"We want an agreement that guarantees rugby on Saturday to all the people across South Africa," is the reason why trade union federation Cosatu is planning to boycott the Springboks vs New Zealand game at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.
"If they do not meet our requirements, we will boycott."Tony Ehrenreich, Cosatu Western Cape general secretary
Supersport has the rights to broadcast Springbok games, which means only Supersport subscribers can watch bok games live. The rest of the country has to watch a delayed broadcast, hours later, on SABC.
Representatives of Cosatu, Supersport and South African Rugby met with Minister of Sport Thulas Nxesi yesterday to try and come to an agreement regarding the broadcast, but nothing was concluded.
Cosatu Western Cape general secretary Tony Ehrenreich told HuffPost SA they would be meeting again on Friday at 1pm.
"Meeting was not concluded, we will have a follow-up meeting again today... If they do not meet our requirements, we will boycott the game tomorrow at Newlands."
Ehrenreich was quoted on News24 as saying: "We want an agreement that guarantees rugby on Saturday to all the people across South Africa.
"Cosatu doesn't want to sabotage any national sport. We support our national teams. But we can't allow these inequities to continue," he said.
Cosatu wants the match to be broadcast live on a free-to-air channel, because if the national team is playing, then the national state broadcaster, which is the SABC, should have the rights to broadcast that game as part of their mandate.
How It Works: SABC vs Supersport
- The SABC has a mandate to reflect South Africa and our diverse culture, so content has to be local.
- Supersport is a private company, so its aim is to maximise profits. It is not restricted by a mandate.
- National games need to be on a national media platform so that all citizens are able to watch.
- With Supersport having the broadcasting rights to Springbok games, it means the majority of South Africans do not see the games live and are thus marginalised.
- Under the SABC's mandate, the government should play its part in ensuring that all South Africans have access to televised Test rugby.
The South African Rugby Union will hope the situation can be resolved because South Africa's bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup is still in progress and internal civil division such as this might hamper the bid.