LottoStar withdraws as sponsor of Love Island SA on M-Net

Love Island SA cast.
Screengrab: Twitter/@LoveIsland_SA
  • LottoStar is no longer sponsoring Love Island SA on M-Net.
  • The company said in a statement on Twitter: "We wish the show and its contestants every success."
  • This comes after the show faced criticism for its lack of diversity and a number of technical issues.

LottoStar has withdrawn as the main sponsor of M-Net's reality dating show Love Island South Africa.

In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, the LottoStar director said on Twitter: "LottoStar has taken the decision to respectfully withdraw its sponsorship of Love Island SA. We wish the show and its contestants every success."


A spokesperson for the company didn't want to elaborate and say why it has cancelled its sponsorship or when it first became aware of the firestorm that had engulfed Love Island SA.

LottoStar is also the sponsor of The Bachelorette South Africa, which is produced by the same production company, Rapid Blue, and broadcast on M-Net (DStv 101).

Very serious questions were raised over the lack of diverse casting in the show, while DStv subscribers and TV critics also called out the poor Love Island SA production values – ranging from sound and editing to the music, the voice-over narration, cinematography as well as the uninspiring bungalow vineyard-set dormitory that the show calls a villa.

MultiChoice and M-Net didn't respond to specific questions posed about the show's production on Monday, but issued a terse statement saying on Monday evening: "We pride ourselves in reflecting diversity and inclusion for all our shows, including Love Island".

READ MORE | DStv on Love Island SA backlash: 'We pride ourselves in diversity'

MultiChoice and M-Net haven't made the debut episode of Love Island SA available on its DStv Catch Up service but added Monday night's second episode – also containing mistakes – on Tuesday morning.

By Tuesday afternoon episode 2 of Love Island SA was removed without explanation from DStv Catch Up, most likely due to the episode still containing LottoStar branding. 

Meanwhile, international reports about Love Island SA appeared on the BBC, CNN, and multiple foreign newspapers on Monday.

While ongoing questions are swirling about the show's look and its low production values, South African TV producers have been calling Love Island SA "a dumpster fire".

Producers say that the show's bad quality is damaging the reputation of the country's whole TV industry and that while they're still battling the impact of Covid-19, Love Island SA is inflicting collective damage on the industry and that Rapid Blue needs to do better since it's hurting the country's international credibility to make international series.

*Channel24 reached out to M-Net for comment and will update the article should more information become available.