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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

THE HOUNDS WILL HOWL AGAIN: SABC2 backtracks, orders return of original 7 Laan theme song; says SABC2 doesn't want viewer-relationship to be 'a one-night stand'.


The hounds are going to howl again: SABC2 is backtracking on more of the SABC channel's bad decisions in the recent past and has ordered its weekday Afrikaans soap 7de Laan to bring back its original, iconic theme song as SABC2 channel bosses say it doesn't want its viewer-relationship to be "a one-night stand".

As SABC2's viewership and market share keep sliding, the TV channel is starting to undo some of the big and costly mistakes that saw ratings sag and that led to harsh and vocal criticism of viewers who've tuned out and tuned in to the rival commercial broadcaster e.tv's content offering.

After abruptly dumping the Sunday 7de Laan omnibus in mid-February without any prior warning to viewers - a move that saw SABC2's Sunday ratings tank - the channel reversed course and is bringing the weekend repeats of the Danie Odendaal Productions soap back from Sunday 2 July at 13:30.

SABC2 that also ordered the soap to drop its iconic themesong in June 2015 as part of a series of transformative changes to make the weekday Afrikaans soap more palatable to a broader audience, is now also reversing course on that decision and told 7de Laan to bring back the original theme song.

It's not yet clear from what date SABC2 viewers will again hear the memorable, violin-infused theme song done by the Soweto String Quartet.

For years, dogs across South African households, thinking they're little wolves, howled along as soon as the somewhat-melancholic violin melody composed by Louis van Rensburg started, literally notifying and calling their owners to TV sets.

That changed when the unmemorable new song from Joe Niemand and new opening sequence was introduced.

"The omnibus of 7de Laan is returning, including the original signature song of the show," said Jacqui Hlongwane, SABC2 programme manager, according to AlexNews.

Jacqui Hlongwane told the media that e.tv is "breathing down our neck" and that SABC2 is aware that the SABC will have to produce better content if it's to keep its viewers.

"Our relationship with our viewers should not be a one-night stand but one that will last for eternity. We need not take them for granted as they now have more options at their disposal."

"e.tv is breathing down our neck and the only way to stay relevant is to beat them at this viewership and we can do that by producing top class material for the viewers," Jacqui Hlongwane reportedly said.

She said SABC2 is aware that line-up and schedule changes the channel introduced touched a raw-nerve that negatively impacted viewership. "I can assure them that we have listened and we're answering their numerous calls urging us to do something."

SABC TV head publicist Zandile Nkonyeni didn't respond to a media enquiry on Wednesday seeking comment about why SABC2 decided to bring back the original 7de Laan theme song.