SABC plans to add more live sport – including boxing, tennis, and athletics

South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) general manager for sports Gary Rathbone has said the broadcaster will focus on bringing new live sports to its offering.

Speaking in an interview with the Sunday Times, Rathbone said that the broadcasters’ millions of viewers “deserve something that really resonates with them”.

He said that SABC Sport would not compete against SuperSport, but would instead find its own space and offer unique content.

Rathbone added that he wanted to make the SABC the home of boxing going forward, although he also sees an opportunity for athletics and tennis.

“I’m targeting boxing, it is a key part of my strategy. I would say it’s right at the top of my in-tray of to-do things,” he said.

“We will start building a formidable boxing strategy for the broadcaster that can really make us the home of boxing.”

“I think the other two sports we have an opportunity for are athletics and tennis,” Rathbone added.

Sport streaming

South Africa’s live sports broadcasting market is changing, with MultiChoice set to launch live sport streaming in the country next month.

Through its Showmax Pro streaming service product, the company will offer a selection of live sport in addition to the existing movies and series offered by Showmax.

Showmax Pro includes all Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, and PSL games as well as a wide range of live sport events including IAAF Athletics, professional boxing, and the world’s biggest marathons.

It is important to note, however, that Showmax said sport content and pricing may vary by country.

The company began testing its sports live-streaming features in June 2019, and this new Showmax Pro service is based on the results of this process.

“The live sport test we ran on Showmax in conjunction with SuperSport has been well received, so that’s forming an integral part of our new Showmax Pro service,” MultiChoice Connected Video CEO Niclas Ekdahl said at the launch of the service.

He said that the streaming service’s local content offering is a major advantage.

“Showmax is an African video-on-demand service with many years’ experience operating on this continent,” Ekdahl said.

“Our local-first strategy is an advantage because it allows us to tailor our content, apps, packages, and partnerships specifically to what’s most important in Africa.”

Now read: How Netflix killed DStv in South Africa

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SABC plans to add more live sport – including boxing, tennis, and athletics