South Africa’s public broadcaster, the SABC, has announced that it has acquired the broadcasting rights for the English Premier League, considered the world’s most-watched football league.
The rights acquisition is a huge coup for the public broadcaster, as previously South African fans of the league would have to pay satellite providers such as MultiChoice to watch Premier League games.
A Major Victory for SABC Sport
The move marks a milestone win for the public broadcaster’s sports ambitions. Recently, SABC Sport moved to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT), which is also available on streaming application Telkom One, according to iDiski Times.
— SABC Sport (@SABC_Sport) August 1, 2022
SABC now adds the Premier League to its football catalogue which already includes games from the Bundesliga.
“The English Premier League is going to back on the SABC, on SABC Sport,” Head of SABC Sport Gary Rathbone confirmed on Monday evening on SoccerZone.
Premier League games will be broadcast on every Saturday afternoon at 15:00 on SABC 3, according to Rathbone, as well as on the sports-only channels.
Another Blow to MultiChoice?
In May, the South African government launched a proposal to bring widespread changes to TV broadcasting regulations in the country, focusing on sports.
One of the largest changes was a proposed ban on the selling of exclusive broadcasting rights for games, the government also proposed to make matches involving national teams, such as Rugby world champions the Springboks, available for free, or at reduced cost, on the country’s public broadcaster.
These regulations, if passed, would present a major obstacle for satellite providers such as MultiChoice, who currently have a wide selection of exclusive broadcasting rights for sports leagues in the country. Sports, in fact, is often seen as MultiChoice’s trump card to maintain subscribers as millions flock to cheaper international internet streaming services like Netflix.