/ 7 August 2011

Safa says TV rights valued at R150m a year

The South African Football Association (Safa) values its television rights at between R130-million and R150-million a year, an official revealed this week.

“The figure is the association’s own evaluation after having obviously viewed audience potential,” said the official, who asked not to be named.

“It’s difficult because before we couldn’t make evaluations based on real figures, and cannot use the previous deal that we had with the SABC as a benchmark for the new one.”

The package would include 60 matches a year for all national teams, including Bafana Bafana, and a proposed magazine programme called Safa TV.

Safa was hoping to renew its rights with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), after their expiry of their previous deal in March.

‘Premium properties’
That deal was worth about R30-million, a figure which has risen considerably since South Africa hosted the 2009 Confederations Cup, the 2010 World Cup and the team’s climb in the world rankings over the last year.

The national U-23 team — Baby Bafana — and the women’s side Banyana Banyana were also impressive over the period, and both stand a strong chance of qualifying for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Safa thought the financially challenged SABC would not be to afford the full amount, and had proposed different packages to suit broadcaster’s pocket, the official said.

The first contained “premium properties”, which gave the broadcaster exclusive rights to Bafana, Banyana and the U-23 team.

The second would add new media and would include working alongside the continental soccer body, the Confederation of African Football (Caf), for the rights of the Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup qualifying matches.

The official said the proposal was in the hands of the SABC and that Safa was waiting for a reply.

It could take months to finalise the new deal following management changes at the national broadcaster.

“We gave them a package and they asked us to give them time to value it,” he said.

“So, the association said ‘fine no problem, come back to us and then we can argue over price’.

“We are offering them about 60 matches, so it’s about how many of those they would like.”

‘Principle matters’
Safa had dismissed the idea of moving the national team’s matches to satellite television — following a similar path as the Premier Soccer League (PSL) — as it wanted to reach a larger audience.

The multi-billion rand PSL deal was signed with SuperSport International in 2007. A new contract is also reportedly being negotiated.

“The money is with SuperSport, but the audience is with the SABC and the target is to reach a broader market in the events of national interest,” said the official.

In a statement issued by Safa on Friday, the association’s president Kirsten Nematandani said “principle matters” had been agreed with the national broadcaster.

“We await a final quotation on the total revenue to be expected by the association through this exciting new venture,” Nematandani said.

‘A lot of money’
SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago told City Press on Sunday that Safa had asked for “a lot of money”.

The newspaper reported that the live broadcast of Bafana’s friendly international against Burkina Faso in Johannesburg on Wednesday could hang in the balance after Safa demanded R5-million from the SABC to broadcast the game.

The SABC has already advertised the broadcast of the match’s 8.15pm kick-off on SABC 1. — Sapa