South Africa government intervenes in SABC football dispute

Negotiations between South African national broadcaster SABC and the country’s Premier Soccer League (PSL) over broadcast fees broke down this week, leading to the intervention of government ministers to ensure that South African football continues to be aired on radio as well as TV.

The SABC announced yesterday that it would not be able to broadcast radio coverage of PSL matches but would continue for now to broadcast coverage on TV.

The move led to intervention by the South African government and a reversal of SABC’s position. Communications minister Nomvula Mokonyane and sports minister Tokozile Xasa met with the SABC board and executive management and pledged to support the ublic broadcaster in delivering on its mandate around the delivery of sport content.

The pair also met with PSL chair Irvin Khoza , board member Kaizer Motaung and CEO Mato Madlala to secure agreement from both parties that they would resolve the issue. In the interim league football matches will continue to be broadcast on SABC radio.

Separately, the SABC reportedly may cut broadcasts of matches played by South Africa’s national football team after failing to negotiate a new contract with the South African Football Association. According to local press, the association claims that SABC is ZAR50 million in arrears from a previous agreement that expired in April.