Why South Africa and New Zealand rugby fans are mad with broadcasters


MultiChoice subscribers were left seething on Saturday after its DStv Now streaming service collapsed at the start of the Springboks’ opening match in the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The DStv Now service bombed out near the start of the pivotal game against New Zealand’s All Blacks. Viewers took to social media to criticise the broadcaster for the problems, which appeared to be mostly resolved in time for the second half of the game, which the Springboks lost 23-13.

The problem was reportedly caused by too many users trying to log onto the system for the first time. A MultiChoice spokesman promised to provide a full breakdown of the reasons for the problems on Monday.

In New Zealand, Spark Sport is seeking to appease rugby-obsessed New Zealanders who are furious at technical glitches that plagued its streaming service during the defending World Cup champion’s opening game at this year’s tournament.

The company decided to allow free-to-air coverage over TVNZ for some of Saturday’s 23-13 New Zealand victory over South Africa in Japan after video quality issues. All of Sunday’s games will also be available on terrestrial television, Spark Sport said.

“Following technical investigations overnight and this morning, Spark Sport is making configuration changes to the way the video stream comes into New Zealand,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “We believe this will resolve the video quality issues experienced by some customers intermittently during the All Blacks vs South Africa match last night.”

Images of Saturday’s game were flickering, pixellating, blurring and buffering for customers, with some completely losing the signal, the New Zealand Herald reported.

Spark Sport apologised about the quality issues and reiterated its willingness to offer refunds to dissatisfied customers, it said in a Twitter post on Sunday.

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