Saturday, January 27, 2018

Like Cinderella, MultiChoice turns Sky News into a TV pumpkin in Africa at exactly the stroke of midnight, blocking the news with a litany of tacky DStv promos.

On Friday night, at exactly the stroke of midnight when Saturday arrived at 00:00, MultiChoice suddenly turned Sky News (DStv 402) into a TV pumpkin - showing DStv promo after DStv promo after DStv promo instead of Sky News' headlined news.

While the process of playout of on-air promos are automated (these promo bumper starting points and their duration are carefully cued according to the schedules provided by third-party channels and where in-house promos will be needed to replace advertising not to be shown in Africa), it is still in the end human error.  

Obviously MultiChoice is not supposed to blast out a string of DStv promos on Sky News during actual editorial and actual "story" and programmatic content and blocking that out, and definitely not at the start of a "show" or at the top of the hour.

Yet that is exactly what happened when MultiChoice played DStv promo after DStv promo instead of letting Sky News broadcast the news.

After the first second of the start of Sky News' News at 10 intro seen in South Africa and Africa at midnight, MultiChoice interrupted it with a DStv promo, and simply kept going and going and going.

First MultiChoice showed its DStv promo on Sky News, instead of the news, for high definition (HD) and HD content, followed by a promo for SuperSport for the 2018 Winter Olympics, followed by a promo for the DStv Eutelsat Awards, followed by a promo for DStv BoxOffice and the kids movies DStv subscribers can rent.

By the time this all ended, so much time had already lapsed that any DStv subscribers who wanted to watch the news on Sky News to get the breaking and headline making stories, missed it all - after about 7 minutes in.

MultiChoice likely also chased viewers away from Sky News who would have tuned away from Sky's news channel. 

Nobody is going to keep watching a TV channel where it seems as if nothing is going to come on at the top of the hour, where new programming is supposed to start, if all you get is just DStv promo after DStv promo.

If you can't trust (MultiChoice with, and to bring) the news, who can you trust?

Also the insanity of playing out a DStv promo for high definition (HD) on DStv channels that are not actually being broadcast in HD completely defeats the entire purpose. Why is this promo shown on non-HD DStv channels in the first place?

Is it a case of "it was made and produced, now lets plaster it as filled wherever because its too much effort to strategically place it on just channels like M-Net, BBC First and E!"?

It's like when TV manufacturers like Samsung and others run commercials for HD TV sets to show their "clarity" and "sharpness" on channels that are not actually shown in HD. It helps nothing.

Nonsense like this makes DStv in-house promos feel like, and exposes them, for what they mostly actually are: empty filler overlay to replace and pass linear scheduled commercial airtime. 

Promos are a bane of any satellite pay-TV operator's existence but at least when they're done "right", they feel less intrusive and less disruptive.