SABC fails to secure TV deal for SA-England rugby

Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 14-06-2012

The remaining two rugby tests between South Africa and England will only be shown in the home nation by pay-TV network SuperSport, after the SABC confirmed it has been unable to strike a rights deal to show a delayed live feed free to air.
Since 2010, South Africa's public broadcaster has sub-licensed national rugby matches on a game-by-game basis from TV rights holder SuperSport. SABC will broadcast the two upcoming games live on the radio, but unlike the matches played by the national football team, was unable to find the funds to acquire the live television rights.
"The SABC has decided, as a principle, that for the events that it has rights to [such as in respect of football team Bafana Bafana] it will broadcast on a live basis," Hlaudi Motsoeneng, acting chief operations officer, SABC is quoted as saying by news agency SAPA.
"In the case of rugby, SABC does not hold rights and is therefore not able to broadcast these matches on a live basis."
SuperSport had again offered to sub-licence the television rights of the Springbok tests to SABC, but no agreement had been reached, said Happy Ntshingila, chief executive, SuperSport International.
South African Rugby Union (SARU) has expressed regret that the England test matches would not be available to view free to air.
"We respect the SABC's decision but it is disappointing from SARU's perspective and I'm sure from the perspective of rugby supporters," said Jurie Roux, chief executive, SARU adding that he hoped to see future tests reinstated on South Africa's public TV network.
The Springboks face England at the Coca Cola Stadium on 16 June and at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on 23 June.