself in, and have pledged to support the public broadcaster in delivering on its mandate around the delivery of sport content.
“Both Ministers are treating this matter with the utmost importance as their primary concern is to ensure that the South African public is adequately served by the SABC.”
They also met with PSL bosses Irvin Khoza, Kaizer Motaung and Mato Madlala on Monday, and “the parties have agreed that the SABC and PSL will immediately commence a process to finalise all pertinent issues relating to the agreements that govern the relationship between the parties”.
“In the interim, there has been agreement that all soccer matches will be broadcast on the SABC radio platforms as per the fixtures list of the PSL.
“Ministers Mokonyane, Xasa and the leadership of the SABC and PSL would like to sincerely apologise to all South African citizens who rely on SABC radio for live coverage of the PSL soccer games which were interrupted over the weekend.”