Johannesburg – M-Net finally announced that The Voice SA is coming to South Africa. But who will be swivelling in the red chairs?
The South African television network on Wednesday announced to advertisers in Johannesburg at M-Net’s content showcase that the pay-TV broadcaster has officially picked up the rights to The Voice SA as its new reality singing show to sit alongside the long running Idols SA.
South African viewers have been waiting for a long time for a localised version of the singing format show with the South African pay-TV broadcaster which first started looking into the possibility of acquiring the rights for a local version of The Voice over a year and a half ago.
SABC3 was first to start showing the American version of The Voice and then also explored the possibility of doing a local version, The Voice SA. The ongoing money trouble and severe budget constraints at the SABC not only scuppered the local content plan but also saw the loss of the American show to M-Net.
M-Net then diligently started showing the American version of The Voice as it planned to grow familiarity with the singing competition franchise and its format for its own pay-TV and DStv subscribers and to then possibly follow it up with a local version.
Exactly a year ago at DStv and M-Net’s local content showcase, M-Net South Africa CEO Yolisa Phahle, in response to a question from Channel24 confirmed that M-Net had been looking into the possibility of doing a local version of The Voice SA for a few months already at that time. She was however coy as to how far at that time negotiations were and non-committal about plans.
According to sources, M-Net was also looking for and evaluating "newer" shows and formats, with one M-Net executive describing The Voice and a local version as "somewhat tired" since viewers have now seen too much of it.
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