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South Africa’s Siyaya TV accuses SABC of lying about football rights

A row has broken out in South Africa between state broadcaster SABC and pay TV player Siyaya TV over South African Football Association rights, according to reports. 

Siyaya TV has accused the state broadcaster of lying over claims that it had signed a three-year deal for rights to broadcast the domestic matches of the national team and the under 20 and under-23 teams for the 2015-17 period. The move came after SABC’s controversial chief commercial officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng said that the broadcaster had reached a deal on SABC2’s Morning Live programme.

Siyaya TV and SAFA said the pay TV operator holds the exclusive rights to the games by the football body.

Siyaya TV has said it will take legal action of SABC illegally rebroadcasts the games to which it has exclusive rights under a six-year deal signed last year.

Siyaya TV founder Aubrey Tau said SABC had made false and misleading claims. He said that the the pay TV operator had approached SABC to disucss sub-licensing free-to-air rights but that this approach had been rejected. He said Siyaya and SAFA had been in talks about licensing free-to-air rights to either SABC of commercial broadcaster e.tv, but that no deal had been struck.