Proteas final

Proteas lost to India in the T20 World Cup final. Image: CSA

Will eMedia and SABC broadcast the T20 World Cup?

Proteas start their T20 World Cup campaign this afternoon but SABC and eMedia were not able to secure rights to broadcast the tournament.

Proteas final

Proteas lost to India in the T20 World Cup final. Image: CSA

Proteas open their T20 international World Cup campaign this afternoon against Sri Lanka but South Africans won’t be able to watch the match on SABC or eMedia.

Last month, eMedia said they failed to acquire the rights to televise the T20 World Cup due to a constrained bidding time frame provided by MultiChoice.

MultiChoice has had exclusive rights to the broadcast mostly cricket and rugby World Cups. Last year, SABC and DStv secured a last-minute broadcast deal for the 2023 Cricket World Cup broadcast. This year, it seems as if the two parties never entered talks ahead of the T20I World Cup which is currently taking place in USA.

According to reports, Multichoice only gave free-to-air broadcasters, including e.tv the opportunity to tender rights to televise the World Cup with weeks left before the tournament. As a result, eMedia was unable to tender for these rights

Due to this conduct, the broadcaster believes MultiChoice has violated the Electronic Communications Act and the Sports Broadcasting Regulations, which mandate prompt notification to free-to-air broadcasters.

SABC and eMedia won’t broadcast T20 World Cup

“This means that millions of loyal e.tv viewers, who do not have access to DStv’s paid services, will be denied the opportunity to watch the South African T20 World Cup matches for free on its channel,” eMedia said.

“MultiChoice’s actions violate both the Electronic Communications Act and the Sports Broadcasting Regulations, which mandate prompt notification to free-to-air broadcasters. Multichoice has not explained why it did not do so until the last minute. 

“eMedia views the issuing of these late invitations to tender by Multichoice as undermining fair competition and ignoring a recent Competition Tribunal order designed to prevent such restrictive practices. 

Another Proteas World Cup blackout

eMedia has formally raised these concerns with MultiChoice, demanding an end to these harmful tactics but has received no response. This behaviour is not only unfair to e.tv’s dedicated viewers but also detrimental to the South African broadcasting industry as a whole. eMedia is disappointed that Multichoice has treated free-to-air broadcasters who compete with them in this way. “

“This is particularly so given that Multichoice cannot use the free-to-air rights it has purchased. The issue of the manner in which Multichoice deals with its exclusive purchase of sports rights is currently being dealt with at the Competition Commission and ICASA as a result of complaints by eMedia relating to this conduct. “