SABC dumps J&B Met, DStv’s Vuzu picks up coverage

2014-01-31 12:21
melinda bam,lee-ann liebenberg
Cape Town – In another blow for viewers of public television in South Africa the SABC and its SABC3 TV channel is dropping its TV coverage of the annual J&B Met horse race.

Coverage of the J&B Met taking place on Saturday is shifting to MultiChoice's Vuzu channel which decided to pick up and do red carpet coverage this year for the first time. SuperSport, also on DStv, will broadcast the horse race.

The J&B Met, the biggest annual event kicking off Cape Town's social calendar, used to be shown live on SABC, with live red carpet coverage and a live horse race broadcast from SABC3 and SABC Sport. As a result it also saw a perennial, heavy presence from SABC executives as well as SABC entertainment and magazine shows. Now it’s all over.

The SABC didn't respond to a media enquiry as to why the public broadcaster suddenly dropped its annual coverage of the J&B Met social arrivals and live horse racing, and is silent as to how the cancellation of J&B Met coverage on SABC3 - originally scheduled on the line-up for tomorrow, but now suddenly no longer happening - came about.

During its heydey, until just before the SABC came close to financial collapse in 2009, the public broadcaster had annual stands, a lounge section in the marquee tent, and some years even its own separate tent to host VIP invitees, telegenic personalities, high-flying SABC executives and selected guests who were jetted into Cape Town for the weekend to socialise, sip champagne and show off their designer frocks.

Now there will be no J&B Met 2014 coverage on the SABC on Saturday with the theme "Made to Conquer". The M-Net supplied MultiChoice channel Vuzu (DStv 116) has however picked up the J&B Met red carpet coverage but only pay-TV subscribers will now be able to see it.

A Vuzu spokesperson confirmed to Channel24 that the channel is showing the J&B Met on Saturday for viewers. "This is the first time we are covering the J&B Met. It will be red carpet interviews covering fashion as well as covering the main race".

J&B Met 2014 coverage will be shown on Vuzu on Saturday from 16:00 to 17:00. Vuzu's V-Entertainment presenters Lalla Hirayama, Siya Ngwekazi and Denise Zimba will cover from Cape Town. SuperSport will also be crossing over to the J&B Met horse racing on Saturday from 15:30.

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