Speaking at a consultation seminar in Cape Town, ICASA officials said they had not dealt properly with sports broadcasting and were not happy that it was dominated by pay-tv.
Siphiwe Hlongwane, Research Analyst at ICASA, said: “DStv and Super Sport have dominance of sports rights and it becomes difficult to produce competition. The challenge for the authority is to make sure one player does not dominate the sector.
“Sports broadcasting is a one of the areas that needs to be looked into, especially as we move into digital. The authority will have failed the country as a whole if we move into a digital era, but there is not content for all consumers.”
The majority of sports teams, leagues and organisations’ revenue comes from television rights and the advertising cash that comes with the rights for broadcasters is extremely lucrative.
In August 2011, pay-tv broadcaster SuperSport paid R2 billion (US$230 million) in a five year deal for the rights to show Premier Soccer League (PSL) matches beginning with the 2012/13 season.
The television giant previously paid R1.6 billion for the rights in 2007 and the public owned South African Broadcasting Corporation said they were unable to compete with prices that big.
Honey Nonyane, another researcher at ICASA, added: “We need to deal with the sports rights issues not just because of digital migration, but because the authority has not dealt with it properly in the past.”