CAPE TOWN – At last! South African fans of the English Premier League will get live coverage of matches on SABC3, starting on Saturday.
The national broadcaster announced on Tuesday that they will begin covering arguably the most popular league in the world with build-up and review magazine programmes, as well as one live match every Saturday at 4pm.
The broadcast time will change to 5pm during the South African summer, when the UK clocks change.
Up to now, SA fans have had to subscribe to pay channel SuperSport to watch their favourite English teams.
SABC’s coverage kicks off this weekend with what is sure to be a fiery London derby between Arsenal and West Ham at the Emirates (4pm Saturday).
“SABC3 is going to provide South Africans who love sports and in particular, soccer, the opportunity to access some of the greatest teams in the world in one of the biggest leagues globally for free,” said David Makubyane, the general manager: SABC TV Channels.
“The Premier League has a strong brand equity that we believe will contribute towards the building of the SABC3 brand.”
Not only will the matches be broadcast live, but there will be a Premier League Preview Show at 3pm, which will be followed by a live studio build-up at 3.30pm before the match.
In addition, the weekend review show will air on Tuesday evenings at 11.30pm, where all the highlights and goals from the Premier League will be shown.
“Football is a sport that connects the world. It enjoys a broad and diverse fan base that transcends race, social standing and borders. SABC is proud to introduce this universal sport to all South Africans,” said Renee Williams, the acting group executive for SABC Sport.
“We are happy to bring two of the world’s best football leagues to our audiences on Saturday afternoons, with our local league, the PSL on SABC1 and the Premier League on SABC3. With this much anticipated offering, SABC reaffirms its position as the leading public broadcaster on the continent.”
The following matches are coming up over the next few weeks for Premier League fans on SABC3:
25 August: Arsenal v West Ham
2 September: Burnley v Manchester United
15 September: Manchester United v Fulham
22 September: Liverpool v Southampton@ashfakmohamed