Broadcast Rights

SABC’s Multi-Billion Rand Loss On Non-Lucrative Sports Rights

According to a report in the Sunday Times, South Africa's SABC has lost approximately R2.3 billion (over $1,5 mil) on purchasing sports rights over the past six years.
The report stated that the loss occurred because the SABC was failing to make money from broadcasting the sports matches.

Bongumusa Makhatini, The Board Chair at the SABC, said that the sports rights it purchased were “overpriced” and that they were unable to commercialise those sports rights.
This follows the SABC failing to negotiate a new Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana broadcast rights contract due to its financial troubles.
The SABC allegedly owes the South African Football Association more than $700 000.00 for its previous broadcast contract, which expired in April 2018.

Makhathini declared that one of the many issues with rights for national soccer games is that advertisers are not interested in getting involved in the broadcasts.

The report stated that from 2012 to 2018, the SABC spent over $115 000.00 to broadcast Premier Soccer League matches and over $37 million on production.
However, it only made $33 million in revenue.
Bafana Bafana games were a similar case: it spent $33 million on rights for national soccer matches and more than $4 million on production, but only made approximately $3 million in revenue.

For the Confederation of African Football rights, the SABC spent $19 million on broadcast rights and around $1.3 million on production. It made only $1.4 million in returns.

Makhathini said that if the SABC were to continue broadcasting local sports – which it is mandated to do – it needs a lot more public funding.

The call for more financing comes at a time when the SABC is resorting to cutting jobs as it tries to stabilise the company.
The SABC said in October that it had decided to retrench up to 981 permanent employees and a staggering 1,200 of its 2,400 freelancers.
It plans to wrap up this process by the end of January 2019 in an effort to improve its financial situation.

Credit: This article originated from


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