ZBCtv runs out of content

25 Apr, 2020 - 00:04 0 Views
ZBCtv runs out of content Indlalifa- The Heir cast

The Chronicle

Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
ZBCtv has been affected by the national lockdown due to Covid-19, as some of its programmes like soapies and talk shows have run out of episodes.

Among those affected are soapies Indlalifa- The Heir, Estate Blues and Zvazviri.

As such, the national broadcaster is looking to partner online productions such as Wadiwa Wepa Moyo for possible showing and also bring back old shows to ensure people are entertained during the lockdown.

ZBCtv’s head of production and television services, Godknows Chera said the national broadcaster approached producers of hit online soapie Wadiwa Wepa Moyo to find out how they can have the soapie that was shown weekly on YouTube, on television.

“The lockdown has affected our programming as ZBCtv. We have programmes such as Estate Blues, Bvunze and soapies like Zvazviri and Indlalifa being affected. We’re now discussing with producers, some whose productions are doing well online such as Wadiwa Wepa Moyo to see how we can partner with them,” Chera said.

But, even if the broadcaster gets content from Wadiwa Wepa Moyo, it will not last long as the show, which came to an end this week, only has 10 episodes. Its production has also been halted due to the pandemic.

“We’ve engaged them (Wadiwa Wepa Moyo producers) but they’ve also cited that their last episode was aired on Wednesday. They’re also failing to produce more content because of the lockdown. If we take their content, we’ll be getting one season and when that is over, we’ll be stuck as a broadcaster. So, these are the challenges that we’re facing,” said Chera.

He said some production houses had shown willingness to supply content such as producers of Indlalifa who requested for clearance letters from the national broadcaster for them to continue shooting.

“Indlalifa wanted a letter giving them permission to shoot. But we said in as much as a letter can be provided, there are regulations that have to be adhered to such as social distancing etc.

“So, we might not be able to provide the letter because of that,” said Chera.

The station’s in-house shows such as Talking Sport, Munhandare and youth programme Hashtag Drive have also been affected.

“Hashtag Drive, a youth-driven show in its first season, which was gaining momentum, has since been dropped. Because of the social distancing requirement, we as the national broadcaster cannot then contravene that regulation.

“As such, we can’t be inviting guests to the studio.”

Quizzed why they cannot conduct some of the interviews online, Chera said it was not that easy as some of the interviewees do not have Internet access.

“Most of the people don’t have access to the Internet as it’s expensive. So to do a Skype call will be a challenge for the guests and presenters,” said Chera.

However, to mitigate this problem, Chera said they were digging into their archives for shows.

“Like any other broadcaster, we’re digging into our archives to check for content. So, in the meantime until things normalise, we’re bringing back shows like Dlala Ngamla, Tiriparwendo, Madlela Series and Amakorokoza.”

To try and keep people entertained during the lockdown that has been extended by two weeks, Indlalifa has since uploaded four of its episodes online on YouTube channel AJV Afri – Art to cater for audiences there.

ZBCtv is not the only one with the headache of lack of content as broadcasters in South Africa are facing the same predicament. Soapies such as Uzalo on SABC 1, Scandal!, Rhythm City, Imbewu: The Seed on eTV, Isibaya and Gomora on Mzansi Magic all stopped shooting when the lockdown in their country was introduced weeks ago.

This has seen them run out of new episodes. The likes of Gomora and Isibaya will stop showing this week and will be replaced by Somizi and Mohale: The Union and The River which will have double episodes shown. – Follow on Twitter @bonganinkunzi

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