Deal struck on rugby broadcasts

2002-04-22 07:51

Stephanie Nieuwoudt

Johannesburg - Rugby fans will in future no longer be dependent on the pay channel SuperSport for their kicks thanks to an agreement between SuperSport and the SABC that will ensure that rugby will be broadcast on both channels.

Nalini Ramdhani, an SABC spokesperson on Sunday confirmed that the public broadcaster and SuperSport agreed that the finals of series and all Tests would be broadcast on both channels.

However, SABC viewers would not be able to watch all matches live. Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup matches would be live on SuperSport and transmitted on Topsport later on the same day.

Super 12 highlights will only be broadcast on Topsport on the Wednesday following the games.

Gert Roets, head of channels at SuperSport did not want to comment about the development. However he did concede that SuperSport was in negotiations with the SABC.

The fact that SuperSport has had the sole rights to Test matches for some time now has led to great dissatisfaction because a big part of the population do not have MNet or DStv and were thus denied watching games featuring the national team.

The agreement will also entail that SuperSport would no longer screen Tests during their open time, but that the kick-offs for Test matches are moved to 15:00 to accommodate the SABC. Matches that are broadcast live on SuperSport from 15:00 will then be screened by the SABC at 17:00, giving the public channel enough time ahead of its 19:00 news broadcast.

Sarfu and SuperSport also apparently heeded viewer complaints about screening Currie Cup matches on Sundays. There will be no Currie Cup matches on Sundays this year.