Cape Town – After the SABC announced that it will be taking over and doing a new season of Come Dine with Me South Africa, the embattled South African public broadcaster on Tuesday afternoon issued a terse statement saying it won't and that the show has been taken away from it.
We reported recently that Come Dine with Me SA would be back for a fourth season, now on SABC3, with the format rights holder, the production company Rapid Blue, now doing a version for SABC3.
It's not clear how and why the SABC would promote a show - this one a local version of an ITV Studios format - and then suddenly two weeks later not have it.
Adding to the awkwardness is that SABC3 even did a call for entries, and asked people living in Gauteng in and around Johannesburg to enter.
The SABC said Come Dine with Me SA would start in July on SABC3 and would be broadcast for 13 weeks.
Now Rapid Blue – who previously did Come Dine with Me South Africa for BBC Worldwide's BBC Lifestyle channel on DStv – took the show away from the SABC just two weeks after the public broadcaster announced it.
The SABC says Rapid Blue has withdrawn its offer to make the show. It's not clear why the offer has been withdrawn or why the SABC announced a show if at the time it didn't have a signed contract.
"The SABC has been in negotiations with the rights holder, production house Rapid Blue, to showcase Come Dine With Me South Africa. However the Corporation was informed by the production company that they have subsequently withdrawn their offer for us to produce the show."
"The SABC would like to apologise to all South Africans who adhered to the call to action in anticipation that we would be producing the show."Rapid Blue told Channel24 in a statement that "Although we will not be moving ahead with SABC3 on this occasions, we remain committed to the Come Dine with Me format and are exploring how best to bring a new series of the show to South African viewers".
Channel24 also reached out to sources who told us on Tuesday evening that the SABC lost the opportunity due to failure and "non-delivery of the contract" – the SABC didn’t keep its end of the bargain to actually sign a contract in time.