The selling of broadcasting rights to Supersport has given a number of sporting codes in South Africa a very decent and more importantly, constant source of financial investment. Let’s also in the same breath give credit where credit is due – Supersport’s broadcast and production quality has for the most part been of the highest standard. This is certainly noticeable when compared to some of the terrible international broadcasts we’ve been subjected to on the End of Year tours. They also come out on top in the Sanzar broadcasts in my opinion. No organisation or company is perfect though and the Supersport Achilles’ heel has always been their choice of certain presenters and commentators, some of whom insist on making use of obscure dairy terminology. On da udder hand every DSTV remote comes with that magical mute button. I digress – back onto topic.
The selling of broadcasting rights has in my opinion been a two-edged sword and the price we as public have paid for this has been (both figuratively and literally) a little too high. High enough that the majority of the South African population have missed out on their weekly rugby, soccer and cricket fixes. This is a shame for a large number of reasons, the most obvious being that it’s very difficult to generate interest in any sport when the fans can’t actually watch the games.
This is all about to change though. For those of you who haven’t been watching the news, ICASA finally removed a finger from a certain location in which fingers should not be lodged and in September of this year MultiChoice was awarded a Mobile TV broadcast frequency license. What does this mean for us fans? Well, the good news is a few DSTV channels are now available for viewing on cellphones* that support the DVB-H mobile broadcasting standard. These channels can also be viewed using a device named the ‘DSTV Drifta’ for viewing on iPads, iPhones and computers. The great news is that Supersport Blitz, 1, 2 and 3 are among the channels included. The awesome news is that this service is free up until 1 April 2010 after which it’ll cost you R36 a month.
South Africans arguably love their cellphones even more than their sport which means as soon as these new cellphones become more widespread a larger part of the population will have access to Supersport coverage! Speaking of coverage, this service is mostly available in the larger cities for the time being but Multichoice have hinted at extending the coverage depending on the popularity of the service.
I’ve been lucky enough to test the service on both a Nokia N96 and more recently on the Drifta. The broadcast resolution is only 320×240 which is still surprisingly watchable on a laptop and perfect for a cellphone. Folks this is a lot of value for very little money and for those of us who can’t afford the DSTV premium bouquet this is as welcome as Willem Alberts coming on in the second half and scoring a try on the wing. Words fail to describe how sick I am of dropping subtle hints to friends to invite me over for the game and inevitably having to head off to Spur when said friends have other plans.
For more information on this offering head over to the DSTV mobile website: http://www.dstvmobile.com/dstvmobile
You’ll find the supported cellphone models there, the retailers from which you can buy the Drifta as well as a coverage map for the service. I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions in the comments!
*This service does not incur any mobile data costs as it does not run on a 3G network. It should not be confused with the Vodacom 3G DStv Mobile service.Tweet