Boxing adds voice to reject broadcast draft
Boxing has added its voice in rejecting the draft of sports broadcast regulation causing consternation in football.
The draft by Independent Communication Authority (Icasa) is calling sports of national interest to be made available on free-to-air broadcast.
This has left Premier Soccer League (PSL) peeved, warning that should the draft be passed, it would mark the end of professional football in the country.
PSL is currently enjoying a multibillion-rand deal with SuperSport to air its matches.
With the regulation ruffling feathers in soccer, boxing is also crying foul, arguing that it needs reviewing.
This follows a Boxing SA board meeting in Pretoria a fortnight ago.
“The board has noted that the 2018 draft regulations in their current configuration equally have some worrying inclusions which may lead to detrimental and unintended consequences for the boxing sector and therefore needs serious reconsideration,” the statement from BSA board read.
However while the issue of soccer is cut and dried with regard to the draft, boxing, where promoters have an equal say with how tournaments are televised, is a rather complicated field.
This is why BSA has decided to include the draft as an agenda in its planned meeting with promoters scheduled for February 20 in Pretoria.
The meeting was originally planned to be held this past December, but was later postponed due to unforeseen circumstances.
Boxing promoters have been crying foul over the decision by the SABC to stop televising tournaments live.
Instead, the public broadcaster which has admitted that it is bankrupt, is showing certain tournaments on delayed transmission. This has forced a couple of promoters to seek refuge on SuperSport although the number of them enjoying partnership with the pay channel is very low.
In East London, only Xaba Promotions enjoy coverage of their tournaments by SuperSport while other promoters, such as Rumble Africa Promotions (RAP), do not have such luck despite organising impressive shows which fill up fight venues.
SuperSport communication manager Clinton van der Berg was sent down to East London to gauge the standard of a RAP show which featured Duncan Village star Azinga Fuzile stopping Tanzanian Ibrahim Class.
While boxing was expected to welcome the draft as some see it as leveling the playing field, some believe that should SuperSport be forced to share its content with boxing, it will force the pay channel to ditch boxing from its broadcast programme.
SuperSport has been the only channel able to buy international fights.
“Now to expect SuperSport to be forced to share those fights with the free-to-air channels, will make them simply stop buying them and that will be the end of boxing broadcasts,” one boxing expert said.
Other worrying issues in the draft is the failure of Icasa to understand that boxing has no uniform international body as in the case with soccer which falls under Fifa.
For strange reasons, the draft cited only the IBF as an international boxing body and left out others, such as the WBA, WBC and WBO – considered major world sanctioning bodies.
“It is obvious that Icasa does not understand how boxing works,” the expert said.
People have until the end of March to submit rejections or approvals to the draft...