Government aiming to bring sports to wider SA television audience

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Springbok Makazole Mapimpi celebrates with Faf de Klerk and Lukhanyo Am after scoring his teams first try during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Final between England and South Africa.
Springbok Makazole Mapimpi celebrates with Faf de Klerk and Lukhanyo Am after scoring his teams first try during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Final between England and South Africa.
(Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has published its Draft Sports Broadcasting Services Amendment Regulations with the aim of making a number of sports, including the FIFA World Cup, MTN 8 and Super Rugby tournaments, free to watch. 

ICASA published its latest draft regulations of an amended list of sports that must be made free-to-watch for the wider South African public.

In somewhat of a blow to pay-channel SuperSport, the regulations state that if these sports were broadcast on DStv or SuperSport they would be required to make the sport available on free-to-air channels.

"Notwithstanding the existence of the 2010 Regulations, the Authority has observed a trend whereby national sporting events are mostly broadcast live on subscription television, resulting in the majority of South Africans being unable to access such events on a live basis due to affordability of such service," ICASA said.

"A case in point is the 2019 Rugby World Cup whereby the rights were bought by a subscription broadcasting licensee leaving the majority of South Africans excluded from accessing the national team’s participation in the World Cup, apart from the final match which was broadcast after public outcry."

ICASA listed the following events which must be broadcast "live, delayed-live, or delayed" by free-to-air broadcasting licenses.

The new draft regulations are open for comment until 15 December 2020 and are embedded below.

List of sports events to be made free-to-air:

Summer Olympic Games
Paralympics
FIFA World Cup
FIFA Women’s World Cup
Africa Cup of Nations
Rugby World Cup
ICC World Cup
ICC T20 Cricket World Championships
Netball World Cup
Commonwealth Games
IAAF World Athletics Championships
Super Rugby
All Africa Games
COSAFA Cup
CAF Champions League
CAF Confederations Cup
MTN 8
Telkom Knockout
Nedbank Cup
Currie Cup
TAFISA World Sport for All Games

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