Etv Continues To Be A Dumping Ground For SABC Rejects

Etv has essentially become the second most watched channel in SA and the de facto alternative to the majestic SABC. That is great. We need that in this country for there to be some creative competition in this industry. Sadly, etv continues to squander every opportunity it has to assert itself as an independent platform that has the capability to hone its own talent and build a brand that is strong independent of the SABC.

Here is a brand and a channel that is the total opposite of the parastatal, SABC. Etv boasts the distinction of being the channel that embraces creative independence from politics. There is a lot one can say on the etv channel that you can not say on SABC. That is huge for the credibility of the channel.

I will be the first person to laud etv as the platform to take the television and indeed the entire entertainment industry forward because of its policies that respect creative independence. I love the guys at etv and what the brand stands for. 

However, (yeah I am going there, buckle up ...) the channel keeps disappointing me when it comes to taking chances in making big steps to have a tangible change in the transformation of this industry. It would appear that whenever the channel is faced with an opportunity to just be bold and stand for something different from the fray, they just wimp out and take the safe bet of looking to the SABC for credibility. 

 I have written here about how Etv fails to promote their own stars on their magazine shows by hogging SABC faces to be featured on Screentime With Nicky Greenwall. Granted, it is not ETV's place to tell Nicky Greenwall who to interview on her shows but some encouragement from the channel suits would go a long way in encouraging her to do better. 

Fact is, you will never see a Rhythm City or Scandal actor on any of the SABC magazine shows. It is a terrible thing but it is happening. Why then would Etv ignore their own talent and promote SABC stars? Why have Lerato Kganyago when you ignore people like Nokuthula Ledwaba, Melusi Mbele, to name just a few. Fans want to know about about their lifestories too. The magazines won't bother covering them.
With the demise of the original Generations, etv made a smart business move by creating a telenovela and hiring few fired actors from the SABC soap. They have cleverly dubbed as the new show as the "Re-Generation of 8pm". Brilliant, they created a hype out of a dire situation and must be applauded for taking up the baton, BUT now with the hiring of Boity Thulo on Club 808, it appears as if the channel has or will become a dumping ground for rejects from other channels. 

Etv could have done better with someone new on Club 808. Why is Etv so scared of creating its own stars? Why can't etv just be bold and be the platform where new talent and faces can find a home to grow? Why does etv need SABC and other channel to find talent, hone it and when they are done with it, etv picks up the leftovers?

As the second biggest channel in South Africa, etv has an opportunity here to revolutionize the entertainment industry. They need not be the copycat or the rejects platform for anybody. They have the power and the mandate from the viewers by tuning in, to introduce us to fresh content and faces. 

WE ARE TIRED OF THESE SO CALLED "it girls". I'm saying it again for the 100th time possibly, the industry can not be sustainable or credible on the success of 5 girls. It is unheard of that the entire entertainment industry of a country could just revolve around 5 people. Every local channel you tune to it is the same girls. 

Etv ought to set its mission and decide if it wants to be a strong brand like SABC1. Otherwise they will just be the Pepsi of SA entertainment, because even with their gains and achievements they would just be seen as the feeble alternative to the mighty SABC1 instead of a brand that stands on its own in equal measure to their competitor.

Disclaimer: No shade to anyone hired on Etv from another channel. People have bills to pay. I do too and I have a responsibility to be honest about my views of this industry. It is only in honest conversation that we can find flaws in our industry and remedy them.


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