Broadcast Regulation

South Africa’s Premier Soccer League Threatens To Shut Down If ICASA Breaks DStv Monopoly

South Africa’s Premier Soccer League (PSL) has revealed that it is against the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA’s) plans to amend the Sports Broadcasting Services Regulations.

The purpose of the amended regulations is to make big sporting events more accessible to all South Africans.
Currently, most high-profile sporting events, including soccer tournaments, are only available to DStv’s subscribers on SuperSport.
The regulations aim to break DStv’s monopoly on the live broadcasting of sporting events, which ICASA has explained is in line with the Electronic Communication Act.

DStv’s mothership MultiChoice, however, is the biggest investor in South African sport – and is currently spending approximately R2 billion ($149 million) per year on sports broadcasting rights.
If their ability to gain revenue from SuperSport and DStv is impacted by taking away exclusive rights, this spending might be affected.

The Sunday Times reported that the PSL stated that if ICASA passes the regulations, their league will shut down.

The Chairman of the PSL, Irvin Khoza said that ICASA claims to be making these changes in the public interest to prevent subscription broadcasting services from acquiring exclusive rights.
He said that what is not being considered is that the PSL receives 80% of its revenue from SuperSport.

Russel Paul who is SA Football Association’s acting CEO said that they could not agree with the amendments being made by ICASA and would strongly oppose them.

SA Cricket and SA Rugby have also made submissions to ICASA around the regulation changes.
The CEO of Cricket SA, Thabang Moroe said it was not for Cricket SA to answer whether these regulations are necessary or not.

MultiChoice said that they are currently looking into the draft regulations and will provide a comprehensive response soon.

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