The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) has invited the public to comment on whether it should regulate sports content rights and intervene in disputes over agreements, writes Thabiso Mochiko in Business Report.
Currently sports broadcasting regulation is limited to listed sport events or sports of national importance. But the broadcasting and telecoms regulatory body wants to put an end to this by legislating the industry.
Icasa believes the absence of regulations made the industry vulnerable to monopoly by broadcasters with the financial leverage to conclude long-term contracts, thereby limiting the competitiveness of the broadcasting sector.
The proposed interventions would aim to ensure that even people who could not afford pay television could watch sports deemed of national importance, such as the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, the All Africa Games, the Fifa World Cup, the African Cup of Nations, the rugby World Cup and the cricket World Cup.
The fuzziness around regulation played a role in the highly publicised dispute between the SABC and MultiChoice's SuperSport over rights to the Premier Soccer League (PSL).
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