The SABC's financial woes are going to hit SABC3 like a ton of bricks this March when the channel replaces its fresh early evening content for a double repeat.
In a shocking and yet unsurprising move, SABC3 has yanked long-running Bold and the Beautiful from the schedule. It seems they can no longer afford to pay for it so they're replacing it with a repeat of local content instead.
We've had a sniff of the first nine days of the channel's new March schedule and the first run shows currently airing between 17h30 and 18h30 are gone, including Real Talk.
Replaced by the following from Monday, 4 March 2019:
Democracy Gauge - there's no description of this - clearly some kind of politics show.
18h00: Taryn & Sharon
- a local comedy which first aired on SABC3 in October 2017.
18h30: Keeping Score
- which aired on SABC2 from October 2016 to April 2018.
Bold fans... now we know why the Bold teasers have suddenly disappeared.
The teasers have been unavailable from SABC3 since December with no explanation from the channel.
When TVSA enquired about what's happened to them, SABC3's Publicity Coordinator Douhla Domingo told us: "Our Programme Acceptance people cannot get the info because it hasn’t been loaded onto the system."
In a desperate attempt to find the teasers last week, we contacted Bold creators Bell-Phillip Television Productions Inc in Los Angeles. We spoke to their VP of International Publicity David Gregg who wasn't able to explain why SABC3 didn't have the teasers.
He sent us the latest teasers and asked questions about the SABC after we mentioned the financial crisis.
He told us that South Africa was very important to the show and was curious about e.tv, OpenView and the fact that Days of Our Lives is now on e.
Aha! we thought... Bold must be moving to e.
We asked e.tv's Corporate Affairs Officer Twanji Kulula who told us that e has no plans to air Bold.
He went on to say that things change quickly in the TV biz and that he'll keep us posted if anything changes.
Immediately after seeing SABC3's new March schedule we contacted David Gregg again to ask if he could confirm that SABC3 has cancelled Bold and he told us that he couldn't make a statement on it and couldn't confirm.
The only conclusion we can reach is that there's mayhem going on behind-the-scenes between the SABC and Bold, which Bold fans now have to pay for. We feel you Bold fans... we wish things were different.
The only alternative available is to watch Bold on Eva on DStv. The problem is that they're two years behind SABC3 so it's pointless for long-time fans.
As for the future... in our first conversation with David he mentioned that SABC3 might be moving Bold to 18h30 but now it turns out they're going to air the Keeping Score repeat as the channel's early primetime soapie instead.
They've scheduled a morning repeat in Bold's repeat slot at 10h00 from Tuesday, 5 March and an omnibus for it on Saturdays at 09h30.
How will this perform in contrast to Bold? In December
Bold was the #4 show on SABC3 during primetime, with its most watched primetime episode attracting 634,949 viewers.
Even though Keeping Score is a repeat, it aired in a messy concoction of two nights a week at 21h30 on SABC2.
It pains us to say anything vaguely positive about yet another SABC repeat but there does seem to be potential for it to attract audiences who missed it during its first run.
So that's the latest news dear reader... we'll keep you posted if anything changes.