Time running out for SABC cricket talks

South African public-service broadcaster the SABC and Cricket South Africa are yet to agree a rights deal for the national cricket team’s forthcoming home series against New Zealand, which begins this Friday.

The Sunday Independent newspaper reports that Cricket South Africa has offered the rights to the SABC for R15 million (€1.3 million/$1.7 million). The SABC is said to be concerned that it will not generate enough advertising revenue during the series to justify spending this much on the rights. The CSA is reported to have offered to help the SABC find advertisers.

South Africa’s home national team cricket matches are classed as listed sports events by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, which means they must be made available on a free-to-air channel. The SABC has televised all of South Africa’s home series since 1992.

Kaizer Kganyago, a spokesman for the SABC, said the broadcaster was confident it could resolve the situation early this week.

“There are certain things we must look at internally first, these are issues the SABC is considering,” he said. “We know the game is Friday, we will have the matter finalised early in the week.”

CSA’s head of commercial and marketing, Marc Jury, said South African cricket’s governing body will continue to meet with the SABC and is willing to wait until the series commences on Friday to strike a deal.

“It is important for us that the majority of the South African public sees the national team,” Jury said. “In the Test format we are the number one team in the world and with the team not having played in the country for a year, we know that there’ll be a lot of interest in seeing them play again.”