vanmartin

Giving rugby back to the people


Written by Martin van Niekerk (vanmartin)

Posted in :Original Content on 6 Dec 2010 at 17:10
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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.



73 Comments

  • Thanks for this vanmartin!! :cool:
    Now I don’t have to miss any games while at the hairdresser!! :oops:

  • Comment 1, posted at 06.12.10 17:21:03 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 1) : bwaaaaa

  • Comment 2, posted at 06.12.10 17:35:15 by robdylan Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 1) : Nothing makes a pedicure more enjoyable than watching the Springboks play the All Blacks :)

  • Comment 3, posted at 06.12.10 18:11:30 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 3) : somehow the thought of Wes getting a pedicure while watching rugga on his phone makes me feel a little off colour :)

  • Comment 4, posted at 06.12.10 18:15:57 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : It’s called living the dream Rob!

  • Comment 5, posted at 06.12.10 18:20:51 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Weve had a similar problem in the UK for years, with Sky buying up the rights to EOYT and all the CC and S14 games. The only competition which has always been shown on national TV is the 6N. Under considerable pressure recently, the EOYT were all (bar England) shown on the BBC, and from next year, Rupert M has lost the rights to Eng too. A step in the right direction.

    The most frustrating thing here, is that we pay for Sky Sports for CC and S14 (£18 per month!) and if Sky choose not to show any games, we have no means to watch the game elsewhere. Sky buy the rights, then regularly choose to not show stuff, but block other providers doing so. Even when they do show the games, they often do so on the “red button”, meaning as a Sky customer you cant record the game, and if youre with Virgin (I used to be) you dont get the game at all, even though you pay your £18pm!

    It’s EXTREMELY ****ing annoying!
    :evil:

  • Comment 6, posted at 06.12.10 18:21:00 by Nhumrod Reply

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  • @Nhumrod (Comment 6) : It’s a catch-22 with the broadcaster pumping so much money into the game and as a result getting to be the gatekeeper. The US at least have regional broadcasters which (I think) introduces some form of competition. Don’t know what the answer for SA and the UK is though?

  • Comment 7, posted at 06.12.10 18:25:21 by vanmartin Reply
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  • In the US you can at least use Mediazone to watch the games online or on delay. Its blocked from the UK due to the Sky deal, even when they dont play the games on Sky.

  • Comment 8, posted at 06.12.10 18:29:26 by Nhumrod Reply

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  • @Nhumrod (Comment 8) : VPN ;-)

  • Comment 9, posted at 06.12.10 18:30:17 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Interesting piece.

    I respect SS’s production quality, but it is a shame that DSTV is so expensive – limiting the exposure to many new fans in groups which hold great growth potential.

    Hopefully this new doohicky helps with that.

  • Comment 10, posted at 06.12.10 18:30:51 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 9) : yup…. or US Proxy :)

    But I am still looking for a way to access Supersport in the UK. I want to watch more rugby than is shown on Mediazone – specifically the Vodacom Cup and age-group games.

  • Comment 11, posted at 06.12.10 18:41:29 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 10) : They’re looking at incorporating the R36 per month subscription fees into the contracts of the cellphone models that can pick up the DVH-B signal. If these don’t break the bank I’m getting the guy that helps us out with the garden one of these deals to do my bit for promoting sport in SA. It will certainly make the taxi ride less dull if nothing else.

  • Comment 12, posted at 06.12.10 18:48:47 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Not to be a stickler, I think SuperSport’s production over the last couple of years has been slightly shocking actually.

  • Comment 13, posted at 06.12.10 18:56:16 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 13) : Well that doesn’t say much for the other broadcasters then. This past Saturday’s BaaBaas game was yet another sub-par broadcast.

    Or to phrase it another way – at least the Supersport camera crew/director know they have to keep that oval-shaped object in the shot.

  • Comment 14, posted at 06.12.10 19:02:16 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 14) :

    I am not saying other broadcasters are much better (in fact I think the Aussies have this nailed this year) but SS is not the greatest.

