Koos Bekker, the CEO of media giant Naspers, has rejected the debate that select rights on sports broadcasting be done away with, saying the idea is “ridiculous.”

In an effort to break up DStv and Supersport’s monopoly on sport transmission, last month, Dina Pule, the communications minister, said plans were afoot to distribute a policy order to advance competition in the broadcasting sector.

MyBroadband reported on Monday that it is also possible that the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) and the Competition Commission will pay more attention on the long term exclusivity deals on premium content, including sport.

However, Bekker told Moneyweb’s Hilton Tarrant in an interview that transmission rights are the essence of sporting occasions and sporting clubs teams.

“I was on the World Cup Committee for ten years, the income statement looks like this, 90 percent of all the income for the Soccer World Cup was from TV rights and everything else, all the seats sold in the stadium, all the scarves, all the sponsorships amounted to less than 10 percent,” said Bekker.

“So TV pays the bills and if you take the South African PSL soccer league we pay for everything, we pay for every player and the lights at the stadium and…the backroom, we pay all the bills.”

Bekker said they are able to pay the bills because they are in possession of exclusive rights on the content.

“So the moment government were to say ‘Okay, e.tv you have it’, it loses all appeal for us because no one will pay us to get something which is available for free, which means the value will drop to a tenth of what it is now and clubs simply can’t pay the players,” said Bekker.

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