Monday, November 2, 2015

Sony Channel on DStv adds first local South African show, Gogglebox in which viewers talk about what they're watching on television.

Sony Channel (DStv 127) is finally adding the channel's first locally produced South African programming with Gogglebox, a local version of the British format show.

Gogglebox shows opinionated TV viewers talking about television.

Sony Pictures Television Networks has been slow to come up with and produce local South African TV content for its channel seen in South Africa and the rest of the African continent, while internationally supplied TV channels like BBC Entertainment, now BBC First; Food Network, BET and others started commissioning local programming a few years ago.

Now the Sony Channel is also getting in on the act adding a bit of local content.

The South African version of Gogglebox will start on the channel in 2016 for 10 episodes and shows people talking about what they're watching on television. It will be produced by Eject Media and Picture Tree.

Gogglebox started in 2013 on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom.

The show is filmed in viewers' homes with small remote-controlled cameras operated from a control room elsewhere, capturing what people have to say about the TV they've watched.

It's not clear whether people featuring on Gogglebox will only be talking about Sony Channel programming, or whether they will be giving their opinions about all programming available to South African viewers on the SABC,, M-Net the range of DStv, OpenView HD and StarSat channels, as well as community TV stations.

South African TV viewers seen commenting on Sony Channel about other channels' shows and other TV programming not on the Sony Channel - good and bad - might be awkward for Sony, and indirectly give exposure to rivals' TV content.

"Gogglebox is a great show and we are confident that it will resonate with South African viewers," says Lyle Stewart, the senior vice president for the Sony Pictures Television Networks' Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMA) region.

"We feel that the timing is right for a local production to really cater for South African audiences and add to our already strong programming mix on the Sony Channel," says Lyle Stewart.

"We are excited to see what South Africans really think of the television programmes they watch and those who appear on the box - be they celebrities or politicians," says Gary King, Gogglebox producer.

"This is a brilliant format and we are excited to work on this," says Stephan Le Roux, Gogglebox executive producer. "We feel that this is the show South African viewers have been waiting for."