Sunday, April 28, 2019

The Tellytrack horse-racing TV channel extends its contract with MultiChoice; will roll-out an on-air rebrand and content revamp on DStv from 4 May.

After getting extremely close to being dumped from MultiChoice's satellite pay-TV service DStv, and then saved, the horse-racing betting channel Tellytrack (DStv 239) is getting another reprieve from being sent to the off-air glue factory, with Tellytrack that will rebrand on 4 May 2019 with a revamped on-air offering.

The on-air rebrand and programming revamp forms part of a contract extension for the Tellytrack channel between MultiChoice and Phumelela Gaming and where Colleen Goodman was appointed as new Tellytrack CEO in late-2018.

MultiChoice and Phumelela Gaming didn't specify the duration or any of the details of the new contract.

MultiChoice says in a statement that "for over 15 years DStv has been the 'race track' of choice for many horse-racing lovers across the country" but omits how adamant and close the pay-TV service has been and came in the past to dumping Tellytrack.

MultiChoice says Tellytrack will "continue to run on DStv channel 239 enabling viewers to experience the 'Sport of Kings' in the comfort of their homes".

From 4 May Tellytrack will start with and carry an improved content offering that will include more lifestyle programming, as well as a new on-air look.

Tellytrack content - both recorded and live coverage - the past 3 years faced criticism ranging from low production values, looking amateurish, a failure to cover events, and horrible and uninformed on-air talent clueless and unprepared to cover race-events.

Tellytrack will now introduce a new hour-long daily Morning Show, that will carry 30 minutes of horseracing content and 30 minutes of other sports.

"Over the years we have seen consistency in the channel's viewership ratings, indicating that the South African television market has an appetite for the sport," says Rob Scott, sports betting executive for Phumelela Gaming, in a prepared statement.

"As such from a business perspective, extending the contract became key, as the partnership continues to provide an extended reach of the sport."

"Our objective is to provide our viewers with variety through the morning show but through our other offerings, become a channel that features predominantly local horseracing," says Rob Scott.

Aletta Alberts, MultiChoice's head of content strategy, says "The Tellytrack channel forms part of our platform's strategy to bring great quality and diverse content to South African audiences".

"Through our content we celebrate our diverse audiences' interests, and this can be demonstrated in the number of channel offerings available on our packages. The Tellytrack channel allows us to continue to meet this mandate – of continuously serving our viewers with content that is relevant and excites them."