Watch | SuperSport says its ready for the VAR as it unveils a state-of-the outside broadcast unit from Germany

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SuperSport has just acquired state-of-the-art outside broadcast van
SuperSport has just acquired state-of-the-art outside broadcast van
Daniel Mothowagae


As South African professional football continues to mull over the implementation of the video assistant referee (VAR), as part of its readiness broadcast giant SuperSport recently tested its systems on the technology during Mamelodi Sundowns and Marumo Gallants' semifinals of CAF interclub competitions.

READ: Safa reaches out to Fifa referees boss to help implement VAR in SA football

No timeline has been given on when the VAR will be introduced locally but it is hoped the trial run could be next season.

However, the PSL's broadcast partner has declared its readiness.Speaking to City Press on the sidelines of the showcase of a new state-of-the-art outside broadcast van (OB van) on Tuesday, senior technical manager at SuperSport Prishen Govender said:

This IP [internet protocol] infrastructure allows us to take the first step in South Africa and on the continent because a lot of other entities outside of us like the VAR system in soccer is doing in their capacity. So, we are ready for the VAR, ready for any type of technology that’s in the IP domain. We were already testing our systems on the two CAF matches recently. We were testing the background VAR.

Govender was referring to Sundowns' Champions League semifinal against Wydad Athletic Club played at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria last Saturday. 

READ: Tim Spirit | To Safa and PSL: It really doesn’t matter who implements VAR

Prior to that game, Gallants hosted Yanga of Tanzania at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg in the North West for the return leg of their Confederation Cup semifinal. 


Govender said in the past broadcasters used a lot of equipment to do production but they had now embraced the modern trends. He said: 

I believe it’s safe to assume, the steps that we have taken in the last 16 months are in line with the world stage of broadcasting. So, this OB van is one of a kind because there are very few that are truly what we call IP 2110. What that essentially means, is that back in the day we used a copper cable to transport a video single from a camera to the OB van, to the satellite van, to the base in Randburg and then to the viewers. Now we are using network cable, the thing you used to plug into your laptop computer.

The OB van, which is essentially a mobile studio, was imported from Germany.

The interior of SuperSport's newly acquired outsid
The interior of SuperSport's newly acquired outside broadcast van

The interior of SuperSport's newly acquired outsid
The interior of SuperSport's newly acquired outside broadcast van

Govender also praised the country's talented engineers. “It's fair to say that South African engineers are of world-class standards. That’s why they are being poached quickly to first world countries because we set high standards. Sometimes it’s not always noticed, that’s why we are having this open day.” 

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