Two companies which own etv and Openview have taken the SABC and MultiChoice to court on an urgent basis to force them to give them broadcast right to the 2src23 Rugby World Cup tournament taking place in France.
eMedia Investment and its subsidiary Platco Digital Propriety Limited filed the papers in the Joburg high court on Wednesday and gaveMultiChoice and the SABC until Thursday September 27 to file their notice of intention to oppose.
They also called on the two media giants to file their answering affidavits on Tuesday, October 3 by 5pm.
The legal battle ensued after MultiChoice, which owns the Rugby World Cup rights, gave the SABC the right to broadcast the matches, but prevented it from flighting games on its SABC 2 channel, which is carried on Openview satellite.
In his founding affidavit, eMedia chief financial officer, Antonio Lee, said MultiChoice was depriving 3-million South African households the right to view the matches.
Lee said MultiChoice is a pay TV operator, but secured all of the rights to the World Cup, including the free-to-air rights.
Afterwards, he said, it sub-licensed these free-to-air rights to the SABC, but imposed restrictions for the matches not to be broadcast on SABC 2 channel, which is viewed on Openview.
Lee said they wanted to be given the right to beam the upcoming quaterfinal, semifinal and final matches of the World Cup, which are scheduled between October 14 and 28.
He said they were backed by SABC Chief Operation Officer, Ian Plaatjies .
“To be clear at the outset, eMedia does not seek to broadcast the rugby on its e.tv or other channels. It merely seeks to be permitted
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