The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has reached an agreement with Supersport to broadcast the 2019 Rugby World Cup final between South Africa and England on Saturday.
The World Rugby’s showpiece finale takes place at the International Stadium in Yokohama on Saturday, November 2 at 11:00 (SA time) and will now be shown live on SABC 2 following the agreement.
The Springboks secured a spot in the fixture after overcoming Wales in a hotly contested semi-final affair.
This comes as welcome news to many South Africans after the broadcaster had been a subject of widespread criticism, following its failure to bring the game to those without access to pay TV.
Following the Springboks’ victory over Wales, calls for the SABC to broadcast the final grew exponentially, with the likes of Gauteng education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi who hogged controversy for his non-existent apartheid flag allegations joining the chorus of displeasure at the Springboks RWC participation blackout despite their good run that has seen then on the verge of claiming the coveted cup.
MultiChoice, SuperSport’s parent company, owns both TV and radio rights.
But according to SABC Group Chief Executive officer (GCEO) Madoda Mxakwe an agreement between MultiChoice and the public broadcaster has been reached and the final will be aired live on SABC 2.
“The SABC is excited to be able to bring this historic game to the nation, as the public broadcaster recognises the role it plays in social cohesion, nation building and promoting sports of national interest. We remain committed to entering into commercially viable agreements and we support and wish the Springboks well as they pursue a place in history,” said Mxakwe.
The third place play-off match between the All Blacks and Wales will also be broadcast on SABC 2 on Friday, November 1 at 11:00.
By Gerald Dandah