SABC's Chris Maroleng can't say how much the broadcaster is paying for EPL games

31 October 2018 - 17:23 By Zingisa Mvumvu
SABC COO Chris Maroleng during the CSA media briefing on T20 League at CSA Head Quarters on September 26 2018.
SABC COO Chris Maroleng during the CSA media briefing on T20 League at CSA Head Quarters on September 26 2018.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) chief operations officer Chris Maroleng on Wednesday said it could not divulge how much the cash-strapped public broadcaster was forking out for the rights to beam the English Premier League (EPL) to South Africans.

The SABC recently acquired the rights to show EPL games.

However‚ Maroleng was more than happy to tell SA that the broadcaster was unable to flight Bafana Bafana matches because the South African Football Association (Safa) demanded R110-million per annum‚ while the SABC could only afford to pay them R10-million.

Maroleng also ducked and dived when asked about the costs of the T20 cricket rights they recently acquired from Cricket SA.

Moreover‚ he could not for certain say whether or not Bafana Bafana would ever return to the public broadcaster's small screens‚ other than saying: "We are still engaging with Safa.”

According to Maroleng‚ it would be financially disastrous for the SABC to bend over backwards and give in to Safa’s demands. This while he admits that it was part of the SABC's "public mandate" to show matches of national teams on TV‚ including Bafana.

The SABC spends R4.2-billionn on carrying out it's public mandate‚ chief executive officer Madoda Mxakwe revealed at the same press conference‚ hosted at its Auckland Park head office.

Marolong said: "We are unable‚ at the cost of R110-million per annum‚ to basically turn a profit and even break even. We are not looking at making hyper profits or even benefit extraordinarily from covering Bafana Bafana because we understand this is part of our mandate.

"What we cannot do‚ given the financial position of the SABC‚ is place the corporation at risk by entering into sport rights deals that ultimately are not financially sustainable. We indicated to Safa…that with what we have we cannot make an offer of [more than] R10-million because we would be taking these rights on a non-exclusive basis."

Maroleng said Safa would still be allowed to sell the right to other broadcasters had they agreed to the SABC’s offer.

On the EPL and CSA deals‚ Maroleng further added that the contracts they entered into had confidentiality clauses that do not allow them to tell how much they are paying.

"The commercial terms of our arrangements are subject to non-disclosure to an extent we cannot give the exact detail‚" said Maroleng.