  • Comment 15, posted at 06.12.10 19:09:50 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 15) : I see your point. Shall we say the least pathetic then? :smile:

  • Comment 16, posted at 06.12.10 19:34:16 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 16) :

    I can live with that! ;)

  • Comment 17, posted at 06.12.10 19:39:57 by Morné Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 14) : So true dude

  • Comment 18, posted at 06.12.10 21:07:47 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 1) : are you not afraid that the hairdresser will get distracted and hmmm will carry on cutting :mrgreen:

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.12.10 09:19:15 by rekinek Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 1) :
    Or while attending the baby expo at the CTICC.

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.12.10 10:55:09 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 20) : stalker :)

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.12.10 10:57:09 by robdylan Reply
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  • Personally i find the hold by Multichoice over our national teams very disturbing – it galls me that an overseas international between our Rugby and Cricket teams and often our Football team (mainly due to incompetence of the national broadcaster) are not shown on free to air TV. Add the insult of the delayed rubbish for home internationals you get on free to air tv and you as a rugby fan should be horrified that you have to fork out 500 odd rand to watch the Boks and Proteas away internationals.

    And while they do “invest” in the game, its for a large chunk of profit which is at the expense of the game and taking rugby to a broader and wider community.

    “in the financial year ending March 2010, MultiChoice group revenues increased by 18% to R14.5 billion. Group net profit was R2.9 billion for the same year.” Not a bad return in anyones books.

    The Sports minster recently hauled the SABC over the coals for their failure to broadcast Bafana Bafana’s AFCON qualifier in Freetown, Sierra Leone. I would like to see similar concern by the government via the sports minsteries regarding the Boks and Proteas – at the very least they should be broadcast on free to air TV and in cases where possible live.

    There is hope in the form of a toothless wonder – Icasa, who are looking at the issue, but one only needs to look at the broadband market to realise this will be useless excerise anyway.

    Nor do i buy the Multichoice offering it via mobile as a solution – its just another revenue stream to deny us something by all rights we are entitled to.

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.12.10 11:12:08 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 21) :
    Me, never.

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.12.10 11:28:54 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : @Salmonoid (Comment 20) : :shock: :???:

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.12.10 11:30:55 by wpw Reply
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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 22) :

    Amen brother!!

  • Comment 25, posted at 07.12.10 11:34:58 by wpw Reply
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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 22) : It’s definitely not a solution. Consider it more of an affordable alternative if you’re really hard up to watch the game.

    I don’t think the Multichoice hold over sport is going to end anytime soon though. The SABC certainly don’t have the money to pour into sport, Top TV are only starting out and Supersport won’t continue pouring money into broadcasting deals if they have to broadcast the games for free.

  • Comment 26, posted at 07.12.10 11:35:47 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 26) :

    On the contary – i am not suggesting they broadcast anything for free, and i am only talking about the National teams – that still leaves SuperSport with plenty of revenue generation in the Super 15 and the Currie Cup etc.

    I am just sugggesting that the national games should be broadcast on free to air tv at a rate that both parties can agree by – mainly that free to air can afford it and Multichoice profit but don’t price gourge which seems to be there modus operandi.

    Its just further encroachment on our rights by the sale of them without our participation.

  • Comment 27, posted at 07.12.10 11:56:01 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 27) : Sorry, I misunderstood. I completely agree with your point. The national teams belong to the South African public (well they’re supposed to)!

  • Comment 28, posted at 07.12.10 12:13:58 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Hey Van! Beyond excited about this news….also very tired of dragging my butt down to the pub to watch the game because my firend ahavent learned to plan their lives around me and rugby..:) ….if i buy the drifta to connect to my pc, do i need an internet connection and modem?

