Tag Archives: Gary Rathbone

Gary Rathbone quits SABC Sport

Gary Rathbone, head of sport at South African public broadcaster SABC, has resigned after two years in the role.

Gary Rathbone

According to the broadcaster, Rathbone will be leaving at the end of this month. His future direction is not yet known.

“During his two-year tenure, Gary Rathbone made a significant contribution to SABC Sport’s content offering. He was particularly instrumental in the launch of its 24.7 SABC Sport channel. The SABC wishes Gary Rathbone well in his future endeavours,” the SABC said in a statement.

Rathbone was head of Africa at MultiChoice-owned channel SuperSport from 2008 to 2012, after which he joined Nairobi-based Wananchi Group as the head of the Zuku Sport channel.

He became the head of sport at pay TV broadcaster StarTimes and left in 2015 to work in consultancy and advisory positions in the sports media sector.

He took on a new role as the head of SABC Sport in 2020, where he brought a wealth of broadcasting experience from production to broadcasting as a journalist, scriptwriter and TV producer.

He has been instrumental in delivering a new vision for South African sports media. He is also the founder of Sports News Africa.

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SABC Sport, 4Racing ink broadcast deal

South African free-to-air channel SABC Sport and horse racing operator 4Racing have signed a multi-year horse racing broadcast deal that will make the sport accessible to millions of South Africans.

Gary Rathbone

Under the deal, 4Racing will produce and broadcast a daily 30-minute horse racing talkshow called Racing Today on SABC Sport from Monday to Friday over a three-year period for 50 weeks a year. It will feature horse racing shows as well as the best of local and international races.

Racing Today will start airing from April 4 at 17.00, Monday to Friday, on the 24-hour SABC Sport channel on the SABC’s digital terrestrial TV service, on the Openview HD channel 124 and on the TelkomONE streaming service.

Gary Rathbone, head of SABC Sport, said: “Horse racing has long been a major part of the SABC Sport offering and, after a long absence from our platforms, it’s great to have the sport of kings back on air. Being able to feature South Africa’s best thoroughbreds and champion jockeys fighting it out in these iconic races on the annual calendar is something that will excite millions of South Africans who will now be able to access the best racing on offer live and free on the SABC.”

“This deal with SABC is a significant one for us at 4Racing and for all current and prospective punters and racegoers who love the sport,” added Stephen Watson, head of 4Racing TV and executive director of Discover Digital.

“We have been working with SABC over the last year and this partnership has already seen live coverage of major race days such as the World Sports Betting Cape Town Met and Summer Cup and the L’Ormarins Queens Plate, while we’ve also assisted Gold Circle to get one of the country’s biggest and most important race days, the Gold Cup, broadcast live on S3. So we are excited with this long-term partnership with the SABC, which will add more value to punters, sponsors and stakeholders.”

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SABC Sport to air 2023 Netball World Cup

South African free-to-air channel SABC Sport has taken broadcast rights to next year’s Netball World Cup, which is due to take place in Cape Town from July 28 to August 6.

Gary Rathbone

The deal includes the opening and closing ceremonies, the opening games, all matches involving South African national netball team Proteas, one selected match on days Proteas do not play, the semi-finals and the final, plus daily highlights packages.

South Africans will be able to watch 16 nations competing in 60 matches that will be broadcast live on SABC Sport on DTT, Openview 124 and S3. SABC Sport will also provide South African telco Telkom with the 2023 Netball World Cup feed to stream on its digital platform TelkomONE in South Africa.

Gary Rathbone, head of SABC Sport, said: “At SABC Sport, we pride ourselves on providing South Africans with access to sport of national interest, and the acquisition of the 2023 Netball World Cup has just reaffirmed our brand mission.

“As a country, we are very proud to host the tournament in Cape Town – a first on the African continent, and as SABC Sport, we believe it’s imperative that every South African is given access to world-class sport content. We look forward to inspiring the nation and instilling national pride by making the Netball World Cup 2023 available to all. The SABC remains committed to broadcast sport of national interest to millions of South African citizens.”

Wanda Mkhize, executive for smart home and content at Telkom, added: “This is an enormously exciting initiative for us, not only because of Telkom’s dedicated support of – and investment in – South African netball, but also because it is another occasion to reflect the unique partnership we have with the SABC and the impact we collectively have on making premium content, such as the Netball World Cup, available to all South Africans.”

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SABC to carry NBA basketball games

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has acquired television broadcast rights to National Basketball Association (NBA) games.

Victor Williams

Under the multi-year agreement, SABC Sport will air more than 35 games throughout the season, including a Christmas Day game, NBA All-Star Saturday Night, Conference Finals and The Finals as well as hosting weekly magazine show NBA Action, which covers the league’s news and highlights.

The games will be broadcast live or delayed on SABC1 and SABC Sport on the DTT, TelkomOne and Openview platforms.

Gary Rathbone, SABC’s sport general manager, said: “SABC sport is incredibly thrilled to add one of the world’s most exciting and respected leagues to its live sports offering, as we know that there is a sports audience which loves the game of basketball in Mzansi. In bringing this great global sporting spectacle to our viewers, the SABC will also be setting out to inspire and entertain a whole new generation of basketball fans all over the country. Exciting times for Mzansi sports fans, Fo’ Sho.”

Victor Williams, NBA Africa’s CEO, said: “We are thrilled to once again partner with SABC, beginning with our milestone 75th anniversary season. Through this partnership we look forward to bringing the excitement of the NBA to more of our passionate fans in South Africa as part of our continued commitment to making basketball more accessible across the continent.”

The first live broadcast will begin with a pre-game live studio presentation at 22.30 on Saturday October 30 at 23.00 SAST, followed by the inaugural live broadcast of the 75th anniversary season, where the Washington Wizards will host the Boston Celtics.

The live or delayed broadcasts will start between 20.00 and midnight on the same Saturday on SABC1 and SABC Sport.

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SABC launches sports channel

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has launched SABC Sports Channel to provide “compelling and exciting” local and international sporting content.

Gary Rathbone

SABC Sport Channel is available on eMedia’s free-to-air satellite platform OpenView 124, TelkomONE’s mobile platform and the SABC’s digital terrestrial television (DTT) service.

The move comes after the network’s soft launch via the same platforms in April. The channel also has a YouTube presence.

Gary Rathbone, general manager of SABC Sport, said the South African public broadcaster had always been the ultimate sporting home for the country’s sports fans.

“Through the events we showcase on the SABC platforms, we want to inspire up-and-coming athletes in the various sporting disciplines to reach for their dreams,” Rathbone said.

“Our newly launched sports channel on the DTT, OpenView and TelkomOne platforms, must also be commended. Since the channel became operational in April this year, its audience figures have been positive, with the latest TAMS figure showing a total reach of over two million, a 5% share of the national television market.

“On OpenView alone, the channel has established itself amongst the top 10 on the bouquet, with a total reach of over 1.4 million, representing a 24% share of the OpenView market. This is really positive start for an exciting new Sport Channel that South Africans will be able to access without needing to pay a subscription.”

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