Wednesday, August 11, 2010

BREAKING. SABC3 looking at possibly moving up and showing the final season of The Oprah Show as close as possible to America.

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SABC3 is looking at the possibility of broadcasting the 25th and final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show in South Africa as close as possible to the American broadcasting date where the last season of the talk show queen's show is set to debut on September 13.

I can reveal that SABC3 is investigating whether it would be possible to negotiate with CBS Studios International - the international distributor of The Oprah Winfrey Show - to close the half season gap that exists between America and South Africa for the show's final season. In that way South African viewers can follow Oprah's final season and all the news around it as close to when it actualy happens in America, in what is destined to become the must-see TV moment of the year in 2011 when she says goodbye.

SABC3 is well aware of two things regarding the upcoming 25th and final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show (that is weekly the number one or number two show in terms of the overall highest viewership on SABC3). Firstly the broadcaster knows that with the show starting its final season in September in America and SABC3 being half a season behind, it will actually be better for SABC3 to broadcast episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show in its final season much closer to the American broadcast. In that way, less viewers will go look for clips and content elsewhere when the talk titan finally bows out. If SABC3 can get the season closer to the American broadcasting dates, viewers - in tune with the global buzz that Oprah Winfrey's sign-off is sure to generate - will tune into SABC3 instead of trying to watch it on YouTube and other places.

Secondly SABC3 is well-aware the broadcaster will be able to inflate advertising rates dramatically the closer Oprah episodes can be shown to the American broadcasting date. Many more viewers will flock in droves to the whole final season and especially the final weeks' episodes - in particular if SABC3 can succeed in showing it with a smaller broadcast window in South Africa. A smaller broadcast window will make news about various Oprah episodes, stars and topics more current to what is happening in real-time in Oprah Winfrey's final talk show year.

''SABC3 has always sought to shorten windows between local and international seasons,'' an SABC3 insider involved with the broadcaster's scheduling and programming tells me. ''With the specific case of Oprah, SABC3 recognizes that it would be a noble thing to do to bring the final season a bit forward. This is under investigation.''

ALSO READ: For her final ''biggest season ever'' Oprah Winfrey is looking for the Oprah Winfrey Show ultimate viewers - South Africa included.