Bop TV
CountryBophuthatswana (until 1994)
South Africa (1994-2003)
Broadcast areaBophuthatswana (until 1994)
South Africa (1994-2003)
Programming
Language(s)English
Ownership
OwnerBophuthatswana Broadcasting Corporation
History
Launched31 December 1983; 40 years ago (31 December 1983)
Closed31 July 2003; 20 years ago (31 July 2003)

Bop TV was a television station owned by the Bophuthatswana Broadcasting Corporation, which operated from 1983 to 2003. Initially a part of the black homeland of Bophuthatswana, the channel found its foothold by means of signal overspill, becoming an attractive alternative to the existing SABC and later M-Net channels. Following the end of Apartheid it was integrated to the South African Broadcasting Corporation, after which it shut down.

History

Commencing operations in on 31 December 1983,[1] it primarily transmitted imported programmes in an unedited form, allowing all comical references to black people to be aired. The station transmitted on the UHF band.[2]

In the apartheid era, a sizeable number of white people watched Bop TV, which offered a wider variety of entertainment and current affairs programming than the state-controlled South African Broadcasting Corporation, despite attempts to confine the signal to black areas such as Soweto.[3] It was strongly recommended that the signals were to be limited to areas with a high Tswana population. Unlike the two SABC networks available at the time (TV1 and in the case of eastern South Africa TV3), which broadcast on the VHF band, Bop TV broadcast exclusively over the UHF band (channel 37).[4]Furthermore, both Bop TV and the SABC have set up a rule where both sides wouldn't broadcast opinions contrary to the opposite side. If Bop TV violated those laws, the SABC would shut down the network. Within three months of its founding, Bop TV rapidly overtook the SABC channels in terms of ratings.[5][6] The channel was set up by Tim Ellis, who also assisted in the creation of the SABC's TV4 network (which went live after the 9pm closing time for both TV2 and TV3) and later M-Net.[7]

In 1990, Bop TV was received by some 350,000 television sets in its coverage area, for a daily schedule of nine hours. The channel was already interested in buying new series such as The Simpsons (before even premiering on M-Net[8]) and The Arsenio Hall Show, but the prices for such were expensive. Its executives were in screening sessions from numerous production companies, including American juggernauts.[9] The signals were restricted to within Bophuthatswana in 1986 following the rapid success of its broadcasts by means of overspill to parts of South Africa, the restrictions were put to place after the ITU recommended that the station considered as a "foreign broadcaster" in South Africa. There, the overspill was limited to Soweto and Pretoria.[9] Bop TV started satellite broadcasts in 1988,[10] using a satellite from the Intelsat IV fleet for that purpose.[11] The channel was even carried in the early years of cable television in Israel,[12] being removed over concerns due to its American imports and the refusal of the Israeli cable companies to pay for its reception.[13]

A post-apartheid reshuffling of the SABC in 1996 resulted in the former bantustan broadcasters being integrated into it.[14][15] This infuriated the bosses of Bop Broadcasting.[16][17]

In 1997, the State Reorganisation Act led to the creation of subsidies for the former bantustan broadcasters that were now under the SABC's control. The said subsidy ended in November 2001. From now onward, the SABC was now funding Bop Broadcasting in its entirety.[18] In 2003, the SABC announced that they would shut the channel down on 31 July.[19]

List of programmes

Domestic

Music

Lifestyle

Children's

Sports

Horse racing

News & current affairs

Talk shows

Drama

Game show

Education

Foreign

Comedy

Anthology

Western

News

Drama

Sports

Music

Lifestyle

Soap opera

Variety

Documentary

Food

News

Education

Travel

Animation

Children's

Video games

Talk shows

Sci-fi

TV specials

Reality

Game shows

Telefilms

TV movies

References

  1. ^ "New TV station for Blacks takes off". The Straits Times (retrieved from NLB). 17 February 1984. Retrieved 26 September 2023.
  2. ^ Van Slambrouck, Paul (3 February 1984). "South African whites clamor to tune in black TV". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  3. ^ Cowell, Alan (1 August 1984). "South Africa Whites Seek Black TV". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Television" (PDF). April 1984. p. 38. Retrieved 15 May 2024.
  5. ^ "Channels of Communication" (PDF). May–June 1985. p. 42. Retrieved 15 May 2024.
  6. ^ "Channels of Communication" (PDF). May–June 1985. p. 52. Retrieved 15 May 2024.
  7. ^ "Television/Radio Age" (PDF). 28 April 1986. p. 38. Retrieved 15 May 2024.
  8. ^ "Communication and Democratic Reform in South Africa". Google Books. 9 April 2001. Retrieved 14 May 2024.
  9. ^ a b "SCREENED OUT". Chicago Tribune. 18 June 1990. Archived from the original on 14 May 2024. Retrieved 14 May 2024.
  10. ^ "Kwaito's Promise: Music and the Aesthetics of Freedom in South Africa". Google Books. 2016. p. 39. Retrieved 14 May 2024.
  11. ^ "Up in the Air: The State of Broadcasting in Southern Africa". Google Books. 1998. Retrieved 14 May 2024.
  12. ^ "אופרות סבון". Tapux. 12 October 2015. Archived from the original on 14 May 2024. Retrieved 14 May 2024.
  13. ^ "ערוץ ההיסטוריה". Ynet. 21 November 2008. Archived from the original on 14 May 2024. Retrieved 14 May 2024.
  14. ^ Parker, Janet (27 November 1998). "e.tv accuses SABC". Business Day. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  15. ^ "New role for 'Bop TV'". News24. 27 November 2003. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  16. ^ Gevisser, Mark (15 March 1996). "The brazen boss of Bop-TV". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  17. ^ "New role for 'Bop TV'". News24. 27 November 2003. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  18. ^ "Bop TV silenced". News24. 30 May 2003. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  19. ^ Dulile, Sowaga (1 July 2003). "Bop TV and radio to be switched off". City Press. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2015.