By the conclusion of the IRB Rugby World Cup (RWC), which runs in New Zealand until 23 October, South African pay-TV broadcaster SuperSport will have put 185 hours of live games and magazine shows on air.
This is the first time that SuperSport, the exclusive RWC broadcast rights holder for South Africa, is providing 24-hour channels for rugby. SuperSport 1 and SuperSport HD1 (both available on the DStv platform) are solely dedicated to the World Cup for the duration.
Says SuperSport communications manager Clinton van der Berg: “For live match coverage SuperSport is utilising the high definition (HD) world feed produced by RWC Host Broadcaster, Sky New Zealand, which is stationed at the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Auckland. We have our own commentators at many of the matches including all the South African games.
“Three SuperSport electronic news gathering (ENG) teams have been deployed in New Zealand, each comprising producer, cameraman and reporter. Their footage is streamed back to SuperSport’s headquarters in Randburg, Johannesburg via a content delivery network (CDN).
“We have purchased a brand new on-screen graphics system from Vizrt to enhance our RWC coverage.’
Sky New Zealand is using wirecam technology for key matches, 5.1 surround sound and the use of changing room cameras for the very first time at a RWC.
In terms of new media the world feed is available in South Africa on the mobile TV platform, DStv Mobile and on the Drifta decoder, which allows subscribers to access the broadcast on devices such as iPads and laptops.
A live streaming service has been included on the dedicated RWC section on www.supersport.com. The website also includes live scoring, full match reports, quotes and statistics.
“Our Randburg studio has been transformed for the RWC broadcast and is now a new outdoor garden studio with braai area,’ notes Van der Berg.
SuperSport has sub-licensed some of its RWC broadcast rights to public broadcaster SABC for certain matches.
Screen Africa readers will recall that 25 matches of last year’s FIFA World Cup were produced in 3D. Sadly, no RWC matches will follow suit. According to Rugby World Cup Limited plans to produce 3D coverage of key RWC matches from the tournament, including the final, were reluctantly cancelled after it was confirmed that production company 3D Live was no longer able to meet its production commitments.