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Mzansi Super League to stay on SABC network

Cricket South Africa had been trying to get SuperSport to broadcast the second season of the T20 tournament but it couldn't be done

Liam Brickhill
Liam Brickhill
The Jozi Stars team celebrates with the inaugural MSL trophy  •  MSL

The Jozi Stars team celebrates with the inaugural MSL trophy  •  MSL

This year's Mzansi Super League will once again be screened on SABC, South Africa's public broadcaster.
There had been some speculation, especially ahead of the first edition of the MSL, that Cricket South Africa might look to SuperSport as broadcaster, but they have ultimately stuck with SABC once again, despite the lack of a financial incentive to do so. Last month the SABC secured a R3.2 billion bailout from the government, and earlier this week it was announced that the broadcaster had failed to secure the rights for the country's Premier Soccer League as it was not commercially viable. But CSA are short of other options.
"We only have literally two broadcasters in the country who can afford to broadcast cricket, and that's SABC and SuperSport," chief executive Thabang Moroe said on Tuesday. "So you can imagine that CSA does not have much room to manoeuvre in terms of making decisions.
"As things stand, we are lucky to find ourselves where we are, in the sense that we can broadcast international cricket both on free-to-air as well as pay TV. Obviously because none of them have exclusivity, we do not receive the same values as we would, had we given any of them exclusivity, but that's the pain we have to take for wanting to spread the game.
"As far as restructuring of commercial and broadcast deals is concerned, it's difficult to say yes or no to that question now, the reason being the landscape that we operate in as far as the South African economy is concerned."
The second MSL will take place in November and December this year. The date for the player draft has not been announced yet, but it is expected to be shortly, as are the various South African and international marquee players.
Dale Steyn is one of several Protea cricketers who have been retained by their franchises for this year's tournament. More than 250 cricketers, including international stars, T20 specialists and Kolpak signings have entered the draft.
"This is confirmation that MSL is now an established global brand that is taking its place at the head table alongside the other Global T20 events," Moroe said. "We have drawn interest from around the world with players applying from virtually all the top tier international countries.
"This will certainly be the biggest T20 event we have hosted since the inaugural ICC T20 World Cup that was staged here in 2007 and became the fore-runner of all the global T20 events that followed. We look forward to adding yet another highlight to our home international season that will be followed by the incoming tours by England and Australia."

Liam Brickhill is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent