SA Rugby president Mark Alexander has implored the SABC to reconsider its decision to scrap radio commentary for Super Rugby and the Currie Cup. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
On Wednesday, TimesLIVE revealed that radio presenters and commentators had been informed late last week that SABC radio would not be able to acquire the rights for the two tournaments.
It’s a decision that has been met with dismay by the commentators, while it will lead to widespread disappointment for many listeners who are unable to afford premium coverage through DStv.
The apparent decision by SABC Radio means that listeners of stations such as Umhlobo Wenene FM‚ Radio Sonder Grense‚ Lesedi FM‚ Radio 2000‚ SA FM‚ Thobela FM‚ Ligwalagwala FM and Tru FM will be left in the lurch when it comes to the coverage of these domestic competitions.
When SA Rugby was approached for a reaction to the news, Alexander said it would be a real ‘shame’ if the national broadcaster no longer provided radio coverage of Super Rugby and the Currie Cup.
‘It is not our place, nor do we have full context to second guess what the internal conversations might have been at the SABC,’ he told SARugbymag.co.za. ‘But we do know that many people across the country enjoy rugby commentary on their radio.
‘We share their disappointment that they may not be able to enjoy this long-established service in the future and would urge the SABC to review its strategy. Rugby is a powerful medium and to see any part of its rich service be eroded is a shame.’
SABC’s head of communications Kaizer Kganyago was unavailable for comment on Thursday morning, but said he would respond at a later stage.