New comp to fill Saru coffers

The new structures that see the implementation of a Super 15 competition will result in a remarkable financial gain for Saru.

The Dublin agreement that sees the Currie Cup and Tri-Nations pushed back to accommodate the new Super 15 will result in more rugby for the players, but it will also see more money being pumped into Saru.

‘Saru is in the best position it has ever been financially, in respect of its TV rights,’ said acting MD Andy Marinos. ‘Previous Sanzar rights agreements included other domestic South African rugby competitions such as the Absa Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup as well as our June Tests and the former distribution model reflected that.

‘The rights to those properties have already been sold by SA Rugby to SuperSport, however, for R700m [a 100% increase in value] for the period 2011 to 2015 – neither with the payment of any agent’s commissions nor to be shared with any other national union, as was the case previously, it is worth noting.

‘The removal of those properties from the basket of Sanzar properties rendered it inequitable for SA Rugby to continue to receive the largest proportion of the rights fees flowing from Super and Tri-Nations Rugby alone.

‘The value of the future rights to Sanzar’s properties has still to be negotiated, but rugby supporters can be assured that the nett effect is that South African rugby is, and will be, considerably better off.’

Marinos added that the new deal is no threat to domestic rugby in this country.

‘The reports of a R150m loss are simply false; the new deal has doubled the value of our domestic rugby and we are in a healthier state, before any final discussion and agreement around the Vodacom Super Rugby and Vodacom Tri-Nations components.’

By 2011, Saru also hopes to have the Southern Kings involved in Super Rugby. This will be discussed at the president’s council meeting this week.

‘It was previously agreed that the new team would play in the Australian conference and that that team would be selected through a tender process,’ said Marinos. ‘We are now awaiting the issue of those tender criteria by Sanzar.

‘The decision confirmed by Sanzar in Dublin in this, was always envisaged by SA Rugby and constitutes the first hurdle being successfully negotiated en route to the Southern Kings being incorporated into Super Rugby.’