Up­date & up­grade

E.tv is giv­ing its line-up and TV of­fer­ing a re­vamp… and they’re not the only ones trans­form­ing their sched­ules!

TV Plus (South Africa) - - NEED TO KNOW -

“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.

OVER­SEAS KNOCK­OUTS

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.

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