Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The great Euro2016 qualifying failure: SuperSport explain their embarrassing lack of live coverage

What we didn't see: O'Shea's late leveller for Ireland in Germany
Without only a brief comment, here's SuperSport communications manager Clinton van der Berg's response to my twitters last night, lamenting their lack of Euro2016 qualifying coverage on ANY of their multiple channels.
While Cristiano Ronaldo was scoring a last-minute winner to engineer Portugal's first win of the tournament and the Republic of Ireland's John O'Shea scored a late, late 94th minute equaliser against ailing World Champions Germany, SuperSport viewers were left in the dark once more without any explanation for the absence of coverage.

With no other high-profile live football on, their continued black-out of European football seemed inexplicable, after years of top rate coverage. Repeated pleas for a coherent explanation were met with a stony silence from @SuperSportTV and the usually responsive twitter account of my erstwhile pal Docky Dockrat.

Today I received a numbers of calls from Clinton, sports editor when I wrote British football for the Johannesburg Sunday Times a decade ago. The conversation was amicable. Clint said he had been met by "a queue of people" when he arrived at work talking about my twitters. I understood my frustrations but explained the Euro qualifiers had been offered "as a bundle" at considerable cost. Conditions had changed without warning, he said. After much deliberating, the company decided not to carry live coverage of the qualification rounds, though they will be covering the finals tournament itself.

I told him without knowing the cost of coverage, I was unable to judge whether SuperSport had taken a fair decision on the Euro qualifiers. I welcome the fuller coverage of AFCON qualifiers, but questioned the lack of live international football for which SuperSport has become famous continent-wide. SuperSport carries a lot of live cricket and rugby at varying levels, but for top level football to miss out seems unacceptable given substantial subscription charges.

I pointed out European visitors are always impressed by Premier League, La Liga and Bundesliga coverage in South Africa - particularly the number of live games on a Saturday afternoon - but that failing to show live coverage of teams like England, Scotland, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Germany and Holland left a sour taste even here, at the tip of Africa.

Clint said he had an explanation and sent me this response via email... judge for yourself.
Hi Neal,

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to put across SuperSport’s side of things.
As I explained, SuperSport endeavours at all times to acquire top-quality content. We negotiated in good faith but had to walk away when the numbers got out of hand.
Our general statement follows.



Description: Description: Description: Description: SuperSport Logo

Clinton van der Berg 
Communications Manager
E: | W:
A: World of Champions Building | 137 Bram Fischer Drive | Randburg | 2194 | South Africa

SuperSport and football rights

SuperSport proudly broadcasts more football showcasing the world’s most popular leagues than any other broadcaster.
In the 2013/14 season this included:

380 Barclays Premiership games (250 live);
133 PSL, plus MTN8 (nine), Telkom Cup (12) and Nedbank Cup (17) matches;
115 Champions League matches;
85 Europa League matches;
175 La Liga matches; 
150 Serie A matches;
130 Bundesliga matches.
This volume and quality account for SuperSport’s status as the game’s preeminent broadcaster.
SuperSport also broadcasts the FIFA World Cup and the Euro competitions, the next edition which will be held in 2016.
SuperSport has also acquired the rights to friendly matches played by World Cup champions Germany, Holland and Brazil for the next three years and holds rights to the friendlies of various other major football nations.
SuperSport has recently decided to renew focus on African football. For the first time, SuperSport will be broadcasting a bloc of 50 Afcon qualifiers, plus the African Women’s Championship from Namibia featuring South Africa, Zambia, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Algeria, Ghana and Namibia. It begins this weekend.
This is in addition to SuperSport’s broadcast of all CAF football properties, including Afcon (the next edition which will be held in Morocco early in 2015) and the African Nations Championship (CHAN).
What’s more, the ongoing MultiChoice Diski Challenge will enjoy 41 live match broadcasts. The National First Division had eight live broadcasts in the recent season while there were 18 live broadcasts of SA Varsity Football
In all, 843 hours of football action was broadcast on SuperSport in 2013/14. Back to back, it would have taken 35 days to watch it all non-stop.
A typical recent week (August 13-20, 2014) saw 50 live games broadcast on SuperSport in 157 hours.
The current season will see SuperSport broadcast 1661 matches for a total duration of 2491 hours. This incorporates 27 different leagues and championships – more than any other broadcaster.
Live talk programming amounts to three hours per day on week days with an additional fan show on Saturday and Sunday nights for one hour following live matches.
SuperSport has not concluded acceptable commercial terms in a competitive market in respect of broadcast rights to UEFA qualifiers. We are, however, the only pay broadcaster which will broadcast the actual Euro 2016 tournament.

No comments:

Post a Comment