Sunday, February 2, 2014

With a new focus, Big Brother Mzansi - starting today and shown on 4 DStv channels - looks to recapture viewer interest in the format in South Africa.

Following Survivor South Africa: Champions on M-Net out of the gate, South African television's second reality TV show for 2014 - co-incidentally also starting on a Sunday - kicks off today when Big Brother Mzansi begins on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) at 19:00 with a two hour launch show.

Mzansi Magic declined to answer a media enquiry asking for how many days Big Brother Mzansi will be running.

With several seasons of Big Brother Africa under the belt for production company Endemol South Africa, M-Net and MultiChoice are recasting and rebranding the voyeur format for South African television which hasn't seen a local version for the country since the second season of Big Brother South Africa which ended more than a decade ago in 2002.

Now with a black entertainment focus for the show, pay-TV broadcaster M-Net and DStv are hoping to jump start new South African popular culture interest in this reality TV format.

The past decade, since the start of the first season of Big Brother Africa in 2003, MultiChoice in Africa and M-Net Africa have managed to successfully leverage this entertainment reality show as a vehicle to drive viewership, DStv decoder sales and DStv subscriber growth across the African continent outside of South Africa with its eclectic mix, season after season, of misbehaving nouveau fame-seeking contestants.

Big Brother Mzansi, fronted by Lungile Radu, and with 102 microphones and 62 cameras, will broadcast on two Big Brother Mzansi TV channels on MultiChoice - DStv channels 197 and 198.

The Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) channel will broadcast the Big Brother Mzansi weekly nomination shows, daily highlight packages, a weekend highlights omnibus show, the launch programme and the finale.

Mzansi Wethu (DStv 163) will also broadcast daily highlights on weekdays, as well as a weekly highlights omnibus show on Saturdays.

DStv subscribers who are already paying to see the show, will however have to pay an additional R70 to really see it all. R70 payment must be paid to access the Big Brother VIP service, which requires a valid DStv Connect profile if viewers want to see one of the "shower hours" for instance.

While Big Brother Mzansi will have two "shower hour" sessions a day - one in the morning and one in the evening, only the evening shower hour will be broadcast on Big Brother Mzansi on DStv channel 197. The morning shower hour will only be available to Big Brother Mzansi VIP online subscribers of the show.

Subscribers who want to access the "VIP" content for the Big Brother Mzansi 2014 season, will have to login to Big Brother VIP with a DStv Connect profile, pay the once-off membership fee of R70 and then get access to Big Brother VIP for the duration of the show.