Fired for tweeting - TechCentral

Fired for tweeting

@TankLanning's Twitter stream

SuperSport has let go of rugby commentator Andrew (Tank) Lanning after he revealed market-sensitive information about the company on popular social media platform Twitter.

The broadcaster’s communications manager, Clinton van der Berg, says it “regrets that Lanning, while attending a commentary workshop at SuperSport on Wednesday, chose to tweet various confidential matters pertaining to both SuperSport and SA Rugby”.

Van der Berg says Lanning’s actions were contrary to company policy. Although the company has a social media policy in place, it says this wasn’t necessarily breached. However, Lanning’s posts breached confidentiality and would have been actionable no matter the medium used.

Lanning used his Twitter account to publish several figures during what he called a “SuperSport presentation”. The figures included possibly market-sensitive information about SuperSport and parent MultiChoice, which is owned ultimately by JSE-listed media group Naspers.

The tweets included MultiChoice subscriber numbers — that the company had 200 000 subscribers to its high-definition service and 5m customers in total on DStv. MultiChoice is Naspers’s biggest subsidiary and profit contributor.

Other tweets from Lanning that could have offended SuperSport included one that said viewership of the opening Super Rugby match between the Bulls and the Lions was down 16% on a year ago. He also said that popular rugby show, Boots & All, had improved viewership by 35%. But this had been because of an increase in the number of times the show was repeated.

On Thursday, Lanning tweeted that SuperSport had axed him for a “fairly innocuous [tweet]about managing players during Tri-Nations in a World Cup year”.

SuperSport says it was Lanning who suggested he part ways with the company and that SuperSport had only told him off about the tweets.

“Andrew was admonished for his conduct. In response to this, he expressed the opinion that SuperSport was conducting itself in a childish manner and proposed that he part ways with the company,” says Van der Berg.

“SuperSport, in the circumstances, accepted Andrew’s suggestion to part ways.”

Lanning could not immediately be reached for comment.  — Candice Jones, TechCentral


  1. Hmmm… well if I were SuperSport I would also not be too happy with someone tweeting stat’s on viewer-ship and other confidential information. Saying that though… who cares how many thousands watch Supersport ( or don’t ) 🙂

    Pretty dof though of Lanning to tweet confidential company information, also opinion about the company he works for…

  2. Me no understand. Are the figures correct or not? What is the impact of making the figures public? Does SuperSport / Naspers / MulitChoice have something to hide? A little bit childish this whole thing.

  3. @Nicolette What’s not to understand – he violated an NDA, and when he was chastised over it, he had a hissy fit and walked out.

    You’re right. Very childish – on the side of Andrew Lanning .. he should just have apologised.

  4. Scheez!! someone spilled the beans, speak of handing a gold bar for “Mahala” (free).
    Lets just say if you understand, sponsorship, airtime sales, Jse and the next big move, all you need is the four above. In my Language” NOT COOL”. Well the general public wouldn’t see much in that, but strategic Profilers another story.

    One comment to big corporations, “please explain your strategy and vision to your employees so that this mistakes don’t happen”, it’s pretty obvious that the gent who tweeted this info didn’t see any harm in this. An A grade lesson guys, that’s what this is.

  5. not surprised they are annoyed at him for disclosing how few HD subscribers they have……………extremely greedy company multichoice…………………very high subscriptions and very high price for the HD decoder…………………..would make sense for them to make the decoder cheap

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