South Africa news January 31, 2013

Live Test coverage remains absent from SABC

ESPNcricinfo staff

Cricket fans in South Africa will again have to go without live free-to-air coverage of the majority of the Test series against Pakistan after talks between Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) failed to come to an agreement.

The outcome is similar to that reached for the New Zealand tour, where the Test matches were restricted to highlights on SABC, the national broadcaster, and the ODIs and Twenty20s were shown live. However, the board had retained the hope that for the season's main attraction, the visit of Pakistan, that all the matches would be available on free-to-air television but now the five-day games will remain ball-by-ball on pay service SuperSport.

There has, though, been a small increase in what is available free-to-air. SABC will show two blocks of footage on a daily basis during the Test series. This will comprise a broadcast in the afternoon which will contain a mixture of highlights and live coverage. Full evening highlights, however, will not be screened until 10pm at night.

CSA's commercial manager, Marc Jury, said: "Although we could not reach an agreement on live ball-by-ball coverage of the Test Series, we are satisfied that there is an increase in coverage compared to the New Zealand series.

"With the Pakistan series being the last home international series of the 2012/2013 season, we will definitely be looking at how best to manage our free to air broadcast rights going forward to ensure that all South Africans are able to watch the Proteas when playing at home."

Cricket is the second-most popular sport to football in South Africa and almost five times as many people watch T20 and ODI matches on the SABC compared to SuperSport. Nearly seven times more watch Test cricket on the national broadcaster.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Tom on February 3, 2013, 1:23 GMT

    I feel sorry for the true SA cricket fans. As the current No. 1 nation surely the SABC had to make the most of this opportunity and sort it out with CSA. Let's face it - SuperSport coverage is fairly basic... no value for money there really. I wouldn't pay to listen to the commentary. It's 10-20 years behind Australia and England.

    ...and yes, what about Rugby? Surely 2nd to football in numbers participating... cricket a distant third? (see, this is the standard of journalism we have to endure. Hopelessly ignorant and un-informed!)

  • Asad on February 1, 2013, 21:08 GMT

    I am a Pakistani living in South Africa. I would have love to watch it for free on SABC. Anyways i purchased the mobile device to watch super sport and their service i found it really poor. To activate i had to make a phone call and they put me on hold for around 40 minutes. Consider the cost of call rates here from mobile phone to land lines.

  • Dummy4 on February 1, 2013, 15:31 GMT

    @Tlotoxl - South Africans shouldn't have to pay to watch their team play JUST because you do. Regardless, we've been doing this for many years now too anyway. My point is that I think no nation should have to pay to watch their national team play home games on TV (above their TV license, that is). The "payback" should be the inspiration of the next generation of cricketers. I can understand paying when ones team is playing away from home though. My second point about benefits and state handouts is valid. In SA the poor can barely afford a tiny TV while the "poor and unemployed" in the UK are given very generous handouts - and we all know that many of these so called "poor and unemployed" have big screen TV and satellite subscriptions. I appreciate you may not fall into this category but if you're honest I'm sure you admit that millions in the UK do. In short - the UK "poor" can afford to pay to watch cricket whereas the SA poor cannot.

  • Ivan on February 1, 2013, 14:24 GMT

    I don't know who wrote this article but I would love to know where he got the figures quoted in the final paragraph of the report. I guess he's never heard of rugby.

    "Nearly seven times more watch Test cricket on the national broadcaster." But this whole article is about the national broadcaster NOT broadcasting Test cricket. What on earth are you on about?

  • Abdurrazaaq on February 1, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    This is really patheitic. Even though the African cup of nations is taking place at a moment in south africa, many south africans are still following our boys, especially since we are the #1 test team.

  • Luke on February 1, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    @Martin Nosworthy: What makes you think we do? I live in the UK, I work 40+ hours a week I didn't get any help to buy my kit, and I don't get the Sky subscription to watch cricket, I rely on TMS on radio because I can't justify the cost and due to the times I work I would not see most of the sport I want to see, cricket.

    We are long since used to not having free-to-air cricket coverage, it is not a human right, we lost it in 2006 IIRC.

  • Srinivas on February 1, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    This is utterly disgraceful. What on earth are they doing? This would put the most hopeless of the broadcasters and boards to shame. South Africa still seems to be living in medieval times. Wake-up, hello, this is 2013.

  • Alex on February 1, 2013, 1:22 GMT

    Another knife in the back forTest cricket... what ought to be an excellent series and not even properly on TV for the home nation. What with this and the BCCI scrapping DRS again it's a real day to remember for the game's administrators. Well done, guys! Well I hope this will encourage some people to go and watch instead, though I won't hold my breath. It's a good thing there's Bangladesh Premier League on TV, otherwise I wouldn't have any Quality cricket to watch.

  • Dummy4 on February 1, 2013, 0:21 GMT

    @BIGZIPZ & Tlotoxl - The problem is that in SA we don't get state benefits and handouts to buy big screen TV's and pay for satellite subscriptions so that we can then sit at home watching cricket all day while others go out to work!!

  • Omar on January 31, 2013, 23:43 GMT

    LOL. What a shame. But seriously if any South African cricket supporter wants to watch the test match live, I can share screens on hd quality on skype...

  • No featured comments at the moment.