Mum­ble grum­ble over SABC’s Bafana TV late show

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - MAZOLA MOLEFE Safa chief ex­ec­u­tive Den­nis Mum­ble yes­ter­day. The public broad­caster are re­port­edly in dire fi­nan­cial strain and have been cut­ting back for sev­eral months now, and the fi­asco about not beam­ing the Bafana match ear­lier this month is be­lieved

THE SA Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Safa), although still reap­ing the fi­nan­cial re­wards – R110-mil­lion per year – of a part­ner­ship ne­go­ti­ated with the SABC on May 2015, have taken up the is­sue of how the public broad­caster “de­prived” the na­tion by not show­ing Bafana Bafana matches live.

It is not the first time this ar­range­ment has irked the foot­ball mother body, but Safa’s con­cerns have risen yet again fol­low­ing the SABC’s fail­ure to tele­vise the his­toric vic­tory away to Nige­ria three weeks ago.

Bafana, in new coach Stu­art Bax­ter’s first of­fi­cial game in charge, beat bo­gey side Nige­ria for the first time in a qual­i­fy­ing game played at the Godswill Ak­pabio In­ter­na­tional Sta­dium in Uyo in a 2019 Africa Cup of Na­tions open­ing qual­i­fier – and the SABC could only broad­cast the en­counter two hours af­ter kick-off, de­scrib­ing it as a “de­layed live” clash and pre­sen­ters as well as an­a­lysts pre­tend­ing not to know the full-time re­sult.

“There is no sports team in this coun­try with as big a fol­low­ing as Bafana Bafana, and for the SABC to do some­thing like that is re­ally not ac­cept­able,” said Rusten­burg and the na­tional team face Botswana in the quar­ter-fi­nals on Sun­day, with all the fix­tures on pay­chan­nel Su­perS­port) so the dis­cus­sions will be about next year,” Mum­ble con­tin­ued. “The au­di­ence for Bafana is twice that of all the sport­ing codes com­bined on tele­vi­sion. So we can­not de­prive the SA public of that. We will do some­thing.”

Mum­ble re­vealed that Safa and the SABC were due to ne­go­ti­ate an ex­ten­sion of the deal that was struck in 2015 and ex­pires next year. In that agree­ment, the SABC agreed that all con­tent re­gard­ing Bafana would be tele­vised and would also fea­ture on the the SABC to get their house in or­der fi­nan­cially and then be able to pur­chase the rights. In some ways we have to un­der­stand, but it doesn’t mean we are happy about it. We will talk to the SABC and see if we can’t in­ter­vene with our sis­ter fed­er­a­tions or CAF to see if there can be some ar­range­ment with the SABC go­ing for­ward.”

Mum­ble con­firmed that the SABC are at least able to hon­our the fi­nan­cial terms of the deal, with R10-mil­lion from the public broad­caster this year part of a pro­jected profit of R33.7-mil­lion, although that is still to be au­dited be­fore the end of the fi­nan­cial year to­mor­row.

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