by Thinus Ferreira
After months of repeats the EVA channel from AMC Networks International is the next TV channel getting axed from MultiChoice with the American daytime soap The Bold and the Bold that is getting ripped away from South African TV viewers for a second time when the telenovela channel will go dark in March after 5 years.
DStv subscribers – who have asked about the channels' schedules that became filled with unending rebroadcasts over the last few months – have now been told that EVA, as well as EVA+, will both terminate and disappear from MultiChoice's DStv and GOtv pay-TV service across Africa on Monday 22 March because MultiChoice "no longer has airing rights".
For the past few months, all of the telenovelas on EVA has been repeats except for The Bold and the Beautiful, produced by Bell-Phillip Television Productions, that remained as the sole original daily episode on the schedule.
Viewers in South Africa and across sub-Saharan Africa will now lose The Bold and the Beautiful – that recently broadcast its 8 000th episode in Africa – for a second time after SABC3 abruptly ended it in March 2019 after which they had to switch to EVA to watch it on linear television.
AMCNI launched the EVA (DStv 141) channel in March 2015 with Latin American telenovelas dubbed into English and into Portuguese on DStv channel 508 as a competitor to NBCUniversal's Telemundo.
In November 2016 EVA+, as a sister channel, launched on DStv and GOtv, with AMC Networks International saying at the time that with the channels it aims to "satisfy the African audience’s growing appetite for telenovelas" with a crop of "hand-picked, high-quality serial dramas".
In the latter part of 2020 both EVA and EVA+ – similar to the FOX Life and Disney XD channels before they got culled – suddenly stopped adding new content except for the daily Bold and the Beautiful episode.
Viewers quickly noticed that the EVA and EVA+ schedules became padded with the rebroadcasting and repeating of telenovelas that DStv and GOtv subscribers had already seen.
AMCNI in response to a media enquiry says that "After discussion with DStv, we have decided to no longer offer EVA/EVA+ in Africa".
"We’re focused on optimising our portfolio across the region, and these changes are related to that ongoing review. This does not affect other services in our portfolio, including CBS Justice, the newest channel in our portfolio which launched exclusively with DStv in November 2019, in addition to CBS Reality and JimJam which are available to DStv and other operators throughout Africa."
MultiChoice spokesperson Sbu Mpungose in response to a media enquiry confirmed the axing of EVA and EVA+, saying that "from time to time, MultiChoice together with 3rd party channel owners reviews the channels available on the DStv platform which may result in the addition or removal of channels".
"For this reason, EVA and EVA+ will no longer be available on the DStv platform from 22 March 2021. Viewers will, however, be able to continue to view our recently introduced favourite channels such as TLnovelas (DStv 133) and the HONEY channel (DStv 173)."
Asked about what will be happening to the schedule and shows that have not completed the run of their episodes by 22 March, for instance Mujercitas (Little Women) that would only conclude on 13 April, Sbu Mpungose said that "almost all of the series which are currently on EVA and EVA+ are reruns".