  • Comment 29, posted at 07.12.10 12:32:48 by Just a Fan Reply

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  • @Just a Fan (Comment 29) : Nope! It works on a signal broadcast very similar to your tv/antenna setup. In other words you just need the Drifta itself. Just make sure you have coverage in your area before buying a Drifta. You can check here: http://www.dstvmobile.com/dstvmobile/content/en/south-africa-plus/south-africa-plus-coverage-map

  • Comment 30, posted at 07.12.10 12:39:49 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 30) : I don’t suppose this drifta will help you pick up the signal from the UK? :oops:

  • Comment 31, posted at 07.12.10 12:42:45 by robdylan Reply
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  • Really just made my day with this news……. :cool: :cool: :cool: ..living in the Mother City so coverage isnt a problem….

  • Comment 32, posted at 07.12.10 12:44:20 by Just a Fan Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 31) : Now at least we have four advantages over you guys in the UK:
    - The weather
    - We can buy red meat without having to apply for finance
    - SA girls
    - DSTV Mobile
    :mrgreen:

  • Comment 33, posted at 07.12.10 12:48:20 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Just a Fan (Comment 32) : Glad there’s someone else out there that’s as excited as I was :)

    Two screenshots of the Drifta software in action:
    Normal size: http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/1985/driftanormal.png
    Double size:
    http://img146.imageshack.us/img146/9849/driftadouble.png

  • Comment 34, posted at 07.12.10 12:51:26 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 33) : Gah!

  • Comment 35, posted at 07.12.10 12:54:43 by robdylan Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 33) : Add rugby to that list and you have at least 5 advantages over us poor bastards in Germany.

    Although the German girls aren’t bad ;-)

  • Comment 36, posted at 07.12.10 13:21:40 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 33) : :lol:

  • Comment 37, posted at 07.12.10 14:33:17 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 33) :
    Always had a thing for continental girls meself…

  • Comment 38, posted at 07.12.10 14:50:11 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 38) : Bless you. Those girls need love too! ;-)

  • Comment 39, posted at 07.12.10 17:50:10 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 38) : :)

  • Comment 40, posted at 07.12.10 18:10:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • The US broadcast structure is interesting to say the least. Although there are regional broadcasters, the vast majority are affiliated with a national broadcasting company where they receive a vast majority of their programming from. The local affiliate will provide local news and that is about it. There are independent regional broadcasters, but they are so small they offer nothing in sports viewing.

    The issue is often with the sports league that is negotiating a television rights contract. What the NFL (Gridiron) and Major League Baseball have done is negotiate broadcast rights with multiple national broadcasters. For example, the NFL is split into the American Football conference and the National Football conference, each negotiates a broadcast deal for their home games played on Sunday afternoons. Each conference has a different broadcaster. Then the NFL (league) negotiates a deal for special games (Thursday night, Sunday night, Monday night, Thanksgiving, etc). Each conference uses their broadcaster for their playoff games, and the NFL negotiates a separate deal for the Superbowl. As a result, the NFL has deals with 4 different national broadcasters, and is certainly not limited to any one as Rugby seems to be in many areas.

  • Comment 41, posted at 07.12.10 19:47:23 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • “The awesome news is that this service is free up until 1 April 2010 after which it’ll cost you R36 a month” This will not really help – have you meant April 2011 ? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 42, posted at 07.12.10 20:59:38 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Nhumrod (Comment 6) : that must be really annoying :|

  • Comment 43, posted at 07.12.10 21:05:48 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 10) : i may be stoned for that but I really do not think that dstv is that expensive, i mean your basic. when you compare it to the rest of your daily expenses … but i get the point that some like rates and taxes are unavoidable.

  • Comment 44, posted at 07.12.10 21:09:10 by rekinek Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : the you need to get yourself to the game. even in SA the coverage is very selective – even some of Sharks (helooo top of the log) games are not televised.

  • Comment 45, posted at 07.12.10 21:12:34 by rekinek Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 14) : don’t you just love these shots from grassroots level :mrgreen:

  • Comment 46, posted at 07.12.10 21:19:55 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 43) :
    500 bucks is a fair bit on my modest salary. Especially since I seldom find anything other than the rugby worth watching – 100-odd channels of crap.

