Thursday, July 14, 2016

Continued engagement with SABC

A further response to numerous questions from SASFED to the SABC:

I hope you [Harriet] are well. I [Maijang Mpherwane] must state upfront that we really appreciate the work that you and your colleagues in the industry does for the SABC and our partnership is very important to us. 

To answer your question [the general question was: what is SABC's present drama commissioning strategy?], our drama acquisition strategy remains the same across the three channels, i.e. continuously diversify the slate through the acquisition of new titles while re-commissioning successful ones. The release of the 2014 RFP (Request for TV Proposals) book was geared to address the need for new titles and though its delivery was delayed for some time, the organization has begun to issue out contracts against those briefs and so we will in the next 12 to 18 months be seeing new titles out of the RFP book on our schedules. 

The decision taken by the organization’s leadership to solely rely on unsolicited proposals as a means to get content onto the channels’ schedules means that we are open to the industry sharing with us any piece of content in any genre and that we shall put them on our schedules as long as the content teams feel they are compelling enough and that the proposed budgets are affordable and doable. This is irrespective of whether the proposed stories are short or long forms. 

We are prepared to engaging on any piece of content that can add value to our business, especially since the pronouncements made around the increased percentages of local content that needs to be on the schedules across all three channels.

Please see below for more specific responses to your questions:

Q: Are you still looking for telenovelas, soaps or series, and what is happening with the slots previously reserved for sitcom?

A: As expressed above. We are open to all types of dramas and other genres that the industry wants to propose to the SABC. The key thing is obviously to ensure that they respond to each of the channel’s positioning. The sitcom slots are still there across three channels and they are as follows:
S1: Mondays and Wednesday 19h30,
S2: Saturday and Sunday 19h00 as well as Wednesday 20h00
S3: Wednesday 21h00 and Friday 21h00

Q: What channel still has a shortfall and in which languages do you require submissions? 

A: All channels continue to be in need of fresh content, especially S3 which has experienced a quantum leap in the amount of local content on its schedules. From a channel perspective, the most important thing is to have content that resonates with audiences, one that speaks to the universe within which each channel lives and so language is a secondary tool we use to determine what content we place on which channel, especially as it pertains to S1 as well as S2 and this also applies to S3 to some degree, in the new dispensation. If you are able to give us authentic South African stories (rural and urban) that reflect ordinary people in incredible situations - exploring a broad range of settings, styles and tonality in line with each of the channels’ positioning, then you have a winner, irrespective of what language it is in.

Hope you find all in order.

Kind regards,
Mr. Maijang Mpherwane
General Manager: TV Channels

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