Supersport hoses social media: Tank Lanning sacked

Supersport revealed a) a dirty secret about this year’s TriNations and b) its complete lack of understanding of social media on Friday when it sacked Tank Lanning for an “inappropriate tweet”.  The horrific tweet at the centre of the controversy?

“SA Rugby to ‘manage’ the Springboks during the Tri-Nations. I think it’s a good thing”


Supersport encourage their commentators and analysts to get on Twitter and Facebook to increase their presence online. They are hired to have opinions.  Tank tweeted an opinion that slightly treads on the toes of SA Rugby – and got the old Andre Venter “stiff arm to face” treatment.

It’s the equivalent of hiring a radio DJ to be “edgy” on the morning drive show and then sacking him when he makes an offensive comment on air.  Moronic. Is it any wonder that we all wait until 1 minute before kick off before we tune into the Supersport broadcast? The Supersport on-air build up is complete drivel, lacks any insight, and usually consists of a discussion of “who wants it more”. Planet Earth to Supersport: “We’d like some interesting insights and banter please, that’s why we all prefer the Aussie commentary”.

It also shows just how in bed Supersport are with SA Rugby. The message is clear for all presenters and journalists who want to be given access to SA rugby players and coaches.  Write positive articles and you’ll be given access. Write a negative review of someone high up in SA Rugby and you’ll be discarded as quickly as Earl Rose at an Oranje rugby pre-season team trial.

Supersport forget that their core fans and spenders are those in the 18-40 age group who have largely embraced social media and “get it”, unlike the old farts sitting up at DSTV headquarters.

The dirty secret Supersport revealed? The real story that Tank was getting at is that a number of key Boks will be “rested” during the 2011 Tri-Nations campaign.  Hope you’re not planning on forking out buckets of cash to watch the Bulls B team wearing Springbok jerseys in this year’s Tri-Nations. You heard it here first.

Smokey the Bowler

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