Oprah returns to SA television

2013-09-20 17:24

Oprah Winfrey is returning to South African television from October with a dedicated programming block of her Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), which includes her new talk show Oprah’s Next Chapter, on the TLC channel on MultiChoice’s DStv.

TLC is being renamed TLC Entertainment.

The existing TLC channel will remain on On Digital Media’s TopTV and won’t be changing to TLC Entertainment, and will not feature the Oprah Winfrey programming.

The move to make OWN programming available in South Africa on TLC Entertainment comes after Discovery Networks International (DNI) conducted a similar roll-out earlier this year in the UK.

South African viewers will once again be able to watch Oprah, who will also be visiting our shores in October, when the OWN programming kicks off and the channel renaming occurs on October 17.

Besides Oprah’s Next Chapter, the talk show queen’s highly rated new talk show, viewers will also be able to see her in weekly programmes such as Oprah’s Master Class, Oprah’s Lifeclass and Super Soul Sunday.

Oprah’s Next Chapter with Justin Bieber, which aired in 2012 on TLC in South Africa on DStv and TopTV, was the number one rated show on TLC for the year on the channel, while in January the two-part interview with Lance Armstrong ranked number one in its time slot across all channels and became the best-ever rated portfolio show in South Africa, achieving a share above 7% with viewers aged 15 and older.

OWN programming will be broadcast during prime-time on Thursdays and Sundays on TLC Entertainment on DStv channel 172, with repeats during the rest of the week.

“It’s no secret that South Africa and Oprah Winfrey enjoy a mutual affinity – so bringing the block to this special market is the right step,” said Luis Silberwasser, the executive vice-president and chief content officer for DNI.

“Building upon the success of the block in the UK and the excitement surrounding its upcoming launch in Australia, we are proud to bring this unique offering to DStv viewers,” he says.

“Securing the OWN programming block is crucial,” says James Gibbons, the senior vice-president and country manager for Discovery Networks for the central and eastern Europe, and Middle East and Africa region, saying that the rebranded TLC Entertainment “will feature content tailored to suit our loyal viewers”, which will make the channel “even more enjoyable and appointment-to-view”.

Collins Khumalo, the CEO of MultiChoice South Africa is also chiming in with a “Welcome back to Africa, Oprah!”

“We have a great partnership with DNI that benefits our customers, bringing extraordinary entertainment through their channels.

“The refreshed TLC Entertainment is yet another example, with the inclusion of the best selection of OWN programmes,” Khumalo said.

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