South Africa news

Live Test coverage remains absent from SABC

ESPNcricinfo staff

January 31, 2013

Comments: 21 | Text size: A | A

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.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by tp565 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!)

Posted by don2009 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.

Posted by   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.

Posted by quittthewhinging 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?

Posted by 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.

Posted by Tlotoxl 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.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist 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.

Posted by elsmallo 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.

Posted by   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!!

Posted by omar_choudhary 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...

Posted by SK14 on (January 31, 2013, 23:17 GMT)

Just a question for all SA fans, which sport is the most popular in South Africa. I've noticed more people turn out for Super Rugby matches then Cricket Test matches and then their's soccor?.

Posted by Big_Chikka on (January 31, 2013, 18:33 GMT)

absolute joke, the test champions and their own country folk can't see the tests for free on tv. shame on the lot of them.

Posted by Robster1 on (January 31, 2013, 17:17 GMT)

Oh dear - not unexpected but very short sighted....It certainly won't encourage the next generation to play cricket.

Posted by WeeBee on (January 31, 2013, 17:12 GMT)

Dont Tell me ! . . . i cant imagine even at this age we are hearing this thing. . . .

Posted by Dannymania on (January 31, 2013, 16:33 GMT)

So what I get from this is, that the south African cricket fans wont be able to watch all the live matches? NOooo.. that's absolutely unfair to the south African cricket fans! I would have been devastated if they weren't showing it live here in Pakistan! I feel sorry for the south African cricket fans and hope that they'll figure something out to make it work.. If they need any help, contact me.

Posted by Tlotoxl on (January 31, 2013, 16:14 GMT)

@BIGZIPZ: exactly the same as I was about to say!

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 31, 2013, 15:59 GMT)

CSA reduced the fees by a huge amount but still SABC refused to agree, they'd prefer to spend money on NBA and sports like that. Disgraceful.

If CSA wanted to maximise money they could sell EXCLUSIVE rights to Supersport, but they prefer to have free to air coverage. Shame on you SABC. Maybe try ETV in future.

Posted by bumsonseats on (January 31, 2013, 15:32 GMT)

its the sign of the times i am afraid. in the uk sky have full live coverage of all englands games, some are not pleased, but this gives us cricket from all of the world as a lover of cricket and have sky TV to me is worth every penny. so i will watch that game on sky sad old world.

Posted by BIGZIPZ on (January 31, 2013, 15:22 GMT)

Time for SA fans to pay for their cricket just like we have to in England!

Posted by St00rt on (January 31, 2013, 15:02 GMT)

This is absolutely disgusting on the part of the SABC and CSA; that they couldn't reach a solution. There is a massive emphasis on transformation in this country but what these knuckleheads don't realise is that transformation is something that is started at grass roots level, not at the top. This is done by taking the game to the people; the majority of whom DO NOT have access to satellite tv. How are these kids meant to grow up wanting to emulate the Amlas or Steyns of the world when they can't even watch them, admire them and want to be like them? I really do feel for those who won't get to see these two great nations going head to head as, to quote Meja, "It's all about the money..."

Posted by ballonbat on (January 31, 2013, 14:42 GMT)

Disgraceful though not unexpected. Where do they think the new Kallises and Ntinis are going to come from? This is so shortsighted. South Africa is meant to be growing its sports, attracting new fans and getting grassroots developments going. Instead we have this sort of fiasco.

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