The Soweto Derby is traditionally one of the biggest, most illustrious fixtures the African soccer calendar. As the 176th showdown between the two great rivals, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefslooms on Saturday 29 October, SuperSport is determined to make it even bigger with a full-blown production designed to reach new heights of broadcast excellence.
Among several firsts will be the first female TV analyst for the derby, former Banyana star Amanda Dlamini, who will join the commentary booth. Celebrated former players PhumudzoManenzhe and Stanton Fredericks will be at the in-stadium studio with main anchor Thomas Mlambo. Pitch side will be Siphiwe Tshabalala and Happy Jele with Julia Stuart hosting.
The technology will be no less stellar with 30 cameras on hand to catch every moment of the action, including four super-slow cameras, goal cameras, a helicopter camera, and a drone.
For the first time, an eagle-eye camera will also be in operation, designed to seek close-ups of players and coaches that capture the emotions that are such a large part of Derby Day. Artificial and virtual reality elements will be integrated throughout the production.
“Our aim is to bring viewers closer to the action than ever before,” explained producer Max Tshunungwa. “The Derby is all about the people and their passions. This is the story SuperSport wants to convey.”
Apart from the live action, which will have a one-and-a-half-hour build-up from 14:00 CAT, the Extra Time show and the Thursday TV preview will host a mini-quiz segment to engage with fans to see who has the greatest knowledge of the derby and its history.
In this week’s build-up, SuperSport will also broadcast a derby magazine show called Rewindthat will revisit several of the iconic clashes through the years.
The four episodes will include Jerry Sikhosana and Brian Baloyi, Marks Maponyane and James Mkhwanazi, Gavin Lane and Shane McGregor, and Neil Tovey and Williams Okpara. The Soweto super sides have played 175 times previously. Chiefs have 72 wins to Pirates’ 44 while there have been 54 draws.
The first league game between Pirates and Chiefs took place over a year later, in April 1971, and ended in a 4-3 win for home side Chiefs.