THE IRON DUKE: Heavyweight Irvin Khoza. Photo: MUZI NTOMBELA/BACKPAGEPIX

It’s the Premier Soccer League (PSL) versus the South African government.

In a battle for the rights to broadcast domestic league football, it’s about to get ugly.

Last month, the government’s communications regulator, Icasa, revealed plans to end SuperSport’s monopoly on showing PSL games.

And it hasn’t gone down well with league chairman Irvin Khoza, with the Iron Duke of South African football even threatening to shut down the league should the plot come to fruition.

Khoza gets a lot of criticism on the most part on how football is run.

With too many fingers in too many pies, he is also chairman of giants Orlando Pirates and a member of Safa.

There has to be some conflict of interest at some points when it comes to how he does his business.

And a multi-billion rand deal with SuperSport for his biggest project is obviously something he would like to protect.

PSL clubs get a R1.6m monthly grant from the league and NFD sides get around R400 000 thanks to Khoza being able to sell those rights.

It’s a model all the world over, which pretty much kicked off with the Premier League’s deal with SkySports in the early 1990s.

But right now, regulations have also seen the Prem sell their product to other broadcasters.

And it’s only natural that the creation of other markets has seen that sale bring in more money.

In SA, SuperSport have almost exclusive rights to most of Mzansi’s sport.

While the SABC has been a mess, it is still the only viewing option for the vast majority of our people and only get about one match to broadcast live in a round on average.

Maybe it’s time for Khoza and the PSL to make up their revenue game by enhancing the fan experience to boost attendances, rather than alienate the fans.

It’s just a radical idea, but maybe it’s a way to spread the love and the game.

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