TV blackout for SA tennis

2012-04-01 19:30

Johannesburg - South African tennis, so often the Cinderella sport when it comes to TV coverage, will again face a blackout for the coming weekend's Euro-Africa Group One Davis Cup tie against Slovenia at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Complex in Soweto.

The fact that there will be no live TV coverage of the three-day event, which has far-reaching consequences for South African tennis, was confirmed on Sunday by Tennis South Africa (TSA) media consultant Bruce Davidson.

Davidson explained that SuperSport had informed TSA that new building construction undertaken by the Johannesburg City Council at the Arthur Ashe Complex interfered with camera vantage points and a high-standard live coverage was not possible as a consequence.

But Davidson was loathe to comment on whether a financial consideration had played any part in the live blackout - beyond confirming what is common knowledge in that TSA is currently under extreme pressure to obtain a sponsor to bolster the sport in the country. He said, however, that an overall package of the South Africa-Slovenia tie would be screened on SuperSport within the next couple of weeks.

To add to the dilemma, national broadcaster SABC has shown no interest in televising the Davis Cup in what would be a decided boost for South African tennis.

The revived ATP-sanctioned South African Open, which flourished at Montecasino over the past three years, was again discontinued this year and the burgeoning Soweto Open, an ATP Challenger event, has also fallen by the wayside after the Johannesburg City Council decided not to renew their sponsorship of the event.

It had been hoped progress in the Davis Cup would be the main vehicle for exposure of South African tennis in 2012, but this was dealt a hefty blow when South Africa's top players - the world's 28th-ranked Kevin Anderson and Rik De Voest made themselves unavailable for the Slovenia tie.


  • Hartmut - 2012-04-01 21:05

    It is not a sport for the masses!

      Christijan - 2012-04-01 21:59

      I'm sorry, for a moment I thought I read you said it is not a sport for the masses? I did read correctly.... Of course the masses have no idea who Roger Federer or Raphael Nadal is. Obviously on one has an idea what Wimbledon is. With 206 associations Tennis has the most active national associations in the world next to soccer, but it is not a sport for the masses, no. People in this country have no idea who Amanda Coetzer is or Wayne Fereira. While golf gets a whole tour in South Africa, Tennis can't get coverage for an international fixture. I am disappointed in South Africa. Kevin Anderson, SA's nr. 1 player and nr. 28 in the world has made more than $1,6 million and he is only 25. But he had to do so oversees because we in South Africa can't give our players the opportunity. We can't even give our national team TV coverage. I am very disappointed in South Africa...

  • Hermann - 2012-04-01 22:53

    To add to the dilemma, national broadcaster SABC has shown no interest in televising the Davis Cup in what would be a decided boost for South African tennis. Of course not the tennis players are too white.

      Koos - 2012-04-02 01:16

      In single player sport where you need to rely on your talent and commitment the players of coulour will be few and far between. Next step is to blame apartheid for this.

  • colin.dovey - 2012-04-01 23:36

    SATV = No Soccer coverage that matters, No Rugby, No Tennis, No Hockey, SATV = Politics, Boring, Fishbowl TV on Sunday afternoons (same as it was over 30 years agg) SATV = BANKRUPT in 3 years, not able to keep up with the digital revolution (100 Mb/s by even Telkom in 3 years - we won't NEED TV sets!

      Deon - 2012-04-02 08:29

      ...but we have to pay for our license's - pathetic same as for other sports, hockey, netball etal

      Japjapjap - 2012-04-02 09:08

      @xav- "(same as it was over 30 years agg)" ??? You’re not even 30years+, and you know what happened 30y ago on TV- you’re totally brainwashed by the same propaganda on...the same pathetic TV?? pathetic NEW saffies

  • Brent - 2012-04-02 00:19

    The SABC thinks a tennis ball is something you throw for the dog to fetch, shame on you SABC

  • Sekalf - 2012-04-02 07:42

    the quality of tennis played at the Davis Cup (this fixture in particular) is below standard and not worthwhile to be shown.

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