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Friday, June 21, 2013

Popular South African Soapy is said to be breaking new grounds!

Trailblazing series, Generations, is transforming the television landscape with a new online initiative!

Johannesburg - Africa's biggest television program has unveiled a world-first.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation and its flagship daily drama Generations (daily on SABC l at 8pm, repeats at 9AM, and 10:30AM on SABC3) is breaking new ground in how viewers can access content. Generations have unveiled an extended storytelling format on a new media-platform. The story will no longer be limited to 30-minute episodes - it will continue throughout the day.

Mfundi Vundla, the Executive Producer of Generations says: "Lightning fast developments in the technology conveying television content has changed viewing patterns. People do not want to be restricted to getting their favourite shows for a limited period of time or at a certain time of day. They want the story to live on, and they want to get more from their favourite characters. This new format gives our viewers and fans out there what they want."

The online story is available between episodes, throughout the day, on Exclusive content is in the form of character thoughts and text messages between the characters. Users also have access to Generations-based polls, competitions, and exclusive downloads, which are all relevant to and part of current story-lines. Additionally, users can share their views on the story and its characters by posting comments in a public conversation with other Generations fans and followers. Moreover, they can create social connections with others and build their own list of people they would like to hear from.

The platform used by the SABC for Generations is called Wezwa, and this level of integration between a social medium and a TV-broadcaster's content is a world-first. This type of digital extension of a media property is called Transmedia, and is part of a worldwide phenomenon called Social TV - a general term for communication and social interaction in either the context of watching television, or related to TV content.

"People want to get closer to the show. This new platform makes that possible. It overcomes the time and situational limitations of television by extending the story world - literally bringing the story to life outside of the half-hour TV broadcast," says Bongi Ndaba, Generations Head Writer and the show's co-producer. "The Internet is the medium of the future, and it gives users the power to enjoy the drama, suspense, and intrigue from anywhere.

Africa's Internet usage happens predominantly on mobile devices, and we are proud to be innovating in an African context instead of waiting to copy the developed world," she added. The online initiative is available for free - users only have to pay data costs - and it can be accessed from any internet-enabled cell phone or device.

It benefits the producer as well as the broadcaster. "When it comes to local content and telling local stories, SABC TV has always been a trailblazer, we are proud to be in partnership with the production company to push the boundaries of innovation once again" commented Leo Manne, General Manager of Channels for SABC TV. "We are excited to be the first to launch such an initiative. We see this as becoming the benchmark for the industry," he concluded.

The Generations site can be found by going to

Issued by Nyagunda Ngwenya

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