Sunday, September 25, 2016

SABC's botched 2016 Paralympics broadcast worsened by 'badly negotiated' contract with SuperSport that saw SuperSport ordering the SABC to cut back to limited coverage.

Following the SABC's bad 2016 Olympic Games coverage, its botched 2016 Paralympics coverage largely imploded due to a bad SuperSport contract that allegedly saw SuperSport order the South African public broadcaster to scale back its coverage to the marginal content seen on the SABC.

SuperSport and the SABC didn't respond to media enquiries about the SABC's Paralympics coverage and the deal the broadcaster made with SuperSport.

City Press on Sunday reported that SuperSport ordered the SABC to stick to the contract for limited 2016 Paralympics visuals use after SABC producers who were not clearly briefed on what the signed contract allowed, started broadcasting more Paralympics content that what was allowed.

The SABC wasn't allowed to broadcast the opening (or closing) events of the 2016 Paralympics from Rio de Janeiro live since it was prohibited by the contract signed with SuperSport, but SABC staff who were not properly informed about the stipulations of the contract showed too much live coverage.

Hannes du Buisson, president of the Broadcast, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers' Union (Bemawu) trade union, is quoted in City Press, saying the SABC's deal with SuperSport was "so badly negotiated" that it only allowed the SABC "quick in-and-out live broadcasts when South Africans were competing".

SABC staffers who were not told by SABC executives what's allowed and what's not under the strict SuperSport Paralympics contract, rushed to "began broadcasting everything, using four live feeds" until SuperSport sent the SABC a letter ordering the public broadcaster to immediately stop and to stick to the contract.

"The SABC crew was sent back home," said Hannes du Buisson.

Meanwhile ratings for the 2016 Olympic Games on SuperSport and the SABC during August were a flop during August with very few Olympic broadcast events that were showed on either the public broadcaster on on SuperSport's channels across MultiChoice's DStv platform that managed to lure anything close to a sizeable TV audience.