PSL Chairman Press Irvin Khoza. FILE PHOTO
DStv are the new sponsors of the Premiership, Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairman Irvin Khoza announced on Thursday evening.
The pay-TV channel owned by MultiChoice replace Absa as sponsors of the PSL’s headline top-flight league.
“The PSL announces that DStv is now the official sponsor of the PSL,” Khoza said in a press conference televised from DStv's studios in Randburg that was broadcast live on two of DStv’s SuperSport channels.
“This competition will be referred to as the DStv Premiership.“It’s a synergy that is powerful in what it brings to the supporters in that it the PSL continues to innovate and improve its products, which will have the full backing of DStv, whose offering requires an abundance of local content.
“There is no them and us. We are joined at the hip to produce enhanced consumption for the best products for our deserving supporters.”
Absa announced in June that the banking giant would end its 13-year sponsorship of the Premiership at the conclusion of the past season, where Mamelodi Sundowns pipped Kaizer Chiefs to the title on the final day on Saturday, September 5.
The season, which normally completes by mid-May, was extended after a five-month delay due to Covid-19 to early September.
The latest Absa sponsorship had been reported as worth R140-million annually to the PSL.
DStv’s sponsorship of the PSL’s Premier Division will make MultiChoice’s stake in South African football even more significant.
DStv’s sports channel SuperSport owns the highly successful, three-time Premier League-winning club SuperSport United FC.
The SuperSport cable sports channels are already the official broadcaster of the Premiership‚ providing hugely lucrative rights deals for the league since 2007.
The televised MultiChoice Diski Challenge is also the reserve league of the Premier Division.
Absa, announcing it would end its Premier Division sponsorship on June 4, said it would explore other avenues to remain involved in professional football in South Africa.
“We have enjoyed a long, fruitful relationship with the PSL and have supported the PSL’s work in South African football and sports development,” Daniel Mminele, chief executive of Absa Group, said then.
“While we will no longer be the anchor sponsor for the PSL, soccer will always remain close to our hearts. We are therefore exploring alternative options to continue our relationship with the PSL.”
Khoza said in June that the “Absa Premiership era will forever be a reference point for football glory, both in terms of club development and player performance in our sports history. The PSL is grateful to Absa for strengthening the league to true professionalism”.
Absa sponsored the Premiership from 2007 to 2020.
The initial Absa sponsorship – then worth R500-million over five years – and the then-R1.6-billion SuperSport TV rights deal, concluded in the same year as South Africa and football in the country anticipated the hosting of the 2010 World Cup, changed the financial landscape of the sport in the country forever.
Football, despite being far the biggest sport in the country, had previously largely played second fiddle to cricket and rugby at the financial rough for the big deals shared among the big three sports.
The Absa and SuperSport deals placed football where it rightfully belonged, at the front of the queue.
DStv’s decoder sale expansion across Africa has seen the PSL increasingly viewed across the continent on SuperSport.
DStv’s increased involvement is sure to see football’s financial growth path continue, and increase the viewership outside South Africa’s borders of the country’s top-flight league.