Kim Penstone

A sport-free DStv?

2005-03-31 07:57

DStv has just launched another sport channel. Because, let's face it, nine just isn't enough! This latest channel will provide two-hourly updates on all our favourites, starting with rugby, cricket and soccer, and ending with "the best of the rest" - 24 hours a day.

Sound exciting? Has your heart rate just increased to dangerously high levels, and your adrenaline shot through the roof?

Are you already exercising your eyeballs, slowly increasing your caffeine intake, and training your thumb to tackle the diagonal motion from 2 to 4 on the remote control?

Or, like the vast majority of the female market, are you groaning out loud, and silently plotting how to attract another lightning bolt to strike your decoder? (Maybe by cunningly planting some thatch in the dish? Or tying one of his golf sticks to the aerial?)

If it's the latter, then waste not a second more of your precious time worrying. For I have stumbled across a DStv package that offers all the pleasure of Movie Magic and the Series channel, without the pain of sport. Seriaas.

The perfect package

This package begins with M-Net (channel 3), and works its way through the movie options to Hallmark on channel 9. From there, where most packages delve into sporting heaven (channels 20 through to 34), mine jumps straight to 35 (kykNET).

(Okay, to be honest, it skips 35 too. I have nothing against Afrikaans, I just don't understand it anymore. My long-suffering other half laughs uncontrollably at me when I tell him that I'm "volledig tweetalig".)

So I leap straight into channel 36, for some real 80s schlock, then into the joys of BBC Prime and E!

Funnily enough, for a reality TV addict as myself, this package doesn't stick on the Reality Channel, and has been known to leap straight through the news channels (and anything remotely resembling news, such as the History Channel) - especially on weekends.

It slows down towards channel 48 and 49, for SABC 3 (I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I'm still addicted to Survivor) and e.tv. And then, occasionally, it sticks on 70, for BBC Food - depending on how hungry I am and how much food we have in the house.

Finally, it sometimes slips over onto 84, to check for mindless teenage entertainment that allows me (however briefly) to indulge my fantasy of being less than two decades into life, when my biggest problem was finding the best way to pass statistics without having to spend more than half an hour a term in lectures (easily solved, incidentally, by a mate with two pencils, an eraser and an oversupply of multiple-choice cards).

Need a demonstration? (Of the decoder package, not the easy way to pass Stats 101.)

It's so, so simple...

It's simple. So simple, in fact, that you don't need to place orders with DStv or come round to my place for a show and tell.

You do, however, need to limber up your right thumb, and ensure that your grip on the remote control is strong enough to resist any, well, resistance from your mate.

Then point it at the box. If you're starting on channel 9, click 12 times in quick succession (11 if you're a kykNET fan). Don't stop, don't pause for breath, or to give your thumb a break.

Just push through the pain. The next image you'll see on your box is likely to be Judge Amy Gray, or Simon Cowell, or (if you're lucky) Dawson and his mates.

If, by some unlucky chance, you do falter, try and make sure it's between clicks 6, 7 and 8 - chances are the screen will be blank.

Whatever you do, don't pause on nine (channel 33) - that's ESPN, and you can take for granted that your other half will watch whatever is showing, even (or in my case, especially) if it's the World Strong Man competition (honestly, how often have they shown that lately?).

The good news is that the pain will lessen, your thumb will strengthen, and you'll soon be seeing less of Percy (does he still play rugby?) and more of Jamie.

The bad news, however, is that your mastery of the remote control may awaken the natural competitive streak in your mate, and force him to come home earlier than you to work out his thumb, and his revenge.

Because the flipside of this particular DStv package is that it also comes with no movie channel, and no series, no BBC Prime and no BBC Food.

In my house, for example, I've witnessed a package that begins on 3 (just in case there's cricket coverage), moves directly to 20 (to check for any cycling coverage), mosies on through 21, 22, 23, and 24, and even pauses on 25, 26 and 27 "just to check if anything's on". 33 is a must-see, where we pause regardless of the content (even if it's Mother's Car Show).

But from there, it moves directly to 42 to check out What went wrong? (who cares!), then abruptly to 65 for Extreme Machines...

Need I say more?

The bottom line is that the choice, ultimately, is yours. The rewards are great, but the risks are huge...

Kim Penstone, contrary to popular belief, is not a TV addict. She wrote this while sitting in front of the box (!) so she could check which channels are which. She'd also like to point out, to all those people who are no doubt horrified by her lack of interest in all things intellectual, that she uses the internet to follow current events. Her TV time is her downtime and as such, the requirement is for completely mindless entertainment. Hence her love for Survivor.

If you're interested in the more serious side of marketing and advertising, you can find that on www.marketingweb.co.za.

Send your comments to Kim or discuss this column now in our debating forum.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

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