Saturday, March 21, 2020

Coronavirus: As global sport broadcasters scramble with their schedules during Covid-19 SuperSport is changing its line-up to thematic channels.

by Thinus Ferreia

Faced with the dramatic collapse in live sports events because of the Covid-19 virus SuperSport is changing all of its channels to thematic channels for the foreseeable future while two channels are made available to lower-tiered DStv subscribers.

Today and tomorrow is the first weekend in South Africa and worldwide without any big-ticket live matches of essentially any type of sporting code that has caused massive scheduling holes because of the growing global coronavirus pandemic.

It's the result of a sudden implosion of content that saw MultiChoice and SuperSport scramble to adapt its programming at the same time as sports networks globally have been left reeling under the disappearance of sports of all kind.  

"Live sport is massively impacted. We are combatting this by acquiring the best award-winning sport documentaries from around the globe, among other top programming," explains Gideon Khobane, SuperSport CEO.

He says SuperSport is working closely with its broadcast partners to mitigate the absence of live sport. With all major sport affected SuperSport will be broadcasting postponed events when they are rescheduled.

The result is major sudden changes to the schedules for the foreseeable future across all of SuperSport's channels seen in South Africa and across sub-Saharan Africa which is converting its line-up to thematic channels.

SuperSport 1 that is usually only available to DStv Premium subscribers can now be accessed by DStv Compact and DStv Compact Plus subscribers as well until 30 April 2020.

MultiChoice is also opening SuperSport 7 for the same period that can now be watched by DStv Compact Plus, DStv Compact, DStv Access and DStv Family subscribers as well. SuperSport 7 will become a"best of football" content offering.

SuperSport 1 has also scheduled the ESPN-acquired "30 for 30" documentary series which has been showing since this past Monday.

The SuperSport 1 (DStv 201) channel will remain the lynchpin of SuperSport's best content offering. The channel will feature premium sports documentaries and a new programming block called SuperSport GrandStand between 17:00 and 21:00.

The various SuperSport presenters will host a studio show that focuses on themed content from specific sporting genre. Between 13:00 and 17:00 daily SuperSport 1 will feature a Viewers’ Choice programming block where viewers’ social media suggestions on their favourite sporting moments will determine the content.

The various SuperSport thematic channel changes are the following:

SuperSport 1: Relive Sport Stories (Grandstand / Viewers’ Choice / documentaries)
SuperSport 2:Relive rugby / cricket
SuperSport 3: Relive Premier League
SuperSport 4: Relive PSL
SuperSport 5: Relive golf
SuperSport 6: Relive tennis
SuperSport 7: Relive best football (mix of UCL, EPL, La Liga, Serie A, FIFA, documentaries)
SuperSport 8: Relive Motorsport, F1, MotoGP, Superbikes
SuperSport 9: Relive WWE            
SuperSport 10: Relive local sports / athletics / various     
SuperSport 11: Relive action: Combat, UFC, EFC, boxing, extreme
SuperSport 12: Relive E Sport