sabc

A picture taken on October 20, 2010 shows the SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) headquarters in Johannesburg. South Africa’s crisis-hit public broadcaster posted a modest profit in the first six months of the 2010 financial year after a financial meltdown forced a government bail-out last year. AFP PHOTO / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN (Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP)

Safa apologises after SABC failure to air Bafana vs Nigeria match

Safa says it tried all it could to ensure the Bafana vs Nigeria match was broadcast to the nation, but the SABC failed to come to the party.

sabc

A picture taken on October 20, 2010 shows the SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) headquarters in Johannesburg. South Africa’s crisis-hit public broadcaster posted a modest profit in the first six months of the 2010 financial year after a financial meltdown forced a government bail-out last year. AFP PHOTO / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN (Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP)

The South African Football Association (Safa) has apologised for its part in the SABC failing to broadcast this afternoon’s Afcon 2019 qualifier between Bafana Bafana and Nigeria.

Boardroom squabbles between the governing body and the public broadcaster saw the two parties unable to agree on broadcast rights, which saw the national team’s away match to Seychelles last month only aired on Supersport.

Bafana – second in Group E of the qualifiers – took on the table-topping Super Eagles on Saturday, in what was a more eagerly-awaited clash, but only those who turned up at FNB Stadium, as well as those with access to pay TV were able to watch the match, which ended in a stalemate.

Shortly after the final whistle, Safa took it upon themselves to apologise to the nation.

“The South African Football Association (Safa) wishes to apologise to the nation and the football-loving public for the fact that the SABC failed to broadcast the Bafana Bafana vs Nigeria Afcon qualifier this afternoon,” Safa said in a statement.

“Safa had taken the initiative to seek a resolution to the impasse as early as the first week of November, and made the SABC an offer to broadcast the Bafana Bafana vs Nigeria Afcon qualifier and the Nelson Mandela Challenge (vs Paraguay on Tuesday), by attempting to conclude a match by match agreement. In this instance, Safa offered the matches to the SABC for a rights fee of R10 million. The SABC declined this offer by SAFA.”

Safa says it had continued to engage the SABC, hoping to finally agree on a fee.

“SAFA then took the initiative to reduce its rights fee request from the original R10 million R7,5 million. Again the SABC declined this gesture made by SAFA.

“Late last evening, discussions continued, and the SABC indicated it wanted to broadcast the match, but it did not have the funds available. SAFA again conceded to the SABC that it was willing to negotiate a payment plan, in the interest of ensuring that the nation would be able to watch the match.”

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According to Safa, the SABC failed to reduce this request in writing on the day of the match but, after a request from the Ministry of Communications to allow the public broadcaster to air the match, the governing body agreed and authorised the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Supersport to release the feed.

However, the match was still not broadcast on SABC.

“To SAFA’s surprise, it noted that the match was not being broadcast on the SABC platform, and once again wishes to apologise to the nation for the fact that they have not been able to watch the match on SABC.

“However, SAFA has done everything humanly possible to afford the SABC the opportunity to broadcast the match on its platforms.

“It, therefore, saddens SAFA that there is no consideration for the public, and the persistence by the SABC of supporting foreign football and entities with the South African tax payer’s money is depriving the nation and football loving public of their right to watch their national team.”