Icasa takes aim at DStv with proposed laws on sport broadcasting rights

Broadcasting regulator Icasa has released draft laws aimed at making major sporting events accessible for free to all South Africans.

The Draft Sports Broadcasting Services Amendment Regulations 2018 are expected to break the broadcasting monopoly that DStv has on sports.

While the proposed laws are well-intended, cricket commentator Neil Manthorp says they are extremely impractical.

Most high-profile sporting events are currently only available to DStv subscribers, but this could change if the draft regulations become law.

Manthorp says the changes could negatively affect the profitability of local federations for popular sports like soccer, rugby, and cricket.

For example, the CEO of South African Rugby Union (Saru) Jurie Roux says 55% of his organisation's revenue comes from television rights, predominantly SuperSport.

Saru is facing massive financial struggles as is. What would they do without 55% of their revenue?

Neil Manthorp, Cricket Correspondent at MWP Media

The amendments state the following: Subscription broadcasting services may not acquire exclusive rights that prevent or hinder the free-to-air broadcasting of national sporting events.

This has an implication for the broadcasting of all domestic sporting events and those involving all of SA's national teams abroad.

It's really about sporting events of national interest.

Neil Manthorp, Cricket Correspondent at MWP Media

He suggests that authorities find a compromise, such as the delayed live broadcasts of Springbok Test matches so that no one is denied a right to watch a game.

Listen to him share his analysis of the proposed regulations:


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