Are there just too many repeats of British series on BBC First (DStv 119) and ITV Choice (DStv 123) on MultiChoice's DStv service? Some DStv subscribers paying for the top-tier DStv packages feel so.
TVwithThinus hears from a lot of readers daily. Whilst every email is read, it's impossible to respond to each one individually (I do try with as many as I can) since there's simply not enough time in a day.
One complaint and a question that keeps popping up however, is DStv subscribers wanting to know why the repeats on BBC First and ITV Choice - premium channels for only the high-end tiers have such a high perceived repeat broadcast ratio.
BBC First is only for DStv Premium; ITV Choice is available to DStv Premium and DStv Extra subscribers.
TVwithThinus decided to ask both BBC First and ITV Choice about its repeats after Mike Westaway last week wrote me and again asked what so many other typical DStv subscribers have been asking the past few months.
Here is Mike Westaway's email:
"What is going on with BBC First and ITV Choice? So many repeats so soon after initial broadcasts. I understand the need for repeats but so many, so soon? I was thrilled to see Brit TV initially but have become very disappointed by what's happening now. They must have vaults overflowing with programmes never seen here because of sanctions, etc. Or is something else blowing in the wind?"
I reached out to both BBC First and ITV Choice to possibly hear from these channels what they want to say to Mike Westaway and other DStv subscribers watching these channels but feeling there's too many repeats.
BBC First on MultiChoice's DStv is a channel from BBC Worldwide and localised for a BBC Worldwide Africa channel feed. ITV Choice is run by ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE).
"BBC Worldwide showcase world class programmes across all five of the BBC channels in South Africa."
"We know our audiences like the shows we host and that there's a real appetite for them. We supply 1 600 hours of fresh content every year and we're in the business of mixing new content with old favourites."
ITV Choice responded:
"ITV Choice tries really hard to limit our repeats and this is something that DStv, as our platform monitor really carefully. In fact, we rarely get complaints about repeats from subscribers or DStv."
"We do have very long running shows i.e. Judge Rinder, Catchphrase, Tipping point etc. These shows are produced with not only a great number of series, but they also include at least 8 episodes per series, so they do run for an extended time.
"We have, however tried to break up the schedule by having a break in between, by showing Series 1 – 3 /4 and then after a break starting Series 5 to 8.
"We certainly do repeat titles i.e. Poldark where it is scheduled in a prime-time slot and then repeated again in daytime."
"On some of our top performing shows, we may repeat a series on request from DStv. There could also be other reasons for repeats, when we buy international rights to a show, we may have an obligation on the number of hours we broadcast for."