Sport Industry Column

Broadcasters cash in on soccer

2011-08-08 10:43
Annalie Watt
Comment by Annalie Watt

It’s feasting time for soccer fans – with ‘giant size’ helpings, being dished up by the broadcasters.

The ABSA Premiership alone, enjoyed 395 hours of live and delayed live, TV coverage this past 2010/2011 season on both SABC 1 and SuperSport plus an additional 1506 hours of repeat broadcasts on SuperSport. That adds up to more than 79 days of ABSA Premiership soccer coverage this past season, 13 days more than the 66 days in 2009/2010.

You may say, yes but they’re just filling their broadcast schedules, they have huge surpluses of airtime – on the contrary, they’re attracting viewers. Peak audiences on SABC 1, for the ABSA Premiership, reached 4.9 million viewers whilst peak audiences on SuperSport, reached over 800 000 viewers.

SuperSport has seen a 95.5% growth in peak audiences from 2009/2010 to 2010/2011 – something we have not seen in audience numbers for many many years ! This trend is sure to continue for another season or two. And amazingly, the peak audiences for repeat broadcasts are as high as 195 764 – are we soccer mad or what?

When we looked at research data from a study done in 15 countries including South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Spain, the USA and the UK we found that South Africans were far more interested in ‘sport in general’ (85% vs next highest was Germany at 73%) and ‘sport on TV’ (84% vs next highest was India at 73%) than all 14 other countries. And when asked ‘which are the sports you most like to watch on television’ South Africans first choice was football (79%)

It’s interesting to see where the ‘growth in interest’ has come from – AMPS data from December 2009 to December 2010 shows the overall interest in soccer amongst South Africans older than 15 up from 45.5% to 50.7% – it went down to 43.9% in June 2009. June 2010 saw it increase to 48.1% - long may the World Cup be credited for a re-birth in interest in this sport amongst both males and females ! Male interest increased from 61.3% in June 2009 to 66.8 % in June 2010 and interest amongst females increased from 26.6% in June 2009 to 31.2% in June 2010.

This feast can seat many more – long may the feasting last...

* The Business of Sport Column is produced in partnership with the Virgin Active Sport Industry Awards 2012. Now in their second year, the Awards have officially opened for entries; an annual opportunity for the rapidly evolving South African sports market to be recognised for its work. Click HERE for more details...or follow us on Twitter: @SportindustrySA

Annalie Watt is a director at Repucom SA


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee remains defiant, saying he won't resign despite a shambolic two years at the helm. Your thoughts?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.