SABC3: YET ANOTHER BIG SCHEDULE SHAKE-UP

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Incommunicado from E! on DStv with a trash-bad Mariah's World 'media screening' it can't bother to tell TV critics and key media about - and now everyone loses.


This is probably the last time I will cover Mariah's World starting sometime before the end of the year on E! (DStv 124) on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform.

And I know now for a fact that some press, TV critics and other journalists will now definitely completely ignore it too.

It sadly comes after I already did several stories and kept tabs on the upcoming show. - and with sadly I mean sadly for E!, sadly for DStv, and sadly for me and all other journalists who could have, would have - but now won't.

NBCUniversal Networks International that runs E! on DStv apparently had a media screening for Mariah's World for press today but couldn't do the bare minimum to simply actually tell key media about it.

NBCUniversal Networks International does pay a PR company in South Africa to publicise its channel brands and shows. Whoever was responsible for today's Mariah's World press screening I don't know I just know it failed in what it's supposed to do and who it's supposed to try and reach by not bothering.

If you organise something like a press or media screening, it's really trash-bad to not actually know and communicate and involve the media and stakeholders that supposedly forms part of the key collective press group covering a brand - in this case once again E! Entertainment on DStv that flopped by dissing and angering media over Mariah's World.

How this happens, I don't know. Ask James Packer.

TV critics and journalists from a wide range of publications and places from Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban this week sat for literally hours - and I mean hours - in Johannesburg at Sasani Studios to watch the blind audition episodes of the second season of The Voice South Africa that will broadcast in January on M-Net (DStv 101).

In stark contrast, NBCUniversal Networks International and E! couldn't even manage to reach out and get the right media for a mere 40 minute preview media screener just a day later.

It's sad (and embarrassing) that a TV channel on MultiChoice's DStv has what comes across as amateur hour, SABC-level skills when it comes to promoting content with the press.

And again - I don't know who did this and doesn't know or do better, all I know is its bad form and bad (non)communication.

I asked the PR company in South Africa that usually communicates with media about E! programming if they knew who organised the Mariah's World press screening this time round, but it was after hours, so I will probably hear on Friday and then try to contact those people.

It's incredibly frustrating trying to cover something - in this case television - and have something like NBCUniversal International Networks and E! actually spending money that ends up not promoting and giving good exposure to, in this case a TV show but achieving the exact opposite: a pissed off press.

In fact NBCUniversal International Networks is spending money in South Africa on marketing and possible press coverage but are actually causing brand damage and upsetting journalists.

The fact is, what E! did today is to spend its money making media and dedicated beat journalists feel negative, fatigued and resistant to what it wants to promote - in this case Mariah's World on E!.

On Thursday night I asked several longtime journalists, editors and media if they were aware of a Mariah's World press screening. All but one said no. Say whatever you want, but that is not normal.

One longtime and very dedicated journalist covering entertainment and TV actually summed it up the best to me, saying: "It's sad how there's new PR companies that don't invite nor inform key TV media. And then DStv makes it worse by NOT making sure that all key media is invited or that they at least get a press release about this".

Basically took the words out of my mouth.

With a sigh I say the following - and believe me when I say I'm talking from experience.

Media, TV critics, journalists and publications that very likely would have covered Mariah's World - several of whom actually really care - now likely most definitely won't and will actually go out of their way to ignore the show.

The other sad thing - also learnt from years of experience - is that a lot of the faux news brigade who show up to sip the sparkling champagne, will end up going back whence they came from and after the pouting Instagram Snapchat selfie at the event.

They will make sure they grab a goodie bag because that is what is important, blow air kisses to each their best friends forever - end up doing nothing.

Sad, sad, sad and lose-lose all around.

If whoever organised the Mariah's World media screening doesn't care, why should a writer and journalist covering TV?

There's constantly a barrage and ever-growing pile of new TV and shows to watch that TV critics and media struggle to try to get through.

Some of the people who make those shows, try to break though the clutter and noise, spending money, energy and effort trying to get some attention.

In this TV critic's case, E! on Thursday spectacularly failed with Mariah's World - and I know with several other media - who will keep smiling with a French court facade and rather die before being outspoken and admitting that that they know and that Mariah Carey's show in their minds just went to yesterday's news like SABC1's umpteenth rebroadcast of 'Sgudi 'Snaysi.

Yes. E! and Mariah's World did manage to get my attention today. But not for what would have been win-win reasons. Instead, almost everybody end up losers. Just like Glitter.