The Nelson Mandela Challenge match between Bafana Bafana and Mali will be the first of three fixtures featuring the men’s senior national team that will be broadcast by the SABC until the end of the year. This is after the public broadcaster struck a four-year deal with the South African Football Association (Safa).
Soccer lovers without access to DSTV had been shut out of all of the country’s national soccer teams – including Banyana Banyana and junior sides – for the past year, with the public broadcaster failing to secure a deal to air the matches.
SABC strikes deal with Safa
This was after the initial deal between the SABC and Safa came to an end in 2018, and was followed by a war of words which played out in public.
However, it looks as if the impasse between the two parties has finally come to an end, with Safa president Danny Jordaan announcing that Bafana’s friendly on Sunday will be aired by the public broadcaster.
“The Nelson Mandela Challenge is going to be on the SABC, the match will be televised, and we are now very close to signing an agreement with the SABC,” confirmed Jordaan.
“I think that will bring an end to the tug of war and we hope they will make the progress we all hope for. It’s an important institution in our society, it’s a public broadcaster and a free-to-air broadcaster, and it’s an important partner of football in this country.
“You’ve seen some of the National Women’s League matches on the SABC, and now Bafana will be back there, and I think that will help SAFA as well in terms of the difficult period we had with no broadcast of our matches.”
Bafana matches back on SABC screens
Bafana have a busy schedule ahead of them, as they go on a bid to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, as well as the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar.
The first of their competitive fixtures takes place on 14 November, when they travel to Ghana for an Afcon qualifier, before returning home to host Sudan five days later.
SABC group chief executive officer Madoda Mxakwe said the broadcaster was fulfilling its public mandate to promote sports of national interest.
“In negotiating this deal with Safa, the SABC needed to find a balance between fulfilling its public mandate and entering into an agreement which was commercially viable. We understand the role we play in promoting sports of national interest, and inspiring the next generation of sports stars”.
On 11 October 2019, South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) Madoda Mxakwe revealed that the long-standing partnership with the South African Football Association (SAFA) would be back on track soon.
SABC and SAFA in new negotiations
The SABC confirmed that they were in negotiations with SAFA. The two entities’ negotiations were said to be progressing well.
It’s a matter of time before the two bodies sign a new contract that will see them resuming their partnership.
The two bodies had a fallout last year
Late last year, the SABC and SAFA clashed due to a disagreement over their contract negotiations. The disagreements prevented the South African public from being able to watch Bafana Bafana on the national broadcaster’s TV channels.
The public also couldn’t listen to soccer matches on SABC’s radio stations. Mxakwe’s announcement was echoed and confirmed by SAFA’s President Danny Jordaan.
He shared that the partnership between the two companies was, indeed, back on track.
Nelson Mandela Challenege to be broadcast
Jordaan enticed viewers by informing them that they could expect
to see the Nelson Mandela Challenge game on the SABC’s platforms on Sunday. The
match is between Bafana Bafana and Mali.
When negotiations began between the two entities, SAFA
initially rejected the SABC’s R10 million offer. The amount was meant for SAFA’s
In turn, the association argued that they were prepared to
stay on the R110 million a year deal that they had in the previous contract. Now
it seems the two bodies have managed to reach a compromise.
SABC to continue as SA Sports Awards media partner
Mxakwe promised that they would continue to play their role
as the media partner in the SA Sports Awards following the launch of their 14th
edition on Friday. The Sports Awards will be held in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal on
10 November 2019.
The GCEO should have more on the effectiveness of the new
partnership at the awards. At the moment, the SABC is only broadcasting the
Springbok’s matches at the Japan Rugby World Cup on radio.
SABC not airing Rugby World Cup matches
The broadcasting corporation is also playing some select
matches on radio. None of the matches have been broadcast on TV.
The SABC had initially not been able to reach an agreement with Multichoice to air any of the Rugby World Cup fixtures. Multichoice is the entity that owns the broadcasting rights to the Rugby World Cup.
SABC had stated that broadcasting the tournament on both its radio and TV platforms would result in a financial loss. In the end, they settled for radio broadcasts.
Despite this, Mxakwe has revealed that they remain hopeful and
positive that rugby will return to the public broadcaster’s screens in the future.