MultiChoice is a proud, ongoing contributor to our communities
The MultiChoice Diski Shield Knockout Challenge concluded on the Sunday, 12 May at King Zwelithini Stadium in Kwa-Zulu Natal, and four teams squared off at the SuperSport Rugby Challenge (EP Elephants vs. Toyota Free State XV & SWD Eagles vs. Zimbabwe) at the D'Almeida Stadium in Mossel Bay.
“We see both tournaments as a great opportunity to broaden access to professional soccer and rugby in communities where there is a passion for the respective sports, but community members do not always have the opportunity to attend matches,” says Joe Heshu, MultiChoice Group Executive for Corporate Affairs. “We bring the game to them!”
The MultiChoice Diski Shield Knockout Challenge plays a critical role in MultiChoice’s stated motto of ‘Enriching Lives’. The tournament is vital in finding and growing talent on and off the field. MultiChoice also contributes to rugby development in local communities through the SuperSport Rugby Challenge which has just kicked off for this year. Participating community TV channels have been provided the full content rights to the Rugby Challenge and receive full content distribution rights, including all live matches, all non-live matches, and all highlights packages on their channels. In addition, the Community TV channels also have rights to generate their own content from other events related to the events on and off the field.
SuperSport has aired 156 rugby matches since 2017. 41 payers have been promoted to Super Rugby with Sbu Nkosi, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Ivan van Zyl and Embrose Papier moving further up to play for the Springboks.
“it’s not only about the talent on the field, but also the talent behind the scenes – from the production crews, producers, directors and presenters – those people that bring the game to broadcast,” says Heshu. “Our broadcast interns develop their careers within the MultiChoice Group, which is testament to the caliber of the talent we continue to embrace”, Heshu adds.
MultiChoice is a proud contributor to the broadcasting sector. Heshu goes on to say, “we strive to help create economic value, training opportunities, and technical support to our stakeholders in the sector and so far, we partner with six local community TV stations by providing them with technical and content support.”
The broadcasting of the Diski Shield Knockout Challenge and the SuperSport Rugby Challenge on community television channels provides these local stations with unique opportunities to deliver high-quality, live sports feed to their audiences. They also receive technical support and equipment, at no cost to them, to ensure that they can receive content to improve the quality of their overall broadcast delivery.
Over 100 players were promoted from the diski league to their first teams, the latest being the Kaizer Chiefs diski captain Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, who debuted for Ernst Middendorp’s charges against Maritzburg United. Additionally, over 40 broadcast interns trained through this platform are now seasoned sports broadcasters.
The tournament is steadily growing and is treated as an important platform for development by PSL teams, football community and media. As the 2019 tournament draw to a close, it builds on existing achievements from inception (2014) to 2018:
“We are proud to empower a sports and entertainment supply chain through our investments in infrastructure, technology and empowerment initiatives, which in turn supports local businesses, schools and communities. For communities, this means great local sport,” Heshu concludes.