Safa: SABC not playing ball

The South African Football Association (Safa) has accused the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) of “showing no respect for the Bafana Bafana brand” by giving preference to coverage of cricket.

It wants the SABC to change broadcast times for soccer — in the same way it has for cricket.

“I was shocked by the preferential treatment given to cricket,” Safa CEO Leslie Sedibe said on Thursday. “I went home at 7pm last night [Wednesday] to watch the news live [on SABC3] and saw the Proteas versus India one-day cricket match instead.

“We were told by the SABC our matches could not be moved from 8.30pm to a more suitable 7pm kick-off because of news and other programming scheduled, and yet the SABC can replace its entire schedule for a day-night cricket match,” he said.

Heated talks
Safa and the SABC meet later on Thursday for what are expected to be heated and lengthy talks about, among other things, the renewal of the broadcast rights for Bafana matches, which expire in March.

Sedibe said he would be outlining his complaints to the SABC. “Soccer is the sport of the poor man in our country. It is simply not fair to expect the man in the street to look for public transport late at night to get to and home from a Bafana match.

“We have to change the broadcast times. If they [SABC] can do it for cricket then they must also change to a more suitable broadcast time for our Bafana matches,” he said.

Thursday’s meeting is a follow-up on discussions held in October after the SABC failed to broadcast Bafana’s African Nations Cup (Afcon) qualifier against Sierra Leone in Freetown.

There was outrage when the 0-0 draw was not televised live.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago on Thursday denied that the national broadcaster was discriminating against soccer.


“That is not the case. The facts are that we have an agreement for the India cricket tour only. It is not a general agreement with cricket,” he said.

‘Unfair’
Kganyago said the SABC was not inflexible when it came to broadcasting soccer matches.

“We went out of our way to broadcast the Bafana [v United States] friendly match [the Nelson Mandela Challenge] in Cape Town last month at 9pm.

“In the past, the parties agreed to transmit the Bafana matches at 8.30pm. If the parties agreed, then there should not be a problem.

“I think the way it has been put [by Safa] is unfortunate and an unfair way of looking at it.

“A lot depends on the circumstances as to when matches are broadcast. We are working within our agreement with Safa.”

He said the SABC was open to negotiations with Safa over broadcast times.

“We are prepared to discuss this issue with Safa.”

Meanwhile, Sedibe confirmed that Bafana would play Burkina Faso in a friendly international at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace on February 9 in preparation for the Afcon qualifier against African champions Egypt in March at home. — Sapa

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

Two dead in new ANC KwaZulu-Natal killings

A Mtubatuba councillor and a Hammarsdale ANC Youth League leader were shot yesterday near their homes

Inside Facebook’s big bet on Africa

New undersea cables will massively increase bandwidth to the continent

No back to school for teachers just yet

Last week the basic education minister was adamant that teachers will return to school on May 25, but some provinces say not all Covid-19 measures are in place to prevent its spread

Engineering slips out of gear at varsity

Walter Sisulu University wants to reprioritise R178-million that it stands to give back to treasury after failing to spend it
Advertising

Press Releases

Coexisting with Covid-19: Saving lives and the economy in India

A staggered exit from the lockdown accompanied by stepped-up testing to cover every district is necessary for India right now

What Africa can learn from Cuba in combating the Covid-19 pandemic

Africa should abandon the neoliberal path to be able to deal with Covid-19 and other health system challenges likely to emerge in future

Road to recovery for the tourism sector: The South African perspective

The best-case scenario is that South Africa's tourism sector’s recovery will only begin in earnest towards the end of this year

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

Call for applications for the position of GCRO executive director

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory is seeking to appoint a high-calibre researcher and manager to be the executive director and to lead it

DriveRisk stays safe with high-tech thermal camera solution

Itec Evolve installed the screening device within a few days to help the driver behaviour company become compliant with health and safety regulations