The South African Premier Soccer League on Saturday revealed that the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), will not be broadcasting Absa Premiership matches on television or radio this weekend.
The PSL issued a statement which reads:
The PSL regrets that the South African followers of the beautiful game will, as a result of matters beyond its immediate control, not find the PSL football matches on the free to air television and radio channels of the SABC.
This was brought to the PSL’s attention yesterday, 2 August 2019 by SuperSport, the broadcast rights holder. Up until the beginning of this week, we were made to believe the final bits were being ironed out towards yet another exciting season that the majority consume on free to air television provided by the SABC.
In hindsight, we should have made more of the question by a SABC journalist after the Board of Governors meeting two days ago, on Thursday 1 August 2019, when he revealed that there was no scheduling of weekend matches to be broadcast by the SABC. Knowing what we know now, it is evident that the SABC had already prepared for a “blackout”.
According to SuperSport, the SABC proposal is tantamount to discounting the PSL rights by ninety-six per cent. This would be unacceptable.
Upon receiving a letter from SuperSport about the situation the Chairman of the PSL, Dr Irvin Khoza immediately wrote an urgent letter to the Ministers of Communication and Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture.
In the letters, he stated to the Ministers that the challenges being faced have legal, public and political implications.
In addressing this matter, it is maybe time that the nation accepts that the SABC is incapable of meeting its requirements since a “blackout” to the majority who consume their football through free to air television and radio is unacceptable going forward.
The PSL will provide regular updates to the public as a solution is sought to address this unfortunate situation.