KAMPALA —SuperSport will air Sunday’s Comrades Marathon – the first time in 95 editions that the epic race will be broadcast on the World of Champions, and the race’s biggest ever broadcast.
As one of the key institutions of African sport – it was first run in 1921 – Comrades is as famous for its lore as its many storylines and remarkable participants.
Aware of the race’s mighty history and traditions, SuperSport intends to capture the essence by devoting a massive production team, allied to innovation and technology, to its 13-hour broadcast that will begin in Pietermaritzburg at 05:00 CAT.
In planning four months for this one-day production, the SuperSport team is harnessing the expertise of 120 technical staff who will integrate with three outside broadcast facilities – at the start, at Cowies Hill and at the finish in Durban – and utilise 36 cameras to capture the success and failure that defines the race.
There will be five multi-camera units along the route, plus a rig car with a specially adapted low-light camera to be used before sunrise. Elsewhere, there will be six motorbikes with cameras covering the elite men, women and chasing packs, and a helicopter to give a bird’s eye view of the action.
This will all be complemented with cutting-edge graphics.
With six commentators, among them nine-time winner Bruce Fordyce and former women’s champion Helen Lucre, viewers will get to enjoy expert analysis, adding to the depth of the day’s coverage.
Two on-route presenters will interact with participants, effectively getting running commentary from the field. Another interviewer will do duty at the start and finish, helping to capture the emotion that is always full-blown on race day.
Channels and packages
With the race being broadcast on SS Variety 4, SS Variety 3 Africa and SS Grandstand, over 50 countries across the continent will be able to watch the action where traditionally countries like Zimbabwe, Kenya and Lesotho often crowd the medal table.
DStv viewers from Premium to Compact will be able to watch the race live with highlights to follow. Showmax Pro and Showmax Standard will also stream Comrades, ensuring multiple viewing options.
Almost all the race favourites and top ultra-runners are in the mix.
These include defending champion Edward Mothibi and hard-running Nkosikhona Mhlakwana, Alex Milne, Bongmusa Mthembu and David Gatebe.
Women’s participants include American Camille Herron, the only athlete to win the 50km, 100km and 24-hour world championship, plus Charne Bosman, Jenna Challenor, Alexandra Morozova, Ann Ashworth and Catherine Malungane.