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SABC confirms there's money involved in the 'free to air' EPL deal with Kwese Sports

22 August 2018 - 16:23 By Tiisetso Malepa
A generic view of teh SABC radio park head office at Auckland Park, Johannesburg.
A generic view of teh SABC radio park head office at Auckland Park, Johannesburg.

The SABC has confirmed that there was money involved in their “Free To Air” broadcast rights agreement to show live matches of the English Premier League on Saturdays‚ spokesperson Neo Momodu said on Wednesday.

The cash-strapped public broadcaster has sub-licensed the broadcast rights for English Premier League live matches from the main rights holder Kwese Sports in a deal Momodu described as “cost effective.”

“Yes there will be money that will come from the SABC to Kwese for the broadcast rights but I can assure you that it is cost effective and minimal compared to its investment into other local sporting codes‚” Momodu told TimesLIVE.

“Generally international content is much more cheaper to acquire than the local content‚ meaning we acquired English Premier League at a cost way less than what we paid for the PSL rights.”

The rights package will consist of 33 live matches‚ selected by the English Premier League‚ for the duration of the 2018/19 season.

The SABC said the EPL deal will increase viewership and in turn attract more advertisers.

The announcement of the EPL deal came just hours after the SABC board told Parliament on Tuesday that it is in an awful financial state and unable to meet certain obligations.

It appears that Bafana Bafana’s next official games may not be broadcast live on SABC because the public broadcaster owes money to the SA Football Association‚ which holds the rights to broadcast all national teams’ matches.

Safa revealed that the SABC has failed to honour its financial obligations for several months and owes the football body more than R50m.

Bafana host Libya on Saturday September 8 at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and Momodu said discussions with Safa to have the SABC broadcast the match are ongoing.

“Remember Safa and the SABC need each other.

"Safa has got a responsibility to ensure that the national team matches are shown to the widest possible audience which the SABC offers‚" said Momodu.