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Shock as SuperSport blacks out relegation games

Channel played irrelevant repeats as Baroka stunned Arrows

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
SuperSport irked football-loving subscribers when it failed to broadcast three crucial Premiership games this week.
SuperSport irked football-loving subscribers when it failed to broadcast three crucial Premiership games this week.
Image: Philip Maeta

SuperSport, a pay-TV channel owned by Premier Soccer League (PSL) title sponsor DStv, irked football-loving subscribers when it failed to broadcast three crucial Premiership games this week.

On Tuesday, SuperSport didn't bother to show the match between relegation-threatened Swallows and AmaZulu at Dobsonville Stadium.

This game was important as Swallows are trying to escape relegation. Instead, SuperSport broadcast a synchronised match between champions-elect Mamelodi Sundowns and Sekhukhune on the channel dedicated to PSL football, SuperSport PSL (202) on Tuesday.

However, given the importance of the Swallows game in the relegation battle, the pay-TV station should have squeezed the game on SuperSport Variety 3 (208), a secondary PSL home on DStv, angry subscribers felt.

To the further surprise of football lovers, on the day of the Swallows game, Variety 3 showed a repeat of English Championship tie between Queens Park Rangers and Sheffield United, which holds no relevance to the SA football market.

As if blatantly ignoring vital games on Tuesday wasn't enough, SuperSport pulled another blackout stunt, failing to show either of the 5pm games on Wednesday. Baroka, who are fighting for their lives at the bottom of the log, gave themselves a lifeline in the relegation tussle by beating Golden Arrows 1-0 but that game wasn't televised, nor was Chippa's drew at home to Cape Town City. Chippa are fourth from bottom while City are chasing second spot. 

During the Baroka vs Arrows and Chippa-City games, SuperSport PSL showed a repeat of Monday's game between TS Galaxy and Orlando Pirates. On channel 208, it played the Fairbreak Invitational T20 opening ceremony.

When contacted for comment on Thursday, SuperSport senior communications manager Clinton van der Berg asked for the questions to be emailed but by the time of going to print he hadn't provided an explanation of how the channel chooses its schedule.

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