South Africa’s SABC Secures Deal To Bring Some Rugby World Cup Games To Radio
25 September 2019
The SABC will be broadcasting a few “select” Rugby World Cup matches — but only on radio stations.
The confirmation that was issued by the national public broadcaster on Friday comes just a week after it had said that it could not reach an agreement over broadcast rights for the tournament, either for TV or for radio. This, it said, was because of financial pressures at the troubled broadcaster.
It was later revealed that it would have cost the SABC close to $27mil to broadcast the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
The SABC said that it would still lose money in the deal that was announced on Friday.
The World Cup started in Japan on Friday, when Japan beat Russia 30-10. The Springboks kicked off their campaign with a match against the current champions, the All Blacks, on Saturday.
SABC’s spokesperson Vuyo Mthembu released a statement saying that an agreement had been struck with IMG, the company that manages the licensing for the World Cup, for the broadcast rights to select matches of the tournament on radio.
Mthembu said that the agreement includes the broadcast of four matches featuring the Springboks, two semifinals and the final match. The SABC radio stations Radio 2000 and RSG will carry live commentary, while Umhlobo Wenene will deliver reports during the matches.
SABC’s acting COO Sylvia Tladi said that the public broadcaster is aware of the fact that rugby is a much-loved sport in South Africa. She added that he is pleased that the SABC was able to negotiate in the interest of the public and fulfil its mandate to provide the SA public with an opportunity to follow the country’s beloved Springboks on the radio even though the SABC would be making a financial loss in the process.