This is not the first time there has been uncertainty whether a match involving the senior men’s national team will be available on free-to-air TV, as their last outing against Libya was in doubt until the SABC and the South African Football Association (Safa) brokered a last-minute deal to broadcast the match.
However, it now appears that relations between the two parties have hit the basement declared on Tuesday that all international football matches involving the country’s national teams would not be aired on any of the cash-strapped public broadcaster’s platforms.
“Safa can confirm that despite it having opened discussions with the SABC as early as October 2017 to negotiate a new deal on similar terms and conditions as the immediate past agreement‚ the SABC decided to make a discourteous offer to Safa for international football matches to be played in SA‚” Safa said in a statement.
As things stand, this means that those without the luxury of DSTV will have to resort to desperate means in order to catch live Bafana games, especially with the Afcon 2019 qualifiers hitting the business end.
Stuart Baxter’s men face Seychelles in back to back encounters, starting with the home game on Saturday, and the return leg at Victoria on Tuesday, before hosting Nigeria’s Super Eagles in November – a clash that’s bound to attract some eager eyeballs.
According to Safa, SABC viewers will be shut out of the remaining fixtures due to an “ill-mannered” offer made by the public broadcaster.
In what was a strongly-worded statement, the governing body went as far as saying they were better off negotiating with the SABC of the Apartheid-era.
“Safa rejected this offer outright‚ and places on record that the offer is so minuscule that it amounts to an effective no offer. It is interesting to note that even the apartheid run SABC of old made a better offer to the Association for their rights in this country.”
Safa also revealed that it would look for another broadcaster to enter into negotiations with.