Sports fans, rejoice! DStv’s high-definition sports channel, SuperSport HD, begins broadcasting 24 hours a day from this weekend to mark the launch of the 2010 rugby season in the southern hemisphere.
SuperSport HD, which has been broadcasting intermittently since mid-December, will show 52 Super 14 games between now and the final on 29 May.
The Super 14, which involves teams from SA, Australia and New Zealand, is one of the most the most keenly watched tournaments in the international rugby calendar.
Naspers-owned MultiChoice, which operates the DStv service and owns the rights in SA to broadcast the tournament, has confirmed that the opening game on Saturday, 13 February between the Crusaders and the Highlanders — both New Zealand-based teams — will be broadcast on SuperSport HD at 8am.
Other games to be broadcast this weekend include the local derby between the Lions and the Stormers as well as the game between the Durban-based Sharks and New Zealand’s Chiefs.
According to MultiChoice, none of the three participating countries is producing all Super 14 matches in HD. However, there is a firm commitment to producing as many as possible given available resources and availability of outside broadcasting vehicles.
See graphic below for a full schedule of 2010 Super 14 games to be broadcast in HD. The list is provisional and subject to change.
MultiChoice is the only broadcaster in SA offering HD television for now. However, the launch of the service in 2008 was met with hefty criticism over bugs in its HD decoder and personal video recorder software. Many of those bugs have since been ironed out.
DStv has launched three HD channels to date: SuperSport HD, Discovery HD Showcase and M-Net HD. It’s expected to launch an HD movie channel in the next few months.
Soon-to-be-launched DStv rival On Digital Media has indicated it has no plans, at least in the short term, of launching HD products of its own. Super5Media, which is also expected to launch a pay-TV network later this year, hasn’t yet disclosed any details about its plans. — Staff reporter, TechCentral
- Absa Stadium image credit: Marc Forrest