Wednesday, May 13, 2015

SABC Encore: SABC supplied programme guide on MultiChoice's DStv EPG riddled with mistakes, spelling mistakes, lack of information.

From before its launch and two days since it started, the SABC and MultiChoice's just added rerun channel SABC Encore (DStv 156) is riddled with mistakes, spelling errors and a lack of proper programming information for DStv's electronic programme guide (EPG).

The SABC can't claim it doesn't know what shows are about or that it's not able to provide accurate and descriptive programme information.

All of the repeat content and programming shown again on SABC Encore had existed for years, languishing in the SABC's Auckland Park archives where anybody could watch through episodes before broadcast to write succinct episode synopses, add season and episode numbers, as well as apt and correct general descriptors of what a show is about.

Using DStv's EPG for SABC Encore, DStv subscribers and viewers of the channel who don't know anything about a specific show, would struggle to get any accurate idea of what a show is really about due to a lack of proper information, hilarious inaccuracies and mistakes.

It's the SABC's own local content which the public broadcaster is failing to properly describe for viewers.

The result is that MultiChoice which imports the information as received from its channel partner, the SABC, is unable to provide subscribers with accurate information for the channel.

That in turn has an impact on whether a DStv subscriber decides to watch a show, set a PVR recording, or is helped with more information when pressing the "i" button on the DStv remote control.

Asked whether, and why, the SABC did not provide information and the right programming information to MultiChoice and why the DStv EPG is not able to give users correct information, MultiChoice tells TV with Thinus that "we are aware of the inaccuracies in the channel's EPG and we've escalated these to the channel".

None of the SABC Encore programming contains season or episode numbers, and several shows only have a vague description, falling far short of the rich nostalgia grabbing information the SABC and MultiChoice should be providing DStv subscribers.

Zap Mag on SABC Encore is only described as "we bring you a youth magazine show"; Meloding is "we bring you a traditional African music programme". These examples echo what DStv and SABC Encore bring to the channel's EPG in terms of useful information: very little.

The Afrikaans drama series Ballade vir 'N Engeling - misspelled - hilarious means and loosely translates as "Ballad for an Angel-ing" instead of "Ballad for a Loner".

Beckett's Trek, the popular local travelogue which was presented by Denis Beckett, is hilariously and completely incorrectly described as "a collection of short stories and translated by Ian Ferguson".

At least these shows contain some information, as opposed to the blank "channel did not supply information" which DStv subscribers also see on some programming because the SABC apparently doesn't know what these shows are.

The heydey local comedy Louis Motors written by Robert Kirby with director Bobby Heaney is apparently set in "a downtown car repair shop" although there wasn't much "downtown" about the hapless workers serving at a garage with car mechanics.

Going Up on SABC Encore is described "a courtroom, featuring a comical magistrate, a court elderly and a nasty prosecutor".

Longtime viewers of the popular sitcom will know, and a quick Google search will show, that the Penguin Films production which spanned four seasons and 104 episodes - the first multi-lingual, multi-cultural comedy to be broadcast by the SABC with Joe Mafela, June van Merch and Rex Garner was primarily taking place at a lawyer's office.

Set in one of the upper floors of an office building and following the antics of the office support staff who worked there, not really at court, and dreaming of working their way up, is where the title of Going Up derived from.