by Thinus Ferreira
The South African public broadcaster's new video streaming service SABC+ has added SABC Festive as a temporary pop-up channel for the 2022 holiday season that will primarily focus on comedy and music content.
SABC Festive will run until 8 January 2023 and is just available as a digital streaming channel on SABC+, focusing on modern South African pop culture content, celebrating the festive lifestyle.
The SABC is taking a page from the playbook of eMedia and MultiChoice which have both done pop-up TV channels on their respective Openview and DStv satellite TV services.
When the broadcaster launched SABC+ in mid-November, Merlin Naicker, head of SABC video entertainment, said that the SABC has plans to quickly launch pop-up channels like a festive channel, as well as Senzo Meyiwa murder trial court channel as part of its strategy to grow its new streamer's user base.
With SABC+ which is a rebrand of Telkom's shuttered TelkomONE streaming service, the SABC inherited just over 150 000 subscribers, and has been averaging 15 000 new sign-ups per day over the past two weeks.
The SABC has a target of reaching between one and two million users for SABC+ a year from now by November 2023.
SABC Festive has a mix of content from the SABC's library archive like episodes of SABC1's Live AMP, mixed with American shows like The Pop Profiles series looking at the careers of American entertainers like Lady Gaga, Pink, Snoop Dog, Eminem and Britney Spears.
Episodes of the SABC series Gospel Classics and Afro Cafe are also on the SABC Festive schedule, along with music specials, including Biggest Weekend with Sam Smith, the Katy Perry World Tour, Billie Eilish at the Glastonbury Festival, Jorja Smith with her live performance at the Glastonbury Festival in 2019, 2014's Ed Sheeran: Live at iTunes Festival, and 2019's Janelle Monae's Glastonbury Festival performance.
Some of Paramount Africa's pay-TV content from Comedy Central will also be on SABC Festive like the Comedy Central Roast of Somizi, The Comedy Central Roast of AKA and the Roast Battle 2018.
"The strategy behind creating the SABC Festive pop-up channel is that it allows the SABC to offer 24-hour content focused on music and comedy. Audiences can tune in from any device at different destinations, allowing the SABC to be everywhere for everyone," says Merlin Naicker.