multichoice, sabc, rugby world cup, openview

‘Bullying tactics’: Calls for Multichoice to remove Rugby World Cup restrictions

Multichoice have been blasted for ‘bullying tactics’ after it restricted the SABC from broadcasting the Rugby World Cup to its rival, OpenView

multichoice, sabc, rugby world cup, openview

eMedia Investments – the company that owns eTV, eNCA, and OpenView, a free-to-air service platform – has slammed Multichoice’s decision to omit its subscribers from watching the Rugby World Cup via its satellite TV rival. This, after DStv granted SABC the last-minute sub-licensing deal.

The group of companies has called for Multichoice to revoke its limitations, which have affected 3.2 million households across South Africa.

The Rugby World Cup officially kicks off in France on Friday, 8 September, and will continue until 28 October. The SABC has been granted a deal to broadcast 16 out of 48 matches during the seven-week tournament.

ALSO READ: RWC details: SABC viewers can watch THESE 16 matches


On Thursday, the SABC announced that it had received a sub-licensing deal to air a third of the Rugby World Cup, which Multichoice has the official broadcast rights to via its Supersports channels on Dstv.

In a media briefing Friday, Minister of Sport Zizi Kodwa revealed that the deal came at a price: Multichoice had barred OpenView subscribers from watching the matches on the free-to-view SABC channels.

SABC secured the rights with the help of partners Hollywoodbets and South African Breweries.

ALSO READ: A song for the Springboks: WAGS record RWC anthem [watch]

However, SABC chief operating officer Ian Plaatjies claims the public broadcaster had received the “short end of the deal.”

In an interview with 702, Plaatjies revealed that Multichoice had charged them three times the actual value of the broadcasting rights to the Rugby World Cup.

He also accused Multichoice of having “bullying and huge anti-competitive behaviour.”

sabc, springboks, rugby world cup
SABC will broadcast these 16 RWC matches. Images via Twitter: @sabcsport/ @springboks

ALSO READ: ‘What about load shedding?’: SABC’s World Cup broadcast rights bring little joy

Plaaitjies encouraged sponsors to ditch Supersport and spend it on SABC instead.

“We will have an audience more than five times what SuperSport will have,” he told 702.


Meanwhile, eMedia called on Multichoice to amend its “unjust” limitations against OpenView subscribers to watch the Rugby World Cup.

According to a formal letter issued to the CEO of Multichoice, Multichoice Africa, and Supersport, eMedia made the following points.

ALSO READ: Hollywoodbets helps SABC secure RWC broadcast rights [photos]

  • Multichoice had “unjustifiably” excluded OpenView subscribers from watching the Rugby World Cup.
  • Undermining consumer welfare and public interest
  • “Abusing” its position as leader in the satellite TV industry
  • eTV was not given the rights to tender for the broadcast rights of the Rugby World Cup
  • The urgent removal of restrictions placed on the SABC to air the tournament via OpenView.