    In any event, thats beside the point; it may be within the reach of you and I (albeit grudgingly) but it is certainly out of reach of the huddled masses – and it is amongst them that the future of the sport lies.

  • Comment 47, posted at 07.12.10 21:34:21 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 22) :
    ” its just another revenue stream to deny us something by all rights we are entitled to.” big words , can you spell it for me what gives you the entitlement.

  • Comment 48, posted at 07.12.10 21:50:08 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 46) : true. but this article is not about seeing rugga on SABC but on getting rugga on “iPads, iPhones and computers.”
    so how much is iPad, how much is i-Phone 8-9 Ks ? if you can get this kind of capital then 38 bugs (or even 500)must be a piece of cake.

  • Comment 49, posted at 07.12.10 21:59:31 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 42) : My bad. It’s supposed to read 2011 :)

    @rekinek (Comment 49) : Your being slightly selective in you’re reading there. ;-) From the article:
    “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!”

    The service is not only targeted at people with iPads, iPhones and computers.

  • Comment 50, posted at 07.12.10 22:28:46 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 48) :
    The article and the thread don’t always go in the same direction: that’s the emergent beauty of blogs.

    I don’t see mobile SS causing radical upheaval, but we know that mobile phone saturation level is very high in SA – far higher than tv, and certainly than DSTV.

    This might get interesting – ala mobile money.

  • Comment 51, posted at 07.12.10 22:30:36 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 49) : i was just looking at the guy who helps me with my garden (see your comment 12) and he does not (even I don’t) the phone on which watching games is easy. Most of your general public so to speak does not have these nice big screen phones (here you must forgive my ignorance as to particulars codes).

  • Comment 52, posted at 07.12.10 22:38:23 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 50) : once again true. the blog part sometimes turns into complaint ;-) just to avoid misunderstandings where is the blog in your opinion now?

    see my comment 51. Like everybody has a phone in SA and everybody spends hours talking – taking “call me option” you’ll never stop wondering who pays for it . but how many of these phones have facilities to receive something remote to broadcast.

  • Comment 53, posted at 07.12.10 22:43:13 by rekinek Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 1) : eish u do lv ur self :roll: ;-)

  • Comment 54, posted at 07.12.10 22:43:42 by chaz Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : agree just nt right game come 1st then the Nails etc :smile:

  • Comment 55, posted at 07.12.10 22:45:17 by chaz Reply

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  • @rekinek (Comment 19) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 56, posted at 07.12.10 22:46:28 by chaz Reply

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  • @vanmartin (Comment 33) : eeeeaaahhh
    its SA in all the ways

  • Comment 57, posted at 07.12.10 22:48:34 by chaz Reply

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  • @rhineshark (Comment 35) : u from Germany my friend

  • Comment 58, posted at 07.12.10 22:49:50 by chaz Reply

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  • @rekinek (Comment 52) : Thus the part that reads: “as these new cellphones become more widespread”. Some of these models aren’t even fancy smartphones (like the Nokia 5330) and they’re available on entry-level contracts. My guess is they’ll be very affordable by next year. Also keep in mind that just about every new phone these days has a nice big screen.

    And as a counter-point to your example, our previous domestic worker had a nicer phone than I did. It was a hand-me-down from another employer.

  • Comment 59, posted at 07.12.10 22:50:17 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 38) : gee big small what the hell we all need a lot of loving :mrgreen:

  • Comment 60, posted at 07.12.10 22:51:31 by chaz Reply

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  • What are you guys doing on Sharksworld at this time of the evening? Go to bed already! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 61, posted at 07.12.10 22:53:08 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 60) : esih had a break down with my PC gt a new LT so gt things to do but most of all gt to set up the n net thing 2 morrow just hving a glass of wine and then i’m off :mrgreen:

  • Comment 62, posted at 07.12.10 23:00:18 by chaz Reply

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  • @vanmartin (Comment 60) : :mrgreen: only the strongest (i mean the ladies :mrgreen: hey chaz

  • Comment 63, posted at 07.12.10 23:04:00 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 62) : oh yes my sister :mrgreen:

  • Comment 64, posted at 07.12.10 23:07:25 by chaz Reply

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  • @rekinek (Comment 52) :
    At the beginning of this year I was part of a research team that advised one of the biggest mobile media companies in SA on market strategy.

