South African DStv subscribers and those in the rest of Africa are in for a shock when they will discover in two months time that E! Entertainment's (DStv 124) hyped first new scripted drama, The Royals, won't be starting close to or at the same time in March as in America but months later at the end of the year.
Universal Networks International (UNI) risks alienating DStv subscribers in Africa and South Africa when The Royals starts on 15 March on E! Entertainment in the rest of the world but won't be shown here - for almost a year.
TV with Thinus asked and was told that The Royals is only expected to premiere on E! Entertainment - the UK's version of E! beamed to Africa and the Middle East - sometime in the 4th quarter of 2015.
UNI says nothing has been confirmed as of yet - meaning South African viewers are going to lose out on the big-buzz drama which got renewed for a 2nd season on E! Entertainment last week before The Royals' first season has even started yet.
While other channels supplied by BBC Worldwide and Discovery Networks have started to follow M-Net's lead in getting and broadcasting global content quickly, Universal Networks International seriously risks dropping the ball by not bringing South African viewers and DStv subscribers The Royals close to 15 March as well.
Since The Royals is an E! show, once again viewers will see the show and coverage of it like cast interviews and set visits elsewhere on E! on such daily shows as E! News.
Yet viewers in South Africa and Africa will not being able to partake, fully understand or being able to share fully since they're able to actually see the show - instead ending up with a schizophrenic fill-in-the-blanks experience until the actual drama starts at the end of the year.
Given the early second season renewal for its very first scripted drama, it suggests that E! is proud of The Royals' early produced episodes and feels like it has enough of an upcoming new hit on its hands.
Yet E! isn't appearing to want to build, cash in on the hype and ride the wave of interest there will be in The Royals when it starts in March for a global audience, opting to give South African viewers once again the stale, been-there-it's-now-over leftovers at the back-end of 2015.
In The Royals, filmed in London and revolving around a present day fictional royal family, Elizabeth Hurley is Queen Helena, with Joan Collins as the queen's mother.
Queen Helena has twins, Princess Eleanor and Prince Liam.
While its the scheming Joan Collins' character who is really ruling the kingdom and palace in Dynasty style behind the scenes, the young Princess Eleanor is the party animal like Windsor's Prince Harry with the resultant tabloid dramas.
Meanwhile Prince Liam is having a secret relationship with the daughter of one of the bodyguards.
Mark Schwahn who did One Tree Hill is the executive producer, with Lionsgate as the production company.