After a long delay the SABC today announced a broadcasting agreement under which the South African public broadcaster will pay R65 million to broadcast 32 soccer games of the African Cup of Nations 2013 on television and radio.
The deal, negotiations which took months to conclude, will result in massive schedule and viewer disruption on the SABC's three TV channels, SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 which TV with Thinus reported last year would happen from January 2013.
Trade exchange - industry lingo for a media partner giving airtime in exchange for a same-value product offering - forms a part of the multimillion rand deal in which the SABC becomes the host broadcaster of Afcon 2013.
The broadcast agreement will see the SABC pay the local organising committee of Afcon 2013 R65 million in return for the rights to broadcast the soccer tournament taking place in South Africa this year.
"The deal with the local organising committee will reaffirm the SABC's position as the leading broadcaster for major sporting events of national importance," said Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the SABC's acting chief operations officer (COO) at the urgently convened press conference at the SABC which was called this morning.
"We have the skills and capacity to broadcast such events," says Hlaudi Motsoeneng. "The SABC is proud that other African broadcasters on the continent and local broadcasters will be receiving the feed for the tournament from the SABC as the host broadcaster for the tournament."
It is the first time that Afcon is giving a local broadcaster the right to directly capture the visuals and relay it to other broadcaster and video services; previously Afcon outsourced it to third-party companies directly who provided the video feed to broadcasters.