Sunday, November 25, 2018

In just four years the SABC lost R2.3 billion on paying for sports rights that it failed to monetise properly with advertising and sponsorships for broadcast, says Bongumusa Makhathini, SABC chairperson.

The SABC has lost R2.3 billion in paying and acquiring sports rights but not properly working at monetising it through broadcast with proper selling of advertising and acquiring sponsorships, Bongumusa Makhathini, SABC chairperson, told the Sunday Times.

The SABC failed to work at securing sponsors and advertisers to make back the money and more it paid for sports rights the past 6 years.

Bongumusa Makhathini told the Sunday Times that the SABC board is under huge pressure from "political and commercial interests" without explaining and naming the political parties and names pressuring the SABC, or naming the commercial interests pressuring the SABC.

Bongumusa Makhathini said the SABC will continue to be devoid of any coverage of South Africa's national football team, Bafana Bafana, because for the public broadcasting acquiring the sports rights from the South African Football Association (Safa) doesn't make "commercial sense".

"The sports rights are overpriced and we are not able to commercialise these sports rights. After you have paid for sports rights, you then need to cover costs for production."

Between 2012 and 2016 the SABC the SABC spent R1.6 billion on rights to broadcast Premier Soccer League (PSL) matches live on television, in addition to R522 million on production costs. The SABC only made R466 million in revenue.

The SABC also paid Safa R462 million during 2012 and 2016 for the broadcasting rights to Bafana Bafana matches, spent R65 million on production costs, and only made R48 million in revenue.

Between 212 and 2016 the SABC paid E269 million for the broadcasting rights to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) football rights, another R14 million on production costs, and only made R20 million.

Bongumusa Makhathini said he and the SABC are pushing ahead with the retrenchment plan at the SABC and that he doesn't care about being popular or liked.

The SABC's highly controversial retrenchment plan will see up to 981 SABC staffers getting fired - a third of the entire full-time workforce - as well as 1 200 of the 2 400 freelancers being let go by February 2019.

Bongumusa Makhathini said the SABC board has ended the practice of free biscuits and bottled water for SABC staff, and that the printing of documents are now also strictly monitored as part of cost-cutting efforts.