Rugby World Cup SABC

Photo: Pixabay

SABC blackout: How to follow the Rugby World Cup for free in South Africa

SABC have revealed they can no longer broadcast the Rugby World Cup, leaving SA without free-to-air coverage. But where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Rugby World Cup SABC

Photo: Pixabay

In a dramatic turn of events on Monday night, SABC announced they would not be broadcasting any games from the Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan. The tournament gets underway on Friday, but the various TV channels and radio stations can no longer afford the rights to cover the showpiece spectacle. Now, only SuperSport will show live games.

Rugby World Cup removed from SABC schedule

The news has been met with widespread anger across South Africa, as millions of fans have been cut off from the event. SABC confirmed their decision via social media, leaving a whole host of rugby fans desolate. However, there’s no reason to give up on following the tournament just yet.

There are actually a few ways to get around this free-to-air blackout. We can’t possibly advocate the use of illegal streaming sites – the damn things are propped up by Malware and have the potential to give your electronic device a virus – but we have some pretty decent alternatives here:

How to watch the Rugby World Cup 2019 for free in South Africa:

Password sharing for DStv

This is the method likely to test a few friendships, but remains effective nonetheless. If you know someone with a DStv and SuperSport subscription, you can borrow their login details and stream the games on your TV, tablet, phone or laptop. Both you and the “lender” can watch different channels at the same time.

However, the login details can only cover two users at a time. So if the username and password is given to a third person, and the two of them start watching on their personal platforms, it could boot the generous sharer out of their own subscription.

People who are prepared to share their login details must ensure they pick someone they trust deeply. On the other side, it’s probably good etiquette to at least compensate your friend or family member with a six-pack of ale they can keep in the fridge, ready for kick-off.

Radio in limbo

With the first game set to kick off on Friday – and the Boks’ clash with New Zealand happening this Saturday – SABC has also ditched its radio coverage of the Rugby World Cup. It’s an absolute hammer-blow for millions of South Africans, who rely on the airwaves as their sole form of sports coverage.

As we’ve seen with the PSL fiasco earlier this year, SABC are capable of reaching an 11th-hour broadcasting agreement. But as it stands, there is a vacuum for radio – and no station in South African will provide commentary unless we see another late intervention.

Boktown areas and fan parks

Here’s a solution that is both practical and social. There are a number of open-air “fan parks” that have been set up across South Africa for the Rugby World Cup. Many are under the “Boktown” banner, and the service will provide pre-match entertainment as well as televising the games live.

The news gets even better. There is no cover charge for the actual screening of games. For just R30, you can activate your Boktown membership and get a free alcoholic or soft drink upon arrival. You can visit Computicket to book ahead, or visit one of the following venues when the games are on:

  • Silverstar Casino, Krugersdorp.
  • Montecasino, Sandton.
  • The Venue, The Ridge, Witbank.
  • Barney’s Tavern, Port Elizabeth (Free entry)
  • Quay Four at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town (Free entry)
  • The Globe at Suncoast, Durban.
  • Goldfields Casino in Welkom.
  • Emnotweni – The Arena, Nelspruit (R20 entry fee).
  • Bravo Lounge, Mossel Bay.

A quick search of “Boktown” on Computicket should help you get where you want to be.

Liveblogging of the Rugby World Cup 2019

You’ve always got us. If you can’t get the subs you need, and the fan parks don’t tickle your fancy, you can follow our extensive liveblogging of every significant game at the Rugby World Cup. Our coverage also comes with video highlights and on-the-whistle reports, so be sure to keep it locked on