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SABC3 sinks Survivor with schedule chaos

2017-04-05 12:13
 
Survivor: San Juan Del Sur - Blood vs Water

Cape Town – The SABC is silent over why it happened – and viewers shocked and furious – after SABC3 sank the new season of Survivor on Tuesday night.

The Survivor San Juan Del Sur no-show happened in an evening that saw SABC3’s entire prime time schedule disrupted from 19:30.

SABC3, mired in unexplained technical problems behind the scenes, made multiple false promises in an on-screen crawl to start the new 29th season of Survivor only to later abandon it altogether, without telling viewers on-screen what's happening.

Zandile Nkonyeni, head publicist for SABC TV channels, didn't respond to a media enquiry made Tuesday night about Survivor, asking why the show didn't start, when viewers can expect to see the show and what caused the crazy scheduling.

According to SABC insider sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, the SABC playout division experienced technical issues with the tape, with the first episode that will now hopefully be shown next week Tuesday.

Last night, at 19:30, the problems started when instead of Survivor, SABC3 suddenly showed The Hostess with Lorna Maseko, only meant to show at 20:30. 

SABC3 promised to start Survivor at 20:00. 

The Survivor starting time was then pushed to 20:03, 20:08 and 20:13 in on-screen crawls – all of which came and went as SABC3 cited technical problems and played in-house programming promo fillers, stalling for time to try and fix the tape. 

Then Driving in Heels started at 20:25 on SABC3 – meant to show at 21:00. It was however only broadcast for around 8 minutes after it was abruptly yanked, and suddenly replaced by The Hostess starting again with the same episode shown an hour before.

SABC3 kept telling viewers on screen that Survivor will start, but now only said it will start "late". At 21:00 Driving in Heels started – the episode SABC3 showed a portion of, half an hour before.

Then SABC3 fell quiet and stopped updating viewers on-screen. Viewers with no access to social media wouldn't have known that on Twitter SABC3 said Survivor will no longer be happening.

On social media, SABC3 viewers got no answers and no explanations to their specific questions and comments as to what is happening.





At 21:30 Trending SA started looking at the trending topics of the day on social media, but ignored the TV elephant in the room: the word "Survivor" that trended in South Africa due to SABC3's unsolved technical problems.

The cash-strapped SABC3, struggling with low and falling viewership, will also have to make what the biz calls make-up ads. 

The SABC, already owing South Africa's ad industry over R150m for wrong, incorrectly flighted and unflighted TV commercials, will have to give Tuesday night's advertisers free spots after failing to show the programming promised, and other new local shows in the right order.

Previous Survivor drama

Tuesday night isn't SABC3's first Survivor scandal with the CBS Studios International distributed show.

In September 2009 SABC3 messed up the order of the episodes for the Survivor China finale which led to massive viewer outrage. 

Advertisers and the sponsor demanding money back, the final control worker was immediately sent home, and later disciplined; and the issue was even addressed in parliament where the massive mistake was lamented as indicative of the worrying state of the public broadcaster. 

In December 2010 SABC3 abruptly delayed the start of Survivor Gabon. Weekly South African entertainment magazines that ran exit interviews worked according to SABC3's planned schedule and already put Christmas and New Year issues to bed.

The result was that multiple magazine covers – complete with inset-photos, gave away who was getting voted out before SABC3 showed it because the broadcast schedule no longer synced up with magazines' on street dates.

In April 2012 SABC3 played a wrong promo during the 19th season showing a contestant already sitting in the tribal council jury although he was still very much in the show – giving away that he is getting voted out.


Read more on:    sabc3  |  survivor  |  tv

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