Streaming in South Africa is… fine. We’re still taking our baby steps, slowly catching up to the rest of the world with recent additions like Disney+ and Showmax’s continually evolving homegrown content. When it comes to sports streaming, the country’s fallen woefully behind thanks to SuperSport’s broadcaster monopoly. But that might not be the case for long, at least where rugby is concerned, with the launch of RugbyPass TV – the sport’s “first-ever global streaming platform.”
The 2023 Rugby World Cup is set to kick off in France on Friday, 8 September, as the Springboks look to defend their 2019 title. What better time to launch a global Rugby streaming service?
SuperSport might not like this
Rugby World has confirmed that the service will “blend unparalleled coverage of the world’s top events,” including both the Women’s and Men’s Rugby World Cups, WXV and the HSBC SVNS. Those will show up in the form of “full match replays, highlights, tries and magical moments.” There’s some behind-the-scenes stuff too, along with documentaries and features produced by World Rugby.
Better yet, it’s free.
Still, don’t get your hopes up for live coverage of the upcoming tournament. At least, not in South Africa. In a statement, World Rugby said, “The platform will ensure that the 10th edition of the men’s event in the sport’s 200th anniversary year will be the most widely accessible rugby event ever, providing the destination for live coverage for nations where deals do not exist or where rights-holders are not showing all matches live.”
South Africa doesn’t fit that bill, with SuperSport being our official broadcaster for the Rugby World Cup 2023.
It’s not all bad news, though. World Rugby continued to grey the waters, saying “The platform will ensure that every try, kick, pass and tackle is available from the [Rugby World Cup 2023] tournament and accessible in every nation. It will also play a leading role in the promotion, accessibility and impact of WXV, launching this year.”
That sounds like RugbyPass TV will still include Rugby World Cup 2023 content – like match highlights and possibly even full match replays – just… after SuperSport’s had its turn. If that’s the route you’ll be taking to avoid taking out a second mortgage to pay for a DStv subscription, we’d recommend turning off those match alerts.
RugbyPass TV is free to join and can be found here. During our brief visit, we didn’t notice any ads or subscription costs lurking about – finding only what World Rugby has promised. We noticed a Payment Details sector lodged in the site’s Account settings, possibly hinting at a ‘Pro’ service sometime in the future.