Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Comedy Central to simulcast radio DJ Gareth Cliff's internet radio show on the TV channel on weekday mornings from 1 May.

After abruptly severing ties with the SABC radio station 5FM, the South African radio DJ Gareth Cliff who promised a new type of show will now, ironically, be simulcasting his new internet streamed show, The Gareth Cliff Show Live, on a traditional media platform - Comedy Central (DStv 122) from 1 May.

Terms of the deal was not disclosed, but Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa) which runs Comedy Central Africa, will show The Gareth Cliff Show Live on weekdays between 07:35 to 08:50 from 1 May.

The studio based internet radio show will feature telephone calls and interviews which will be seen on television.

Its not clear whether The Gareth Cliff Show Live will be heard outside of South Africa's borders on Comedy Central on DStv in the rest of Africa and whether VIMN Africa will stay with the repeats of American sitcoms for other African countries.

By simulcasting The Gareth Cliff Show Live on television on DStv, Gareth Cliff, Comedy Central and VIMN Africa, and MultiChoice will have to adhere to the regulations of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) not applicable of the internet radio venture remained strictly on

Gareth Cliff's solo TV try-out, the late night The Gareth Cliff Show on M-Net in 2009 lasted only one season, but he has remained a judge on the South African pay-TV broadcaster's reality singing competition show, Idols.

Although the timeslot for such a simulcast on television is odd and unusual - television viewership on weekday mornings fall since people don't remain stationary - the addition of The Gareth Cliff Show Live does replace one of the multiple Comedy Central repeat slot with new content to help increase the channel's minutes of daily first-run programming.

In a statement Gareth Cliff admits to the traditional media of the new venture. "The partnership with Comedy Central not only gives our audience a traditional platform to join us as they're getting ready to start the day, but is an opportunity to uncover fresh local content".

"This is Comedy Central's first daily live show in the African market and we are thrilled to be partnering with a host of Gareth Cliff's calibre, polish and experience to bring this new comedy concept to these shores," says Evert van der Veer, Comedy Central Africa channel head about the dualistic internet radio and TV talk show.

"The addition of a localised editorial voice to put things in perspective for South African viewers adds a broad new dimension to our comedy portfolio".

Strangely, MultiChoice is weighing in on the Comedy Central programming venture.

In the Comedy Central statement, Aletta Alberts, MultiChoice's head of content, said MultiChoice - and using past perfect tense - "had great expectations of the show".

"We have always supported new ideas and this exciting and fresh addition to the Comedy Central line-up will make the channel ever stronger, reinforced by this local flavour. Gareth gives our viewers a voice to interact with this strong global brand".