South Africa's SABC Loses English Premier League Rights
South Africa's embattled national broadcaster's financial troubles have now extended to the English Premier League (EPL) after it was revealed that the SABC had failed to retain the broadcast rights to the league's games on their SABC 3 channel.
While the spotlight has primarily been on SABC's TV and radio blackout of the Premier Soccer League and PSL-related content (PSL) few people noticed that the English game had also disappeared from the cash-strapped public broadcaster's TV screens.
The SABC had sub-licensed the EPL rights from Kwese Sport for an undisclosed amount in August 2018 and had broadcast 33 live EPL matches on Saturday afternoons.
The one-year agreement expired at the beginning of August, and the SABC was outbid by the free satellite service provider Open View when the rights were put on sale for the current season.
Open View is a subsidiary of eMedia Holdings‚ the owners of eNCA and e.tv.
eMedia Holdings confirmed that they have now acquired the same EPL rights which were previously held by the SABC last year.
The company's COO, Antonio Lee, said that the acquisition of EPL rights is a significant addition for eMedia Holdings and the people who watch free-to-air television.
Lee added that eMedia would in time add its touch to the broadcasts and hopefully add more sports offerings to its bouquet.
SABC's spokesperson, Vuyo Mthembu, confirmed to the media that the struggling national broadcaster had lost the bid to renew its EPL rights during the tender process.
The Open View News and the Sports channel are available on channel 120 on the Open View bouquet.