JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance on Saturday welcomed the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) announcement that it will broadcast 2019 Rugby World Cup games in Japan on radio.

On Friday, the SABC announced that it had acquired the rights to broadcast four matches featuring the Springboks, as well as two semi-finals and the final match, DA shadow minister of communications and digital technologies Phumzile van Damme said.

While this was not ideal, and it would have been preferable for all South Africans to be able to watch on TV the South African rugby team play in Japan, the DA was pleased that the cash-strapped SABC had been able to strike a deal for radio.

The SABC had indicated that the purchase of the radio rights would be at a loss. "We implore the SABC board and management to work with sponsors and advertisers to make sure that no money is lost," she said.

It was unfortunate that Multichoice had not agreed to the plea, which many South Africans support, for it to share, at the very least, Springbok games with the public broadcaster. Delayed matches would have been a kind gesture.

"We fully respect that Multichoice’s right to make a profit and recoup the millions it paid for TV rights, but we believe some goodwill, and contributing to nation-building, would have been beneficial for the company.

"Sport, rugby in particular, has played a valuable role in bringing South Africans together and contributed greatly to nation-building. The DA is pleased that those who do not own DSTV or TVs can gather around the radio to listen to AmaBokoBoko," Van Damme said.

African News Agency