Wednesday, January 03, 2007

You asked for it #1

It's interesting seeing what people search for that brings them here. Someone asked "What television shows are on in Cape Town, South Africa?" and landed up on my entry about shows I watched while growing up in SA.

Now, it's been a few years since I've lived in Cape Town, so I can't review what's on TV now, but I can provide some links and a rough guide to current TV there. The main broadcasters you'll find in South Africa are the SABC, e-TV, DSTV and M-Net. DSTV and M-Net require decoder boxes and ar emore expensive, so SABC and e-TV are the ones you can expect to find pretty much everywhere. e-TV is even headquartered in Cape Town, so it gets extra credit!

There's always bound to be a fair amount of sport on TV - cricket, rugby, soccer, etc. Often sport broadcasts will replace regular programming.

The SABC is the national broadcaster, and provides several channels. Most feature a mixture of local and foreign programming.

SABC3 features the most English-language programs, including showns from American and UK television channels. (Oprah, Law and Order and Footballers' Wives are on currently). Isidingo ("the need") is a very long-running local soapie on SABC3.

A local version of The Weakest Link is also shown. (I used to watch the host, Fiona Coyne, perform at the Nico Malan theatre way back...)

SABC2 features more local programming in Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa and other African languages.

The Afrikaans soapie 7de Laan is now on it's 1343rd episode. Yikes! 50/50 is a long-running environmental show that was always really good. Lentswe is a fairly new show that I've not seen, but that sounds interesting. It "aims to give voice to and stimulate the nation's poetic side by promoting all 'bedroom' poets to give their poetry the love it deserves."

SABC1 is a channel aimed at the youth, with many American movies and a few local documentaries and dramas. When we were black is a local drama on currently.

e-TV's websit is pretty kick-ass, so I won't summarise what's listed there. They break down their series into local versus foreign, but the local stuff seems a bit light. And why on earth are they showing Dallas?!!

DSTV is a digital subscription service that includes the SABC channels, e-TV, and M-NET, plus lots of foreign channels. (See the list here).

M-NET is the original subscription TV service, launched in South AFrica in 1985. Their channel line-up is here (seems busted, though). They have a long-running soapie too - Egoli (3949 episodes so far). It seems soapies are really popular!

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