South Africa: Icasa's Demand That Sport Be Broadcast Free to Air Is Flawed and Futile

opinion

In the South African landscape, pay TV channel SuperSport, a subsidiary of MultiChoice, has been the equivalent of BSkyB. There is no doubt that SuperSport has a monopoly on sports broadcasting in South Africa, just as there is no doubt that SuperSport has delivered billions of rands to sporting bodies in return.

First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.

In the early 1990s, newly formed British television company BSkyB needed a way to stem its growing losses. It considered several options, including broadcasting pornography as a way of boosting income.

But, after a short period of research, it kept coming back to one offering that it believed would save the company and swell its coffers - broadcasting live sport. In BSkyB's case, the sport it targeted was football and, to cut a long story short, it found willing partners in England's established clubs. But BSkyB had to spend money to make money.

After years of pitiful income from public broadcaster the BBC, English clubs recognised they held significant value that the public broadcaster simply wasn't offering. Enter BSkyB and ITV. Both companies wanted to buy the rights to the first division, as it was known then, offering the...

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.