WITH less than 72 hours until the start gun, it appears this year's Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon (OMTOM) will not be broadcast on TV.
The Ultra-marathon, celebrating its milestone 50th anniversary this year, has traditionally been screened live on SABC on Easter Saturday.
However, with the SABC's financial woes well documented in recent years, an Athletics South Africa (ASA) spokesperson confirmed to Sport24 during the week that: "ASA and SABC no longer have a contract. There are ongoing efforts and negotiations to find a replacement host broadcaster."
However, it appears time has run out to find that replacement and all those interested in how the race unfolds will have to rely on a less than optimal live stream of the race.
Due to the fact the Two Oceans Marathon is an Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) event, OMTOM officials have to align with governing body ASA and can't shop around for an alternate broadcaster.
The same scenario will present itself when the Comrades Marathon, another race historically screened on SABC, rolls around on June 9.
Social media was aghast at the suggestion the race would not be televised once SABC Sport commentator Cuan Walker tweeted the shock news last weekend.
Walker will be among those live streaming the race.
Media consultant and journalist Manfred Seidler, who will be sharing live streaming duties with Walker, confirmed on social media that: "All athletics events broadcast rights lie with ASA irrespective of their status. It’s enshrined in the ASA constitution as voted in by the clubs and provinces. For it to change means changing the constitution."
This year's Two Oceans Marathon will start at 06:40 on Saturday, April 20 in Newlands Main Road and conclude 56km later on the University of Cape Town's fields.
The Ultra will be preceded by the ever-popular Half Marathon with its staggered start from 05:50 onwards. -Sport24