Update & upgrade
E.tv is giving its line-up and TV offering a revamp… and they’re not the only ones transforming their schedules!
“We’ve listened to our viewers and we are giving them what they are asking for. Watch this space – big things are coming,” teases Marlon Davids, MD of e.tv Channels Division, over the phone. The free-to-air platform has done “a substantial amount of research over the last year” following their overhaul in 2015 and according to their MD, “We think that we have the perfect balance of great local content and big-name international offerings.”
As of April 2017, e.tv will be expanding their offering on OpenView HD with eExtra and True African, and they are also “very open” to discussion with other platforms to carry their channels (eKasi+ has been revamped as eExtra and eNolly as True African). eExtra will carry the episodes of local shows such as Scandal! (2005- current) and Rhythm City (2007- current) the day after they appear on e.tv, alongside other international series. eMovies Extra was also launched last year in October and has proven to be a success on the channel – “Having two movie channels on the OpenView HD package is an important move,” Marlon explains. “Saturday nights on e.tv, we have a kid-friendly movie like The Smurfs. If you’re not in the mood for that, now you can find an adult-themed comedy on eMovies+ for example, while on eMovies Extra there is action or drama. Three channels – three movies – all free.” [the OpenView HD decoder costs R399 once-off, with free monthly subscription]
LOCAL IS LEKKER
The channel keeps a close tab on social media and Marlon adds that it’s an instant barometer: “Our viewers are vocal and the interaction has brought us back to our core pillar: there needs to be something to watch every night”. And a big part of that is their soapie line-up, which is also getting a new look… sort of. With mining series Gold Diggers (2015- current) ending on Friday 7 April, taking over the 20:00 slot is Broken Vows (see more on p23). It’s set in a Joburg wedding business and the cast reads like a who’s who of SA actors: Thembi Mtshali-Jones, Jo-Anne Reyneke, Thapelo Mokoena and loads of other famous faces are adding to the drama and soapie action.
But as with everything, there must be balance and e.tv has worked hard on that. “International is as important as local,” says Marlon. Action- drama show Ray Donovan (2013- current) was added in 2016 with dramedy Devious Maids (2013-2016), while this year saw drama How To Get Away With Murder (2014- current) added. “We’re bringing The Fixer in April too [see the next issue of tvplus, on sale 7 April],” says Marlon. “There are over 7.9 million houses who don’t have DStv and that’s where we’re coming in. The potential for viewers seeing these shows now is massive!”
International shows like Devious Maids and How To Get Away With Murder are filling the e.tv schedules. e.tv’s MD Marlon Davids.