With the ineptly-run SABC broke and unable to secure broadcasting rights to anything worth watching, SuperSport has been allowed to claim absolute monopoly over all major sporting events aired on South African television.
In other words, if you’re not willing (or unable) to shell out around a grand a month on a premium DStv package, you’re not going to be watching your favourite sports.
This hasn’t been sitting too well with many South Africans, particularly the folks over at ICASA who, back in January, released its Draft Sports Broadcasting Services Amendment Regulations which aims to make the big sporting events available for free to all South Africans.
We’ve spoken a little bit about the dangers accompanying these amendments, and for many other reasons, SuperSport isn’t too thrilled about it either.
While South Africa waits for agreements to be reached, another possible solution has made itself available: YouTube.
Earlier this week, YouTube announced that fans of rugby, cricket, football and even basketball can now enjoy their favourite sports on YouTube via video-on-demand (VOD). This includes some of the most-watched sporting events in the world, such as the UEFA Champions League, Serie A, La Liga, UFC, AFCON and much more.
Video-on-demand, of course, means that fans won’t be able to watch live streams of the event, but events will be available to watch for free to all YouTube users once it has concluded. YouTube has stated that it will be offering live streams in the near future.
“Africa is a sport-loving continent, so it makes perfect sense for us to bring African sports fans what they love,” said YouTube Content Partnerships lead, Dayo Olopade.
Last year, YouTube saw a 70% (61 billion) increase in viewings of sports and fitness related content – a clear indication of what the audience is interested in.
“It’s an amazing summer of sport around the world and in Africa. We know audiences are excited about sports content on YouTube and we are pleased to be able to bring fans more of the sports they love, in collaboration with our global and local partners.”
While Showmax also recently launched a sports offering to its subscribers, it’s possible that YouTube will be able to offer both live streams and highlights to many more events – including the likes of which South Africans haven’t been able to see before.
Plus, of course, YouTube is free to use, provided you have access to the internet.
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