Monday, February 1, 2021

M-Net tries to fix botched playout of The Capture on linear and MultiChoice's DStv Catch Up after errors with programme acceptance, although mistakes and subscriber complaints persist.

by Thinus Ferreira
M-Net is apologising to DStv subscribers for a big programming mess with the BBC series, The Capture, that got viewers hot under the collar since its debut and that the pay-TV channel has still not been able to fix properly.
While errors with programming, content acceptance and checking of international series, and scheduling are very rare on pay-TV services like M-Net (DStv 101) and much more prone to happen on free-to-air channels like the SABC for example, M-Net keeps angering very confused pay-TV subscribers who can't figure out what went wrong with the channel's The Capture that has turned into a viewing exercise of frustration.
The British mystery crime-drama that received positive reviews from critics and viewers in late-2019, when it was broadcast in the United Kingdom, is getting anything but that in South Africa after M-Net failed to properly check and watch the episodes received.
M-Net continues to severely botch the broadcast playout of episodes scheduled on Thursday nights at 22:30, as well as how the series is loaded and made available on MultiChoice's DStv Catch Up service.
M-Net told TVwithThinus on Monday that it fixed the problem in the past week after a flurry of complaints, but it apparently didn't and viewers continue to be upset about the showing of the series that makes no sense on either the linear broadcast playout or on the digital video-on-demand (VOD) catch up.
What happened with The Capture, starring Holliday Grainger as Detective Inspector Rachel Carey, is that there are actually two versions of the series – a "domestic" one that was shown on BBC One in September 2019, as well as an internationally distributed version, edited differently. The two versions also have a different number of episodes.
What happened, according to insiders, is that M-Net accidentally got a "third" version – a wrong batch that mixed together episodes from both the domestic version of The Capture, as well as the international version. 

Episodes from the one and of the other were both jumbled as one package of episodes in this third version which M-Net then slotted for broadcast and that was put on DStv Catch Up.
The past week, after a lot of complaints, M-Net and MultiChoice scrambled to try and fix the problem, although M-Net broadcast a wrong episode of The Capture yet again on Thursday when episode 4 was oddly a repeat of an episode already shown, while MultiChoice removed all of the episodes from Catch Up and reloaded a new batch but again with mistakes.
Since the debut of The Capture, DStv subscribers have been complaining that characters are missing across episodes and would suddenly pop-up without any introduction or backstory, that crucial scenes and story development are missing, that episodes are even shown out of chronological order, that episodes are abruptly cut short, and that DStv would list episode 3 and 4 on Catch Up, and M-Net would broadcast episode 3 and 4, although 4 is just repeating the same episode.
In response to a media enquiry made last week, M-Net publicist Nomntu Mnengi on Monday told TVwithThinus that "there are two versions of The Capture – the original version and the international version". 
"M-Net licensed the international version in line with broadcast geographical regulations. The original version which aired on the BBC has 6 episodes, the international version has 8 episodes, hence the difference in episode duration".
"The confusion occurred when the channel received the footage and metadata. The international version's footage was delivered with the original version's metadata instead. This error has since been rectified and the episodes will be available on Catch Up." 
"All the episodes have been reprocessed by the programming acceptance (PGA) team. Viewers can now access the correct version (international) of episode 3 and onwards. We do apologise for the inconvenience caused".
M-Net viewers, however, continue to experience problems with trying to watch and follow The Capture.
On Saturday a viewer, James asked "DStv, why is episode 4 of The Capture a repeat of episode 3 both on Catch Up and recording?"

Another viewer said, "In The Capture series an episode was not available for a whole week and now the sequence for episode 3 and 4 are mixed up. Please do better".
"Which idiot put episodes 3 and 4 of The Capture on M-Net in the wrong order then flighted episode 4 again on Thursday? Throws the whole storyline out of sync," said Martin Godfrey.
"Is there an issue with the order of episodes for The Capture on DStv Catch Up? I saw episode 3 last week called Truffle Hog and I see the same episode is loaded as episode 4. The description for episode 4 seems right but the video is wrong," remarked another subscriber.
Viewer Andrew Field said "DStv, the programme The Capture has been badly edited and is missing parts and doesn't make sense".
"MultiChoice why do you guys cut the shows you bring? Case in point The Capture. Episode 2 is missing 2 storylines. Why is an international series modified by you lot from the original? Not censored because of SNVL but deliberately chopped to 43 minutes," asked another angry viewer.
Amanda said "DStv we have been watching The Capture on channel 101. There is a whole chunk of the show missing between episodes 2 and 3. If you read the synopsis of the episodes first shown in the United Kingdom, we missed the interrogation in the safe house. It didn't make any sense."