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News

SuperSport cuts a last-minute deal to broadcast IPL in South Africa

The country was set to miss out on IPL screening for the first time in the tournament's history before the agreement happened

Firdose Moonda
Firdose Moonda
30-Mar-2023
Anrich Nortje smashed Faf du Plessis' stumps in the first over, Delhi Capitals vs Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2021 Qualifier 1, Dubai, October 10, 2021

Anrich Nortje will be one among 15 South African players taking part in the IPL  •  BCCI

Africa's biggest sports broadcaster, SuperSport, has cut a last-minute deal to screen the entire IPL, less than three hours before the tournament begins. The agreement comes after South Africans were told they would not be able to watch the competition for the first time since its inaugural season in 2008 because SuperSport had lost the rights.*
SuperSport has broadcast all 15 editions of the IPL prior to this year in full but lost the Sub-Saharan African rights to Viacom18 in June.
Viacom18 also won the rights to Australia, New Zealand and England. It does not have a presence in any of the countries but viewers in Australia, New Zealand and England can watch the IPL via broadcasters who have subsequently made deals with Viacom18. SuperSport, on the other hand, has not.
"SuperSport previously held broadcast rights to the Indian Premier League," a SuperSport spokesperson had told ESPNcricinfo Thursday. "Commercial discussions with the rights holder for the next cycle of rights have unfortunately been unsuccessful and SuperSport will therefore not broadcast the IPL as of this year's edition."
There are 15 South Africans at this year's IPL and at least one in nine of the ten franchises (Kolkata Knight Riders are the exception), including some of South Africa's biggest names. Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada, Aiden Markram, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, David Miller, Rilee Rossouw, Tristan Stubbs, Marco Jansen, Duan Jansen, Donovan Ferreira, Dewald Brevis, Sisanda Magala, and Dwaine Pretorius are spread across the IPL teams with former South African and now Namibian allrounder David Wiese set to play for Knight Riders. There are also several South African coaches at the IPL, including former men's national team coach Mark Boucher, who will be in his debut season at Mumbai Indians.
Cricket South Africa was understood to be disappointed for the country's fans, especially after the momentum gained this season through the SA20 (where all six teams are owned by IPL owners) but has no involvement with rights deals.
SuperSport is the biggest sports broadcaster on the African continent and broadcasts a host of major competitions including all South African tours home and abroad, the home series of England, Australia, New Zealand, India, West Indies, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh as well as several franchise leagues. It most recently broadcast the Women's Premier League in full.
GMT 1145, March 31, 2023 The story was updated after the agreement happened.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent for South Africa and women's cricket