The SABC has acquired rights to the remainder of this season's FA Cup.
The deal also covers next season, when the broadcaster will show 17 live matches from the FA Cup, starting from the fifth round, and the season-opening Community Shield.
SABC Sport showed three of this past weekend’s quarter-final matches, two of which were live, with one aired on a delayed basis. Both semi-finals and the final will be covered live on SABC 3.
SABC Sport covered the quarter-final between Norwich City and Manchester United on a delayed basis, while Sheffield United vs Arsenal and Leicester City vs Chelsea were shown live. The semi-finals are scheduled for 18-19 July, with the final to take place on 1 August.
News of the FA Cup rights deal comes shortly after SABC recruited the experienced Gary Rathbone to head up its sports rights acquisitions.
“This is a breakthrough deal for SABC Sport," says Rathbone. "This acquisition is at the back of some of SABC’s key strategic turnaround objectives of making sound business decisions and financially-viable partnerships. Secondly, the world over has keen interest in English football content which drives a sizeable audience share and is a very attractive proposition to our commercial partners.”
Pay-television operator StarTimes holds rights across sub-Saharan Africa to the FA Cup, after finalising a rights deal at the start of this year. Its agreement runs until the end of the 2020-21 season and also incorporates the Community Shield.
StarTimes took over from rival pay-television broadcaster SuperSport as the FA Cup rights-holder in the region. SuperSport held the rights in a six-year deal from 2012-13 to 2017-18 and then signed a one-year agreement covering the 2018-19 season.