After threats of a blackout and no television coverage of South Africa's premier ultra-distance marathon, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has confirmed that it will screen the Comrades Marathon on 9 June.
There were serious concerns that the Comrades would befall the same fate as that suffered by the Two Oceans Marathon, which was not broadcast live in April.
But an agreement reached between the national broadcaster and Athletics South Africa (ASA) means that the Comrades, along with the Soweto Marathon and Cape Town Marathon, will now be covered live in 2019.
The Soweto Marathon takes place on 3 November, while the Cape Town Marathon, Africa's only IAAF Gold label status marathon, will run on 15 September.
“We are delighted with the agreement, as we are committed to the development of athletics in the country. This agreement also bears testimony to the fact that the SABC and ASA are keen on working together in promoting not only the sport, but also showcasing our local and global superstars, who inspire a nation,” said Dr Craig Van Rooyen, the Acting Chief Operations Officer of SABC."
“As ASA, we look forward to further negotiations with the SABC for a three-year contract, which will look into track and field events under ASA,” said Aleck Skhosana, the President of ASA. “All preparations for the marathons, which we have now concluded an agreement on with the SABC, are underway. We would like to thank the Group Chief Executive Officer and the Acting Chief Operations Officer for ensuring that a deal is concluded between the two parties and we look forward to the nation being able to watch their icons and champions in action."