Television is continuing to grow world wide due to the rapidly evolving broadcasting technologies such as IPTV and satellite television signaling the berth of other soon to come stations such Kwese Sports TV from the Econet Wireless Group.
By Shingie Levison Muringi
However, DStv too is continuing to expand viewer content and increasing family-orientated programming. The MultiChoice driven brand has never stopped exciting the market since its launch due to the multi-broadcaster’s ability to move with the demands of the modern markets.
With that in mind, the introduction on DStv of Discovery Family, a new television channel which was launched last Thursday, will see greater development in the search for “discovering Africa”.
Available on all DStv bouquets from that date, the channel introduces new programmed content, as well as incorporating some favorite programs from Discovery World (DStvChannel 187).
The launch of Discovery Family also coincided with the move of TLC Entertainment, Discovery’s flagship female brand and the number one international lifestyle/entertainment channel in Southern Africa, into DStv’s entertainment channel segment.
TLC Entertainment, currently on DStvChannel 172, will be available on Channel 135 immediately alongside Discovery Family on Channel 136.
The move follows a period of tremendous success for TLC, which last year saw the launch of its first local series, Top 10 TLC featuring its first African presenter, Namibia’s David Mbeha.
Liz Dziva, publicity and public relations manager of MultiChoice Zimbabwe, said: “Discovery Family is Discovery Networks’ newest product, described as being always engaging, always enriching and always entertaining. It will showcase entertaining and educational content for the whole family, from fun space adventures and crazy experiments of popular science, to fascinating tales of animals in the wild. It is a channel that will spark involvement, satisfy curiosity and inspire conversation.”
Must-see programmes that are set to premiere on Discovery Family include NASA’s Unexplained Files (which started last Thursday at 8.10pm) and presents first-hand accounts from astronauts who have witnessed mysterious occurrences in space, from the impossible to the downright odd.
The Willis Family (starts tonight at 8.10pm) follows Brenda and Toby Willis and their life at home and on the road following their appearance on America’s Got Talent.
And making its debut on African screens as part of Discovery Family’s daily kids block, Doki is the new animated series following seven year-old explorer Doki and his best friends Oto, Mundi, Fico, Anabella and Gabi as they travel the world in search of answers to their many questions.
“We are very excited about this new channel, which will build on what Discovery World has achieved and take the genre even further down the road of meaningful and enjoyable educatinment,” said Ms Dziva.
Discovery Family will be available on the DStv Premium, Compact Plus, Compact, Family and Access bouquets.
However, DStv’s popular Strictly Come Dancing series reached its semi-final episode last weekend, with six celebrities left in the race to be named Strictly Champion for the show’s 13th series.
Dziva said the series was one of the most popular on DStv for many viewers in this country, not only dancing enthusiasts but also people from all walks of life who enjoy the competitiveness, professionalism and glitz of the star-studded series.
“Last weekend the show gets to semi-final stage, with six celebs and their professional dance partners vying to take the coveted Strictly shield and title, and we know fans are excited to see who goes out this weekend and who remains for the following week’s glittering finale,” she said.
Strictly Come Dancing is a product of BBC 1 in the United Kingdom and this season’s show is the 2015 series, which ran in the UK from September to December. It started its DStv run in January, slotted for the first time into BBC Lifestyle on channel 174, where it airs at 6pm each Sunday night with a double header of competitive show followed by results show.
At the start of the run 15 UK-based celebrities were entered, but by this weekend’s semi-finals, nine had been voted out, leaving six to compete for the five places in next week’s final.
In the final, one competitor will be voted out in the first part of the special two-and-a-half-hour show, with one more going out in the second half, leaving three competitors in place for the announcement of the overall winner at the very end of the broadcast.
Series presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkelman will host the semi-final and final, while the series’ judges – Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Darcey Bussell – will also be present to give professional marks on entrants’ dances and, in the semi-final, to decide which of the two celebs receiving the least public votes should stay in for the final.
“Interest in this show is always high and we were pleased that BBC Lifestyle was able to host this series soon after completion of its run in the UK,” said Ms Dziva.
“One side-effect of the series’ popularity in Zimbabwe has been a growing interest in dance among young people, both male and female, across the country, and this is good for the cultural development of Zimbabwe.”
Each year the focus falls on which celebrities are included in the series, most of whom have never danced before and who are coached by their professional partners to learn the many dances to be performed on the shows.
The focus also falls on the professionals, which this year included three newcomers: Russian Gleb Savchenko, Italian Giovanni Pernice and South African Oti Mabuse.
“Strictly fans will be watching Sunday’s show with eagerness, all hoping their favourite stays in the race to the final and perhaps emerges tops in the final broadcast on Sunday April 10,” said Ms Dziva.