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SUPERSPORT OFFERS e.tv BOK TESTS

The Springboks’ home Test matches could be broadcast on e.tv after the SABC said it would no longer be televising them ‘delayed live’.

The SABC wanted live rights, but SuperSport could never agree to this as they are a cornerstone of pay TV. In addition, SuperSport had bid successfully for the live rights, and the SABC could have done the same had it chosen to.

Until 2010, the SABC had a formal arrangement to broadcast Bok home Tests on a delayed basis – in accordance with Icasa broadcast regulations. Since then, SuperSport and the SABC have worked on an ad hoc basis. Until last week, the SABC had taken Bok games on a delayed basis before having a change of heart.

SuperSport offered the SABC delayed rights on what is believed to be a favourable commercial basis, but the national broadcaster baulked. Last week the SABC announed it could not pay rights fees for a delayed feed, but it wanted more costly live rights.

However, the Boks’ home Tests could still be broadcast “delayed live” on free-to-air television, Keo reports SuperSport communications manager Clinton van der Berg as saying.

“SuperSport has engaged with e.tv, having offered them the [SA-England] match on a delayed basis, and is awaiting a response,” Van den Berg told keo.co.za.

The South African Rugby Union (SARU) said on Tuesday it was disappointed that Springbok Test matches would not be available on free-to-air television, following the SABC’s decision not to broadcast matches delayed “as live”.

Springbok matches will continue to be broadcast on 12 SABC radio stations.

“We respect the SABC’s decision but it is disappointing from SARU’s perspective and I’m sure from the perspective of rugby supporters,” says Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU.

Roux adds that he hopes that Springbok matches would return to free-to-air television at some point in the future.

Source: Rugby reporter, SportsCentral