South Africans were deprived the opportunity to watch Bafana Bafana’s all-important 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier clash against Niger, with the TV blackout being caused by SportFive’s demand of R5-million from the SABC, of which the public broadcaster insisted was “unreasonable and unsustainable”.
According to SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago, the two parties are meeting to end the saga with SABC’s top brass, led by group chief executive Phil Molefe, having now arrived in Paris to meet SportFive.
“I can confirm that our guys are in Paris as we speak. You remember last week our CEO saying in parliament that he will lead a delegation to SportFive and they are there now. They are still negotiating and I’m told the negotiations are going well. I spoke to them this morning,” he says.
SportFive, a company that holds exclusive marketing and media rights as an agent of CAF from 2009 to 2016, has apparently been demanding in the region of R1.4-million from the rest of Africa, but the SABC set a precedent in their negotiations with SportFive by paying R5-million to show the Egypt vs South Africa match back in June.
Matters then came to a head when the SABC put their foot down with regards to the Niger match and though the two parties reached a last-minute agreement, it was too late to supply the feed via Paris to South Africa, leaving the locals reeling.
But it has now come to light that the SABC are set to conclude a five-year deal with SportFive, to broadcast Africa Cup of Nations matches, including the qualifiers.
Kganyago has, however, dismissed out of hand comments already made that it is a five-year deal.
“There are many things that they are dealing with, so it will be too simplistic to say it is a five-year deal. Five-year deal of what?
“There are issues of the qualifiers and the actual tournament so there are many things. Therefore, once everything has been concluded we will communicate to the public to break it down,” he says.