This weekend’s heavyweight fight between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko was billed as one of the biggest boxing matches of 2017, and lived up to the hype.
Joshua won by TKO late in the fight – a fight which many viewers expected to be on SuperSport.
Multiple posts on SuperSport’s Facebook page and complaints received by MyBroadband by sports fans asked SuperSport if the fight was going to be shown and why it was not in the TV schedule.
The fight was not on SuperSport, and was broadcast by channel 261 on DStv – 1 KZN TV – with Kwese TV securing the rights to the fight.
1 KZN TV is available on the traditional TV-decoder set-up, but is not available on the DStv Now platform – while SuperSport is.
Securing the rights
SuperSport said it pursues rights to major fights as a policy and was interested in acquiring the rights to the Joshua-Klitschko bout.
It was excluded from doing so due to a prevailing rights deal which SuperSport was excluded from, it said.
“Matchroom, the promoters and rights holders, signed a long-term deal with a competitor on the continent,” said SuperSport.
“A precondition of acquiring Matchroom’s boxing was that it would come packaged with their snooker and darts content, which SuperSport has little interest in.”
“It was a take-it-or-leave-it deal. On its own volition, the competitor made the rights available to two community TV stations,” said SuperSport.