Money ball: How SA sport became big business
There’s good money to be had in local sports, not least as a result of the sales of TV rights. Some stars command many millions in pay and sponsorships. But there are vast discrepancies in the funding given to the various codes
There was a time, in living memory, when many of South Africa’s major sports were run out of the proverbial old tog bag. Rugby from Danie Craven’s car boot (in at least two cases), cricket from a cottage on the grounds of Joburg’s Wanderers club or, in the case of financially stressed nonracial bodies, from the sitting-room of struggle icon Hassan Howa’s home in Heathfield, and football from a parking lot.
Today the three codes are multimillion-rand businesses, driven largely by TV. It’s a big-money game. Last year, Star India paid an eye-watering $3.2bn for the broadcast rights for the Indian Premier League (IPL) for five years. Viacom18 paid about the same for streaming rights over five years. Taken together, that’s a cool R114bn for five seasons of cricket...
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