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SABC nets South Africas qualifiers for World Cup, African Cup of Nations - 10-June-2012, 21:20

SABC nets South Africas qualifiers for World Cup, African Cup of Nations

Rebecca Hawkes RapidTVNews | 10-06-2012


The South African football team's qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup and the 2015 African Cup of Nations will be aired by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), following a R28 million deal with rights company SportFive.

The six-match agreement follows months of uncertainty over broadcasting the bid by the team - affectionately known as Bafana Bafana - to qualify for the World Cup finals in Brazil. The deal included yesterday's 1-1 draw against Botswana.

"These negotiations have been long and difficult but, as always, we have arrived at a position that works," said Idriss Akki, managing director of SportFive Africa, which holds the TV rights for the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

The SABC, which registered a R100 million operating loss last year, was reportedly asked if it could afford the deal and whether it expected a return on its investment. Chief executive Lulama Mokhobo said that at worst it would "break even".

"We are a national broadcaster and we are mandated to screen certain events," she said. "When it comes to the national sports, and especially Bafana, where the majority of South Africans are interested, then the decision is not only based on profits," she is quoted as saying in Business Day.

In May the SABC acquired the TV rights for the national team's home matches from the South African Football Association, in a deal costing R215 million over three years. That deal also includes matches involving Banyana Banyana and the national under-23 side.


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