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Keeping the fans entertained

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“Now I want to watch basically every shot of that tournament and see the drama behind it as well.”

WHEN Tiger Woods won his first Masters green jacket in 1997 by an unthinkable 12 shots, he broke golfing great Jack Nicklaus’ 32-year Augusta National record by a shot to post 270 for the tournament.

Seven years earlier, Woods would not have even been allowed to be a club member at Augusta National for being black. But when he won, his now late father Earl, said: “Green and black go together well, don’t they?”

This is one of the top sporting moments of the past that SuperSport chief executive Gideon Khobane, who is tasked with navigating the channel out of choppy waters during this sporting recession, would like to relive.

“I’d love to sit and watch it again,” said Khobane.

“US golf typically gets broadcast at night here in South Africa, so you only get bits and pieces of it and maybe watch the final round to see who the winner is.

“Now I want to watch basically every shot of that tournament and see the drama behind it as well.”

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc with the sporting calendar, with sweeping cancellations and postponements of major local and international sporting events.

The English Premier League and the Premier Soccer League were coming to thrilling conclusions before the respective leagues were postponed for at least six weeks, with Liverpool in line to lift their first title in 30 years and Kaizer Chiefs in five.

As a result, social media has been abuzz with fantasy wish lists of sporting events fans would love to relive.

Although it’s impossible to replicate the thrill of the moment, those past events often bring up personal anecdotes or footnotes from people’s lives, tinged with a heavy dose of nostalgia.

“Instead of just sitting on our hands and just repeating random sporting events channel-by-channel, we thought of curating our channels,” Khobane explained.

“We’ve opened SuperSport 1 to Compact subscribers and that’s where all our documentaries and archive content’s gonna sit.

“We are also going to be introducing sports movies in the coming days. We are also doing live studio shows, trying to make something out of nothing basically, where everyday from 5pm to 9pm we’ll have a different theme, such as boxing, rugby and soccer.

“We have special guests analysing some special moments of that genre. And, of course, we are asking the Twitter community to tell us their favourite sports moments from any decade and we want to play those for them.

“The rest of the channels are themed into specific sporting codes, like SuperSport 5 is our golf channel and SuperSport 2 is our rugby and cricket channel, where you’ll find last year’s Rugby World Cup.”

Khobane’s had to “suffer” through Somizi and Mohale’s wedding on Showmax – The Union – after ceding the remote control to his wife, pretty much like all husbands around the world.

Sports nuts could soon be engrossed in Darcy and Tom’s love drama or the chronicles of Michael and Angela in the hit reality series 90 Day Fiancé.

But if you use the emergency hashtag, #SSrelive, you could put your favourite sporting events on the telly for a bit of a reprieve.

“I love boxing as well and I really wanted Manny Pacquiao to fight Floyd Mayweather when he was at his peak,” Khobane added.

“When they eventually fought, I felt Pacquiao was on the downslope and that’s why Mayweather won.

“Whenever I’m feeling down or I’m sad, I watch last year’s the Rugby World Cup final in Xhosa commentary.”