Exactly as TVwithThinus reported a week and a half ago already, MultiChoice and e.tv today put out individual statements, issued separately, confirming that the eBella channel will start on 5 March on DStv on channel 159 and on Platco Digital's OpenView HD (OVHD) on channel 109 on 5 March.
Hilariously MultiChoice has been running promos for eBella on its DStv guide channel 100 but when asked about it and what MultiChoice is showing viewers, didn't want to talk about it.
TVwithThinus on Friday asked MultiChoice about eBella and was told as usual that when there's an announcement to be made about a new TV channel, it will happen.
On Monday afternoon MultiChoice issued a general statement about eBella to all press, not first to those journalists who actually made effort, showed interest and asked.
MultiChoice's statement, tailored to MultiChoice's DStv audience and completely ignoring eBella being available on OpenView HD as a free-to-air satellite TV platform, said the female-centered channel - as reported before - will be targeting a female audience.
"e.tv celebrates women through campaigns and programming and now we can extend this messaging into an entirely new channel," says Marlon Davids, managing director of e.tv in the MultiChoice statement.
"eBella is a strong addition to DStv and we know that our viewers will enjoy the channel’s mix of speciality shows and telenovelas that empower and celebrate the female market".
"Our focus is to offer our customers on all packages new and fresh entertainment – giving them access to the stories they want to hear. eBella is all about women and celebrating our influence on the global landscape as empowered and bold individuals," says Yolisa Phahle, CEO for general entertainment at MultiChoice.
On MultiChoice satellite pay-TV offering eBella will be available to DStv Premium, DStv Compact Plus, DStv Compact, DStv Family and DStv Access subscribers within South Africa - just not DStv EasyView although e.tv's other freely available channels like eExtra and eToonz+ are.
Three and a half hours after MultiChoice, e.tv issued their statement about eBella at 15:20 on Monday afternoon, tailored to e.tv and OpenView HD's audience and completely ignoring eBella being available on MultiChoice's DStv as a satellite pay-TV service.
e.tv says "OpenView HD continues to bring quality entertainment to over one million homes, with an additional channel being added to the bouquet" and that "eBella, the new member of the eFamily of channels, will premiere on Monday, 5 March 2018. Viewers can expect a wide array of inspirational content that reflects the lives and stories of women from around the world."
"eBella is all about women and celebrating their prominent influence in the global landscape. The choice selection of the channel's premium local and international content offering reflects women in today's society as empowered and bold individuals."
"Whether it's an award-winning series, indulgent lifestyle show or a ground-breaking movie, everything on eBella will satisfy viewers with a dose of guilt-free entertainment."
In e.tv's statement Marlon Davids, managing director of e.tv, says, "the new channel will bolster the eFamily of channels' impressive offering. e.tv has always celebrated our supreme women through campaigns and programming and now we can extend this messaging into an entirely new channel."
"eBella is a strong addition to the OpenView HD platform, and we know that our viewers are going to indulge and enjoy the content immediately," says Marlon Davids.
e.tv says OpenView HD will be "growing its unique content offering with the addition of more channels in the near future, catering to viewer demands for more quality television viewing".
eBella will show telenovelas from around the world like including So Much Love (the Spanish telenovela Tanto Amor that's been on the EVA channel on DStv), an Indian Muslim soap opera called Qubool Hai, and a Turkish telenovela Fatmagul.
eBella will also show lifestyle and reality shows catering to a female audience including Secret Guide To Fabulous, Princess, The Dog Whisperer and Beverley’s Full House.
The launch of eBella is the first new channel being added to OpenView HD in a while with the platform that has scrapped a number of non-owned channels over the past few months.
eBella is also an e.tv-packaged channel meaning that e.tv has direct and full control over the channel's content and schedule, as well as full responsibility for its performance ratings wise.
The addition of eBella comes shortly after the launch of Moja Love on DStv on Valentine's Day this month, targeting a black female audience with locally produced programming centred around love and relationships.