    After extensive research, we found out that SA is one of the biggest, busiest and most sophisticated mobile phone populations in the world.

    The reason is because of lack of traditional infrastructure: telephones, electricity and tv, as well as the high cost of internet. Mobile internet users outnumber fixed-line internet users.

    The implication? Smartphone growth in SA is very healthy, and the use of mobile phone applications is higher than the international average. Every trend I saw indicates that as vanmartin says, the prevalence of phones able to leverage this technology will increase.

  • Comment 65, posted at 07.12.10 23:10:23 by Big Fish Reply
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  • ok i’m off till 2 morrow :cry: ;-)

  • Comment 66, posted at 07.12.10 23:14:12 by chaz Reply

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  • @chaz (Comment 65) : neeeee :sad:

  • Comment 67, posted at 07.12.10 23:29:00 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 64) : i know. i will be first one to admit that cellphones really dominate here.

    but my argument is – how much does it cost you to get a smart phone. if you are on contract nothing, all our junior clerks have blackberry on their package. my question is how many people who can’t afford dstv in its basic package (isn’t that like 300 per month) have smart phone legally. and I mean smartphone not just cellphone.

  • Comment 68, posted at 07.12.10 23:35:12 by rekinek Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 58) : noted . my domestic only has me for the past few years and since I do not even have smart phone .. poor thing :mrgreen:

    you mention contract – how many of the lower income group you think goes for contract .

  • Comment 69, posted at 07.12.10 23:43:12 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 68) : Two final points from my side:
    1. Not all DVB-H enabled cellphones are smartphones
    2. The question of legality is a valid in SA with all it’s cellphone theft. Do keep in mind there are also a lot of hand-me-downs in this country and a lot of employers who buy the domestic workers cellphone contracts in order to keep in touch with them.

    I guess we can go back and forth on this point all night and I’m about to head off to bed so my final words on the subject for this evening:
    I don’t think the monthly cost of this service plus the cost of a DVB-H enabled cellphone will be within everyones reach but it will make sport far more accessible for a much larger part of the population than it has been in the past.

    There’s a huge, huge difference between a R36 per month service plus cellphone cost versus a R500 per month service plus tv, decoder, dish and installation cost (and the electricity cost incurred where there is access to electricity). It’s at least a step in the right direction in making sport more affordable.

  • Comment 70, posted at 07.12.10 23:52:36 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    vanmartinAssistant coach
     
  • @vanmartin (Comment 69) : understood. at the end one would have to look at some empirical data to have an answer though even such data could be subject to questioning.

    my comments are based on my (can’t say experience ) but rather observation of my sorroundings. not to say that this is predominant trend though the scope may so appear to me.

    night night ;-)

  • Comment 71, posted at 08.12.10 00:04:28 by rekinek Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    rekinekTeam captain
     
  • @rekinek (Comment 67) :
    Smartphones are pretty cheap. I believe that you can get a BB for about R200/ month nowadays. In any event, as stated above, you don’t even need a full-on smartphone for simple mobile SS; any phone released in the last year will probably do.

    Still, if you have some extra dough, it might be worthwhile to look into M-PESA – I believe that Vodacom has just started a roll-out. Might be some investment opportunities there – I know some guys looking to roll it out in Namibia.

  • Comment 72, posted at 08.12.10 00:09:08 by Big Fish Reply
    Author
    Big FishAssistant coach
     
  • @chaz (Comment 57) : Yebo. Not from Germany, from Durbs. :cool: But living here.

  • Comment 73, posted at 08.12.10 11:23:56 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of RugbyTeam captain
     

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