The Mercury

DStv short-changing its customers


I WAS cautiously optimistic when DStv launched its Curiosity channel (185) a while back, but my expectatio­ns faded rapidly under a barrage of substandar­d offerings, many of which earned the official John Gardener Frown of Disapprova­l.

Which was a pity, following hard on the heels of some pretty decent channels which were arbitraril­y cancelled for no apparent reason.

The other day, however, I discovered a new series, Behind the Artist, in which each episode comprises a dramatisat­ion of a particular artist’s life.

The first episode I watched was about Vincent van Gogh and it was truly excellent.

About five minutes before the end, however, there was an ad break and I waited anxiously for the final segment to show and bring the matter to an unhappy conclusion.

Only that final segment never appeared! Instead we were carried forward straight into the next show, about women in history in which, judging by appearance­s, the cosmetics must have been lavishly sponsored.

Thinking that the truncated episode on Van Gogh must be a one-off aberration, I settled down to watch the one devoted to Pablo Picasso only to discover that the last five minutes or so had also been amputated.

On the reasonable assumption that the scene has been set for the rest of the series, I immediatel­y cancelled the series record I had activated and will not waste my time part-watching future episodes.

What really astonishes, however, is that DStv (or MultiChoic­e, or whatever it calls itself) has sanctioned and authorised this fraud on unsuspecti­ng viewers and are doubtless being well paid for its efforts.

Van Gogh cut off his ear, and perhaps some suitably senior executive at DStv should give serious considerat­ion to following suit.

Such a noble and romantic gesture might bring new meaning to the oft-repeated phrase “lobal warming”.


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