SABC+ crashes during first 2023 Springbok Rugby World Cup match.

by Thinus Ferreira

The SABC+ video streaming service crashed on Sunday night from just before the start of the first Springbok clash in the 2023 Rugby World Cup tournament with users unable to use the digital stream of SABC2 to watch the match. 

Multiple potential users started to complain on Sunday evening from just before the start of the match between South Africa and Scotland that they were unable to get access, got an error, or a black screen on SABC+.

SABC+ was unavailable on computer and mobile browsers and as an app. 

Meanwhile massive confusion remains under consumers who don’t know why and can’t understand why the Rugby World Cup matches are blocked on the SABC2 version carried on eMedia’s Openview satellite TV services, with the matches only available on the SABC2 channel version carried on MultiChoice’s DStv satellite pay-TV service.

The contract between MultiChoice and SuperSport for the sublicensing of the 2023 Rugby World Cup matches to the SABC – 16 matches in total, including the ones in which the Springboks will be playing – stipulates that the SABC is not allowed to show it on its SABC TV channels carried on eMedia’s Openview.

It means that besides SuperSport on DStv, free-to-air viewers have to watch the linear broadcast of SABC2 on DStv, use the SABC+ app streamer, or watch the terrestrial SABC2 signal.

“Is anyone else not able to access SABC+? Too many users? Eish, but SABC cries for not being able to ‘bring’ rugby to the nation. Shortage on capacity,” wrote Willem de Villiers on X, previously known as Twitter, on Sunday evening.

“Wow SABC Sport and SABC2, you had one job. SuperSport did their bit but once again you ruined it for the average South African,” Shafeeqah said.

They echoed the complaints from a large number of people who tried to use SABC+ to watch the first Sprinboks match but we’re unable to get access.

Mmoni Seapolelo, SABC spokesperson, in response to a media query says “The SABC has noted some users experienced disruptions in transmission on the SABC+ app”.

“The corporation can confirm that there was a huge peak within 5 minutes before the start of the game which caused performance and bottleneck issues for those users. A temporary solution was implemented during the games and we are in the process of resolving the problem with a permanent fix.”

The SABC launched SABC+ in mid-November 2022 after taking over and rebranding the TelkomOne platform of Telkom. Last week SABC executives told parliament that SABC+ has fallen short of expectations and has not reached the projected number of sign-ups and users and that there have been problems around integrating advertising functionality as well.

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