Saturday, February 15, 2014

MultiChoice's DStv On Demand can be totally amazeballs if it does this. (hint: The After! Mozart! Star Wars The Lost Missions!)

MultiChoice's DStv On Demand service would totally go amazeballs if it got for South Africa The After, Mozart in the Jungle, Star Wars The Clone Wars - The Lost Missions - and several other fan-tastic TV gems.

Yes. It would be difficult to achieve, behind-the scenes, to get this content. But as uniquely and exclusively offered video-on-demand (VOD) content on DStv it would be so great.

Don't have a clue what I'm talking about? Just read on.

There's a growing gap developing due to South Africa's unique TV market situation - a strange "void-world" of TV shows being streamed and watched in the rest of the world - which doesn't fit the traditional pattern and model of TV shows.

Every successful product has competitive, unique advantages, and MultiChoice's DStv On Demand can wonderfully exploit and capitalise on this if its quick by bringing South African viewers and DStv subscribers TV content many of them don't even know exist, but does - and which is amazing - and which can't really fit on linear broadcasting.

Netflix, Amazon and others have TV programming which for multiple reasons can't really go anywhere in South Africa on traditional TV channels - but it would be perfect on DStv on Demand - to sit on the DStv Explora and be downloaded or streamed by DStv Online.

It would completely, surely, boost the appeal of DStv On Demand, enhance its use further, and boost that treasure chest of golden coins the accountants refer to as revenue on the balance sheet.

How can South Africans for instance get to see The After and "Huh?" I hear you say. Exactly.

Chris Carter from The X-Files made this new TV drama called The After. There's only one episode - a pilot episode - and it might become a series,or it might just remain a pilot episode.

How will South Africans ever get to see it if not on DStv On Demand on your DStv Explora?

It's amazing, and even if its just one episode, real TV fanatics will want to watch The After. It was released by Amazon a week ago and in it eight people try to survive in a (post-apocalyptic?) world where something disastrous is happening with no power or communication.

There's also one episode of Mozart in the Jungle. That too can be streamed through Amazon - but not for South African viewers. Like The After, there is also just one episode, and it may become a show, or might forever remain one episode.

But what true TV aficionado wouldn't want to watch - even if it remains just one episode - this dramatic comedy set in the world of New York's classical music.

Mozart in the Jungle is about a world of "sex, drugs and classical music" all clashing and Malcolm McDowell playing an established yet ageing orchestra conductor. It too was released a week ago.

South Africans might never get to see it, but it doesn't means its not good. In fact, its great. Imagine being able to watch that single episode on DStv On Demand.

Let's move on to Star Wars The Clone Wars - The Lost Missions. Cartoon Network (DStv 301) showed Star Wars The Clone Wars in South Africa and Africa on DStv - although always a year or more after the rest of the world saw it. Thankfully at least we got to see it.

Then Disney bought LucasFilm and with it all Star Wars rights. LucasFilm and Disney cancelled Star Wars The Clone Wars at the end of 2013 while production was busy with the 6th season and rebooted it with a new animation series Star Wars Rebels which we will see in South Africa later in 2014 on Disney XD (DStv 304).

But ... 13 episodes of Star Wars The Clone Wars entitled "The Lost Missions" were still produced and finished before the ax came down and the series got cut. So what about those episodes?

Well, Netflix just got the rights in America (although other TV channels in Germany and elsewhere are also showing it globally).

Will Cartoon Network on DStv show these 13 final episodes in South Africa? Never ever. Will Disney (DStv 303) or Disney XD? No. Will M-Net add it as a morning cartoon or the SABC show ever show it? No.

Star Wars The Clone Wars - The Lost Missions "hangs" in a nothingness as far as South Africa is concerned, exactly like that man who got stuck at an international airport when he suddenly had no country of origin to return to.

May it not take 17 years for South African viewers to see this 6th final season.

The only real way to see this really amazing animation series would be if MultiChoice somehow grabbed Star Wars The Clone Wars - The Lost Missions for DStv On Demand in the way that Netflix will be releasing it on 7 March as a final 6th season. People will pay to watch it - and that's no Jedi mind trick.

Imagine if the new second season of House of Cards didn't go to M-Net (or it still can) but rather was made available, in its entirety, on DStv On Demand for subscribers to watch in the way the pilot episode of Banshee was made available before the show went to M-Net?

It should be do-able in the way all the Nelson Mandela tribute channel content on DStv was also loaded on DStv On Demand while the channel ran at the end of 2013 as a linear TV channel.

There's all these bits of excellent TV programming which, because of its nature and South Africa's TV landscape, doesn't really fit or belong nicely in any TV container. It would all fit perfectly on DStv On Demand.

Yes, intricate, difficult rights issues, and companies' differing ideas and goals and corporate focus - and international hurdles due to distance - complicate things.

South African viewers haven't seen Alpha House, or Betas, or Hemlock Grove - TV shows on overseas streaming services you don't know exist and might never get to see. Unless there's a type of perfectly suited TV receptacle to capture these perfect for on-demand shows.