SABC drops Requests for Proposals (RFP book), content to be produced in-house


The SABC says it has established in-house production capabilities to produce more of the new local content that the public broadcaster wants to put on SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3, as well as some planned new language-based TV channels for digital terrestrial television (DTT).

The SABC will scale back the already reduced international content on its three entertainment TV channels even further in favour of locally produced programming.

We are getting rid of RFP book, said Hlaudi Motsoeneng, explaining that the SABC is getting rid of its Request for Proposals book - the document it used to issue annually to the South African TV production sector specifying what shows it wanted that production companies could then pitch for.

The volume and number of international shows and movies - mostly American - on SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 will be reduced even more as the public broadcaster tries to replace foreign programming with more local programming in different languages.

Since 2009 when a cash-flow crisis brought the struggling South African public broadcaster to the brink of financial collapse, the SABC the last seven years has largely given up on trying to bring its audiences contemporary international fare in the form of buzz-carrying hit shows and newer movies.

Two years ago the bulk of the international content that remained - mostly on SABC2 and SABC3 - were pushed to late prime time and late night timeslots on the SABC channels' schedules.

On SABC2 viewers for instance have to wait until 22:00 and 23:00 to see old series and seasons of international dramas like The 4400, Smallville, The Vampire Diaires and Person of Interest, while the latest season of shows like The Amazing Race that used to be on SABC3 found a new home on pay-TV channels like The Sony Channel (DStv 127).

South African viewers who want to see a selection of the latest quality foreign fare from Britain and America in terms of documentaries, hit series, films and kids' shows realised that they had to pay for it by becoming subscribers to available pay-TV services like MultiChoice's DStv.

Now the SABC will cut back its already reduced international content even further.
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