Cape Town - South African cricket fans were richly rewarded on Friday when pay-channel Dstv made a belated u-turn to confirm that SuperSport will indeed be showing the Indian Premier League this year.
The broadcaster announced to its subscribers on Thursday that they were not successful in securing a deal for the world’s biggest T20 league and would therefore not be showing the IPL.
SuperSport has broadcasted the IPL in South Africa since its inception in 2008.
However, after “updated conversations” on Thursday evening and Friday morning, SuperSport released a statement stating they will now continue to broadcast the IPL in Sub-Sahara Africa.
“We are very happy to have reached an agreement to continue our partnership with the IPL that extends back to the inaugural event in 2008,” said Marc Jury, chief executive of SuperSport.
“DStv can confirm that all IPL matches will be broadcast on SuperSport, starting today. All 74 matches of the tournament will be broadcast live, starting with the Gujarat Titans vs Chennai Super Kings (DStv channel 212) at 16:00 (CAT),” the statement said.
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There was a huge outcry on social media on Thursday when it was revealed the IPL would not be broadcast in South Africa.
Seventeen South Africans, including the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock and David Miller, form part of nine of the 10 teams participating in this season’s IPL.
Miller’s Gujarat Titans are the defending champions, although he along with the rest of the Proteas contingent will not be available for the opening IPL weekend as they are finishing off the home international summer with two ODI’s against Netherlands today and on Sunday.
The two ODI’s against the Dutch are of critical importance to the Proteas as they require a positive result in an attempt to secure automatic qualification to the ICC World Cup in India later this year.