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Supersport: ‘We Won’t Back Down’ from eMedia’s Media Mauling


The Great Broadcast Rumble: SuperSport Swings Back at eMedia’s Greedy Grab

Tensions are running high in the local broadcasting industry as SuperSport goes toe-to-toe with eMedia in a battle over broadcasting rights for the upcoming Springboks vs Ireland rugby matches.

In a scathing new affidavit, SuperSport CEO Rendani Ramovha has lobbed a series of verbal grenades at eMedia, accusing the company of greed and attempting to strong-arm a deal by threatening to take matters to court.

The drama began earlier this year when eMedia fired off a complaint to the Competition Tribunal, alleging that MultiChoice-owned SuperSport was using its market dominance to stifle competition in the broadcasting industry. eMedia specifically took issue with SuperSport’s failure to allow the SABC to simulcast rugby and cricket games on its Openview platform, a popular free-to-air satellite service carried by eMedia.

But eMedia’s real motive, according to Ramovha, is to get its mitts on the Springboks and Ireland rugby matches for free. "What eMedia is really after is a right to broadcast the Irish tests without compensating SuperSport or any other rights holder," Ramovha wrote in his affidavit. "After all, eMedia never put in a competitive offer for the sub-licensing rights during the bidding process. Instead, it hopes to get the rights for free by ‘persuading’ the court that SuperSport and the SABC entered into an unfair agreement."

Ramovha also accused eMedia of engaged in a "scorched earth" approach, threatening to take away rugby fans’ ability to watch the sport altogether if it doesn’t get what it wants. "If eMedia gets its way, no SABC viewers will be able to watch the Irish tests," Ramovha warned.

Despite the intense rhetoric, the real outcome of this battle will be decided in the courts. The Competition Appeal Court is set to hear eMedia’s emergency application to extend the sublicensing rights to Openview or nullify the deal between the SABC and SuperSport entirely.

One thing is certain: there will be no shortage of controversy and drama in the coming weeks and months as these two broadcasting powerhouses clash in a battle royale for the hearts and minds – and wallets – of South Africa’s sports fans.



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