Tuesday , June 15 2021

Editing: Icasa, do not kill our sport

Mostly, Independent Communications Authority in South Africa(Icasa), the proposed changes aimed at making sport more accessible to the public by broadcasting large international and national free-sport sports events are commendable and should be welcomed.

In general, they seem to come from the right place, but in practice can have devastating consequences.

Many South Africans miss big sporting events, especially cricket and rugby, simply because they do not have access to a satellite dish.

Expansion of access, however, should not be due to the financial health of professional sport, from which it receives most of its funding SuperSport of MultiChoice International channel.

We have to hope that this move is real and it is not an attempt to save the dematerialized SABC.

It is well documented that the public operator does not have the money to bid for all major sports events, but SABC can not be expected to receive the silver voucher rights.

Sports rights cost a lot of money and at international level have become the vital force of sports bodies.

While SABC and the general public would win a lot, this move would pose a serious threat to the future of these professional organizations because their livelihood depends on the billions accumulated by sponsorship for broadcasting.

If this happens without exception, the pay channel will have no reason to pay millions or billions to Premier League Football (PSL), Cricket SA and SA Rugby Union – and who will lose?

If accepted, Icasa's proposals will have a ripple effect.

PSL will not be able to pay the same amounts to clubs as at present – R2.5 million a month – and as a result, clubs will not be able to attract great talent because they will not be able to pay.

About 80% of PSL clubs have no sponsors and rely on their monthly survival benefits.

Among the victims will be the discovery and development of young talents that are heavily dependent on viable professional sports organizations.

If the intention is to shake MultiChoice Monopoly, to be designated as such and to apply the relevant competition laws, regulations and instruments. Just do not kill our sport.

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