South African sport in the global media arena : tackling issues of globalisation and media control and their impact on the national interest
Ryan, Shaun Ross.
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This dissertation sets out to identify the national interest in terms of South African sport, as represented by the 2003 ICASA Position Paper and Regulations on Sports Broadcasting Rights. The dissertation focuses on South African rugby which, along with cricket and soccer, is one of the main sports deemed to be in the national interest. The government’s use of televised sport as a means of disseminating the ideology of nationalism amongst South Africans is explored. A critique of the national interest is provided with the importance of private, commercial broadcasters to the financial sustainability of sporting unions stressed. Commercial broadcasters are often the only broadcasters capable of acquiring sports broadcasting rights at international market related prices. Commercial broadcasters are, therefore, important to the longevity of professional sports and cannot be sidelined by related policies which could give preference to free-to-air broadcasters. The concept of ‘responsible broadcasting’ is introduced as a means of maintaining the national interest. Broadcasters, sporting unions and the public are imperative to the promotion of the national interest and are analysed further in this regard. The dissertation ends with a discussion of televised sports’ contribution towards efforts of nation-building within a South African context. This discussion establishes whether rugby events deemed to be in the national interest are readily accepted by South African audiences and warrant their inclusion in future ICASA policies.