Cape Town – Five episodes in, there's something that Gogglebox South Africa on the Sony Channel (DStv 127) on Thursday nights at 21:00 actually perfectly illustrates about MultiChoice's DStv and repeats.
It's that the majority of the complaints from DStv subscribers about too many repeats and rebroadcasts of old content are actually largely unfounded and uninformed.
While it would be misleading to say that based on a single show like Gogglebox SA all DStv subscriber complaints regarding repeats should be dismissed, just using the evidence from the five episodes on the Sony Channel so far, it becomes clear that DStv repeats are perhaps not the big issue people make it to be.
After five episodes, everything the families have watched is new to them, although a lot of it is actually old and not first-run content.
In other words: Everything they saw on the various DStv channels has been new to all of them – although not all the content is actually "new".
Nobody has watched a ‘repeat’
None of the families are watching anything they would call a "repeat". Although some of it has been shown multiple times before, none of them have ever bothered to see it or by chance found it and watched it.
All of the Gogglebox SA families watched the old Disney movie UP on M-Net Movies. None of them had yet seen it, none of them knew it, and none could predict the story's ending.
A lot of them hadn't seen Snakes on a Plane and only one person had seen the old (great) film Big from 1988 with Tom Hanks on TCM years before.
Absolutely none of them had watched The Impossible on M-Net Movies before, which has been shown several times already on TV.
None of the families have ever watched Checkpoint (a regular weekly investigative magazine show) on eNCA, yet they all responded to it and became emotional, angry and involved with the story of injustice they were shown.
Watch the promo for Gogglebox SA here:
A better strategy
This means that there is a lot of content spread across DStv that subscribers are possibly too lazy to sit and find, that they too quickly dismiss although they would perhaps actually like it, and that there's clearly a lot of brand-new and "old new" content people are paying for but simply have never seen.
It’s not that DStv repeats are not a problem. However, it’s not as big a problem as people want to make it.
Perhaps taking a page from the Gogglebox SA playbook indicates a better strategy when it comes to avoiding things you’ve seen before.
Watch something new you've never tried watching. Tune to a channel, tune in for a show, record something if you can that you've never watched before or thought you'd not be interested in.
Maybe you find a new favourite or more "new" things to constantly watch.
*This is an article written by an independent TV critic. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Channel24. Channel24 is part of Media24, a subsidiary of Naspers.
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