- The divisive DStv Compact Cup has come and gone, and still continues to spark debate about its relevance
- A researcher in the business of sports crunched the numbers, and came back with the surprising result that it still gained more viewers than more prestigious competitions
- The Cup was created to keep South African football fans engaged after Bafana Bafana failed to qualify for the 2021 African Cup of Nations
The value and popularity of the DStv Compact Cup was a divisive issue for South African football fans and television viewership numbers of the tournament were rather interesting.
The tournament took place during the recent 2021 African Cup of Nations in Cameroon for which South Africa did not qualify. This one week long competition as well as the DStv Diski Challenge (PSL Reserve League) kept local fans from losing interest as the Premier Soccer League chose to suspend senior football activity while AFCON played out.
Former Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr speaks following Nigeria’s loss to Tunisia at AFCON 2021
Sports business researcher Nqobile Ndlovu (@CashNSport on Twitter) conducted a study on whether the pre-Compact Cup negativity would affect viewership, but this turned out to not be the case according to his research results. The Daily Maverick had reported that there was a mixed reaction to the competition by the lesser clubs in the league, while Sports Brief reported how social media had a lukewarm response to it, too.
"With an average of 319,407 per game, the compact Cup was still higher than the average number of viewers watching: Uefa Champions League, Carabao Cup, La Liga, UEFA World Cup Qualifiers [and] Serie A.
"Perhaps 4 games isn't a good enough indicator of a successful tournament but that the tournament managed to garner such support is telling."
As detailed by dstv.com, the competition is of a similar vein to the Carling Black Label Cup involving Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, in that fans get to vote for what they want. The twist, however, is that they get to select players they want to see from all 16 clubs in the DStv Premiership included into four select squads, like the NBA All-Star Game.
Warriors defeat Coastal United in final as Ruzaigh Gamildien impresses with brace
Regardless of differing opinions about it, the DStv Compact Cup did not disappoint as a spectacle.
As reported on Sports Brief, the Warriors became the inaugural champions after defeating Coastal United 2-1 in a gripping final at Soccer City.
Ashley du Preez hit the target early to put Coastal United into a shock early lead before two classy goals from man-of-the-match Ruzaigh Gamildien got the Warriors going towards the title.