The DA shares the disappointment of South African rugby fans who cannot afford DSTV and will not be able to watch World Cup rugby games.
We understand why the cash-strapped public broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) could not afford to purchase the broadcasting rights for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. The SABC is currently facing a financial crisis largely as a result of corruption and financial mismanagement that took place during the Hlaudi Motsoeneng era.
The GCEO of the SABC, Madoda Maxakwe yesterday revealed that it would have cost the SABC $28 million (R420 million) to broadcast the Rugby World Cup on television as a sub-license from DSTV’s Supersport. The SABC also recently revealed it could not reach an agreement with Supersport regarding the price.
Radio rights would have been also unaffordable, particularly in production costs to do justice to rugby fans who usually get commentary in languages other than English.
We also understand that having the television broadcasting rights of the Rugby World Cup is financially beneficial to Multichoice, particularly to recoup their purchase price.
However, in the spirit of nation-building, Multichoice should at the very least consider sharing games in which the Springboks are playing with the public broadcaster. This will go a long way in demonstrating goodwill to the people of South Africa and contributing to nation-building.
The 1995 Rugby World Cup played an important role in uniting South Africans at a critical time in our democracy. And in that spirit, Multichoice should seriously consider further contributing to that important objective of our democracy. Multichoice should not only consider their bottom line, but the corporate social responsibility it has to the people of our country.
The DA looks forward to Multichoice’s response in this regard, and trust that it will consider our genuine plea on behalf of rugby fans who desperately want to see our national rugby team, the Springbooks participate in the World Cup.
Phumzile Van Damme MP
DA Shadow Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies
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