16 Mar 2011

Samoa Rugby Union says locals are missing out on watching Super Rugby

12:06 pm on 16 March 2011

The Samoa Rugby Union says it's concerned that only the wealthy can afford to watch Super 15 matches in Samoa this year because no local station has been awarded free-to-air viewing rights.

Fiji TV's Sky Pacific service, who won the Super 15 screening rights for the Pacific, has restricted viewing to cable TV, which cuts out the vast majority of the population who only have free to air television.

It will cost more than 800 US dollars to set up a cable TV set in Samoa and the Rugby Union's Chief Executive, Sua Peter Schuster, says for many it's simply too expensive.

"In the last few years with the Super 14 the local TV stations had a fee - paid a fee. You know, some sort of arrangement - either between New Zealand or Fiji TV - and only this year it comes as a huge shock to us to find out that we are not able to watch the Super games."

Sua Peter Schuster says Sky Pacific now allows highlights of Super 15 matches to screen on free to air TV but, unfortunately, not until Monday, long after the games were completed.