The English Premier League will soon be available 24 hours per day in High Definition on a new DStv SuperSport channel.
Announcing the imminent launch of an HD channel for the English Premiership League, SuperSport revealed that all 380 matches will be broadcast, 180 of them live, annually. The deal runs for three years.
The SSHD2 channel launches at 1pm on August 13, on the eve of the start of the 2010/11 season, and will be broadcast across the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa, excluding Nigeria.
Live commentary will be available in both English and Portuguese.
The Premiership has traditionally enjoyed outstanding viewership ratings on SuperSport and this commercial arrangement is expected to amplify the league’s extraordinary popularity. It is already the most viewed sporting league on earth and is seen in over 200 countries.
“This is massive and South Africa will be one of the very first countries to receive the 24-hour channel,” said Imtiaz Patel, CE of SuperSport. “High Definition is the way to go for sports viewing and we are delighted to be leading the way with our partners in England.”
Apart from the eight live matches per week, there will be four weekly magazine shows, 400 classic matches, plus a review of the past decade and the best goals from the past 10 seasons.
Reacting to the arrangement, English football legend John Barnes described it as “very significant.”
“The league is the biggest in the world. All eyes are on England and while they didn’t go well in the World Cup, the English Premiership goes from strength to strength,” said Barnes. “It’s a fantastic league with fantastic players and personalities. It’s a superb SuperSport coup.”
Major matches will enjoy a 45-minute buildup from the UK with top studio guests. Plus there will be match interviews and reactions, a Saturday review and match of the week.
In addition, there will be a Fan Zone to field international calls, daily news shows and a news ticker on non-live matches.
Programming will continue in the 12-week off-season.
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