No Cricket World Cup on SABC after failed negotiations

Millions of South African cricket lovers may miss out on watching the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup after the SABC failed to reach an agreement with MultiChoice over broadcast rights.

This means that the SABC will not be able to broadcast the Cricket World Cup after MultiChoice, via its pay-channel SuperSport, revealed that the SABC has rejected their offer to purchase a sub-licence deal. SuperSport holds the local broadcast rights for the tournament.

The tournament, the 13th edition, which will be played in India, kicks off on Thursday October 5. The Proteas will be looking to get rid of their choking tag when they open their campaign against Sri Lanka on Saturday.

However, as things stand South Africans who do not have a DStv subscription, seem like they will be out in the cold.

Said MultiChoice in a statement on Tuesday morning: “After prolonged negotiations, the SABC last night (Monday) rejected MultiChoice’s latest proposal for a possible sub-licence of broadcast rights to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 on the basis of the proposed licence fee. This is notwithstanding MultiChoice offering the rights to the SABC on significantly reduced commercial terms, given its current circumstances. MultiChoice is disappointed at the rejection of its various proposals.” 

Two weeks ago, the SABC, through its spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo, had reassured viewers that an agreement would be clinched soon.

“The SABC can confirm that the negotiations have progressed and should be finalised next week,” Seapolelo said at the time.

Well-placed insiders revealed to Sunday World that the public broadcaster has put a mere R4-million on the table for the sub-licence rights, while SuperSport is demanding just over R20-million.

There was a similar impasse with the Rugby World Cup broadcast rights when the two entities SuperSport and SABC failed to reach an agreement and the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Zizi Kodwa intervened at the last minute and brokered a deal between the two parties.

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