South Africa’s Premier Soccer League (PSL) has come out against ICASA’s plans to amend the Sports Broadcasting Services Regulations.
The amended regulations aim to make big sporting events more accessible to all South Africans.
Currently, many high-profile sporting events, including soccer matches, are only available to DStv’s SuperSport subscribers.
The regulations will break DStv’s monopoly on the live broadcasting of sporting events, which ICASA said is in line with the Electronic Communication Act.
DStv’s parent MultiChoice, however, is by far the biggest investor in South African sport – and currently spends around R2 billion per year on sports broadcasting rights.
If their ability to generate revenue from DStv and SuperSport is impacted by taking away exclusive rights, this spending may be affected.
As reported by the Sunday Times, the PSL stated that if the regulations are passed their league will shut down.
“ICASA claims to be making these amendments in the public interest to prohibit subscription broadcasting services from acquiring exclusive rights,” said PSL chairman Irvin Khoza.
He said what is not being considered is that the PSL gets 80% of its revenue from SuperSport.
SA Football Association acting CEO Russell Paul said they cannot agree with the proposals being made by ICASA and will “vehemently oppose them”.
SA Rugby and SA Cricket have also made submissions to ICASA on the regulation changes.
Cricket SA’s CEO Thabang Moroe said “it’s not for us to answer whether these regulations are necessary or not”.
MultiChoice stated they are currently reviewing the draft regulations and will provide a comprehensive response.