I did not expect this. At all: Universal Networks International (UNI) will be bringing the thrilling, premium and brand-new TV drama The Librarians in high definition (HD) to Universal Channel (DStv 117) from December only a day after the new series starts and as episodes become available.
With this drastic and unexpected programming upshift, Universal Networks International is entering the race of TV channels, TV channel suppliers, distributors and content distributors dramatically improving their international pipeline funneling and strategic content push to South Africa and the rest of Africa to close the gap and radically narrow the broadcasting window lag pay-TV subscribers experienced.
South African pay-TV broadcaster M-Net is in the vanguard with a record-breaking number of foreign content playing out extremely close to international broadcasting dates, followed by Fox International Channels Africa (FIC Africa) running FOX.
Sony Entertainment Television (SET) on DStv and Viacom International Media Networks' BET on On Digital Media's (ODM) StarSat have stepped it up by trying hard and bringing several foreign TV properties relatively quickly to South African viewers.
Discovery International Networks (DNI) is still lagging however - although it is trying, and consistently brings several once-off factual news related documentaries to the Discovery channels.
Likewise BBC Worldwide running channels like BBC Entertainment is now lagging behind the others insofar as the roll-out of content and broadcast windows are concerned. Individual episodes of the bulk of programming are still months old and now looks stale in comparison to what other content and channel distributors are suddenly doing with their TV channels in South Africa.
Following the quick roll-out of the second Sharknado movie as a once-off telefeature on Studio Universal and the reality show Escape Club on E! Entertainment (DStv 124) (both other UNI channels) almost instantaneously with its international dates, The Librarians marks a significant start and shift for Univeral Networks International.
UNI will now bring South African pay-TV subscribers a new, hot fantasy TV show just like The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Falling Skies, Under the Dome, Da Vinci's Demons and other series just like M-Net and FOX are doing in increasing numbers.
UNI says The Librarians, with Noah Wyle from FOX' Falling Skies (and who remains in that show) and Rebecca Romijn, will premiere in South Africa and "over 100 countries" "within 24 hours of the United States debut on TNT in December".
The Librarians from Electric Entertainment plays like a TV show of Indiana Jones and Relic Hunter, and is a TV series based on the made-for-TV movie series Noah Wyle starred in before he did Falling Skies.
It has now been redeveloped into a TV series and Noah Wyle is one of the executive producers.
In The Librarians there's an ancient organisation hidden beneath the Metropolitan Public Library in New York dedicated to protecting an unknown world from the secret,magical reality hidden all around. The
"The Librarians is a captivating addition to Universal Channel's programming for our markets, and we are delighted it will be airing within just 24 hours of the United States premiere," says Colin McLeod, the managing director for emerging markets for Universal Networks International.
"We are thrilled to bring this action-adventure drama to our viewers, giving our audience instant access to the brand new and exciting series".