Currie Cup

SuperSport explains WP, Lions void

2014-09-26 11:55
WP fans (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Pay-channel SuperSport has responded after Western Province and Lions fans were upset that their teams' Currie Cup games will not be shown live this weekend.

Scheduling of games in the premier all-domestic competition has been affected by the clash on Saturday with the Rugby Championship Test between the Springbok and Wallabies at Newlands (17:05 kickoff), meaning that two Currie Cup games are down for Friday and another pair on Saturday.

Log-leaders WP face a perilous away match against the fourth-placed Pumas at their Mbombela Stadium fortress - where they are undefeated - on Friday night (19:00), but the televised game at 19:10 will instead be the clash between the Free State Cheetahs and the struggling Blue Bulls.

The same applies to the second-placed Golden Lions, who go into battle at another potential “banana peel” venue, Kimberley, against Griquas - their match on Saturday (15:00) also takes place without live television cameras present.

Instead the televised Currie Cup fixture on the day is the third-placed Sharks against the wooden-spoon, winless EP Kings (14:00, in time to allow an hour or more afterwards of build-up coverage to the Test).

SuperSport has subsequently released a statement explaining their decision to not broadcast the two top-ranked teams in the competition's matches.

The statement reads:

"SuperSport is unable to broadcast tonight’s Currie Cup fixture between Western Province and the Pumas, but will broadcast highlights on the Blitz channel from early on Saturday morning.

"Logistically, Test match weekend necessitates that SuperSport can only broadcast two Currie Cup games and a single First Division match on the same weekend. The Springboks play Australia at Newlands on Saturday.

"Notwithstanding the appeal of the WP-Pumas match, broadcast selections are made at the start of the season - to enable planning, bookings, etc, well in advance - and preference was given to the traditional rivalry of the Bulls against the Cheetahs (SS1, 19:10 on Friday) in this instance. SuperSport ensures that teams enjoy an equal distribution of TV time.

"SuperSport cannot carry the entire round of Currie Cup action live because the bulk of resources are dedicated to the Test match, chiefly cameras (16), production staff and Outside Broadcast units.

"Other live local broadcasts this weekend include four PSL football fixtures, a First Division Currie Cup game (as per contract) and two full days of basketball, all of which require production facilities and staff.

"Saturday’s Sharks-Kings match will be broadcast live (SS1, 14:00), but the Griquas-Lions match is, like WP-Pumas, similarly affected by the Test match’s production demands.
However, highlights will be broadcast on the Blitz channel on Sunday morning."

Read more on:    lions  |  wp  |  currie cup  |  cape town  |  johannesburg  |  rugby
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