SABC signs last-minute Afcon broadcasting deal

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has signed a R65 million (US$7.5 million) deal for the broadcasting rights of the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) football tournament, finally ending protracted negotiations.

The deal with Afcon’s Local Organising Committee for the television and radio coverage of the tournament was announced yesterday at SABC headquarters in Johannesburg.

Negotiations to decide on the tournament’s official broadcaster began in early December, with the organising committee finally settling on SABC, who successfully covered the World Cup in South Africa in 2010.

Announcing the deal, Mvuso Mbebe, chief executive of the committee, said: “This is a CAF [Confederation of African Football] tournament, it must be remembered.”

“All agreements were made in conjunction with Africa’s controlling [soccer] body and this was the reason there were delays at times, as all the parties involved had to be consulted.”

He added that the price of the deal was fair and reasonable, and satisfied the needs of all parties.

Hlaudi Motosoeneng, SABC acting chief operations officer, expressed pleasure and confidence with respect to being appointed the broadcaster for the upcoming event.

“We have proven ourselves time and again as capable to provide a top-class service for an international event of this stature,” Motosoeneng said.

The Afcon will begin on 19 January with a match between hosts South Africa – known as Bafana Bafana – and Cape Verde in Johannesburg. The tournament’s final game will take place on 10 February.

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