SuperSport’s sweeping international cricket coverage will commence today (November 20) when the switch is flicked on an unprecedented 24-hour cricket channel, to run until April 6, 2014.
The move is designed to accommodate the wealth of international cricket in the summer, much of it in South Africa.
It begins with this week’s Ashes in Australia and includes tours by Pakistan (to SA), India (to SA), West Indies (to New Zealand), Pakistan versus Sri Lanka (in the UAE), Ram Slam domestic cricket, the England-Australia ODI and T20 series, India (to New Zealand) Australia (to SA) and the ICC World T20 in Bangladesh, which concludes in April.
Ram Slam matches will include the Proteas and will conclude with a Ram Slam one-day festival of three matches at Newlands on January 4 – all to be broadcast live on SuperSport.
The 24-hour channel can be found on SuperSport 2 and SS2HD.
“There is an extraordinary amount of cricket and we felt this was the best way to give it the coverage it deserves,” said Nomsa Chabeli Mazibuko, SuperSport’s Marketing Director. “We’ll supplement the live coverage with legacy footage and the like, giving cricket fans hours and hours to sit back and enjoy.”
As a preview to the Australia tour, SuperSport will broadcast some of the classic matches between SA and Australia in the past two decades.
ESPN’s Legends of Cricket programmes, which SuperSport has purchased, will also be shown on the 24-hour channel, plus locally produced shows like In Conversation and Pinnacle Performers.
SuperSport’s broadcast team will include former India captain Ravi Shastri and fellow internationals Mark Boucher, Mike Haysman, Pommy Mbangwa, Shaun Pollock, Kepler Wessels, HD Ackerman and Robin Jackman.
The Afrikaans commentary panel will include Boeta Dippenaar, Fanie de Villiers, Claude Henderson and Shafiek Abrahams, among others.