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The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) today presented its submission at the public hearings on the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (ICASA) draft sports broadcasting regulations 2018.

 

The SABC’s submission is aimed at influencing, promoting and supporting a conducive and enabling regulatory framework for sports rights regulations in the country. The key issues which are pertinent to the organisation as a public service broadcaster and presented at the hearing include:

 

 

  • The unbundling of sports rights;

  • Exclusivity for the category of rights and platform as per the licensed service;

  • Consideration of capacity by the SABC for sports content in a digital multichannel/multiplatform environment;

  • Accessibility of sports rights by Free-To-Air (FTA) broadcasters for the benefit of all South African irrespective of their economic status;

  • A fair and transparent sub-licencing framework;

  • The review of Must Carry regulations;

  • Fair competition in the broadcasting sector; and

  • Exclusive funding for Sports Content.

 

 

From a cost perspective, sports rights are one of the biggest cost drivers for the SABC and a core genre in television broadcasting which requires regulatory intervention. The position of the SABC is that the new sports regulations should assist the South African public, particularly the poor to access prime sport in the country through FTA television broadcasting.

 

The public broadcaster is also of the view that the regulations should also consider all competition issues raised by the SABC in the inquiry on competition within the subscription television market such as “Must Carry”.

 

The SABC looks forward to a holistic regulations framework on sports rights from ICASA,

once this process is concluded.

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