SuperSport are all about the product out on the park, which is why they were delighted to hand a controlling stake in the Sharks to MVM Holdings, according to the broadcaster’s CEO Marc Jury.
SuperSport International and the KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union were the majority shareholders in the Sharks franchise but last month they agreed to sell a 51% stake to the US investment consortium headed by Marco Masotti.
It has been the most high-profile equity deal thus far in South African rugby and Jury said there were no qualms about handing over control of the Sharks because it provides a wonderful opportunity for all concerned.
“Private equity can provide some fantastic opportunities but it’s not just about who you partner with but also what their intentions are. And MVM Holdings have some wonderful ideas that will take the franchise to the next level and allow us to show the best rugby possible,” Jury said.
“Any investment in the game has to be a positive and this deal will allow the Sharks to retain some great talent.
“That’s what we as SuperSport want as well, to keep the best players here. We just want to show the best possible product which is why we have invested such large amounts in local rugby and forged a very close relationship with the mother body.
“We have invested heavily in the Sharks for a long time but we feel this partnership can help South African rugby.”
Jury acknowledged that it had been a difficult time for all involved in SA Rugby competitions.
Playing in the heat and humidity of mid-summer was a new challenge and Covid testing protocols played havoc with the usual training week of the teams.
“I think the teams did the best they could with a very difficult situation, but everyone is just hoping for some normality soon, and the thing people miss the most is the whole experience of coming together and watching their favourite team,” Jury said.
“Hopefully they have missed it so much that when normality does return they will watch the rugby more than ever.”