The battle of TV remote control: Return of live sports versus BBNaija

By Deborah Chinagorom

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed family lifestyle globally.  Due to social distancing and lockdown policies implemented to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) many families have limited access to entertainment.

Television which is the commonest form of entertainment in many homes prior to the Covid-19 pandemic now has limited content because content production has been at a standstill because many production houses want to be socially responsible by observing the physical distancing rule in order not to spread the virus.

Even in sports, the story is the same as organisers of international football leagues such as Barclay Premier Leagues, La Liga, Champions League, Bundesliga, Serie A, among others, had to stop the league season midway when they discovered that some players and managers of clubs tested positive to Coronavirus.

Despite the drought in television content, MultiChoice, Nigeria’s leading pay-television platform has remained resilient in providing the Nigerian television audience with quality wholesome family entertainment. Recently, Africa Magic has produced series of local content such as Ultimate Love, Mercy and Ike Show, Judging Matters, Owambe show among others. These content brought excitement, fun and entertainment among family members in this gloomy period of global health crisis. For sports lovers, content like ReLive Sport by SuperSport helped to keep sports lovers closer to their TV sets.

But with the recent return of live sports and Big Brother Naija; the biggest reality show in Sub-Sahara Africa, family members will battle for the possession of decoder remote control and this will be more obvious in homes where there is no extra view or the High Definition Explora decoder.

The battle for who controls the remote would be more intense because many soccer lovers who usually visit viewing centres and pubs to avoid the clash of remote control at home may not want to visit viewing centres because of the physical distancing guideline being implemented in the fight against coronavirus.

It’s obvious that nothing beats real time sports action and while we welcome the return of live sports to our screens with the resumption of three major European leagues: the Premier League, (commences June 17) La Liga (commences June 11) and Serie A (commences June 19). Sports lovers need to bear in mind that it’s not only soccer that is returning.

In the coming days and weeks: Rugby too makes a comeback with New Zealand’s domestic Aotearoa on the weekend of 13-14 June (the Highlanders take on the Chiefs and the Blues host the Hurricanes), golf’s PGA Tour will hold the Charles Schwab Challenge from 11 to 14 June, and even IAAF Athletics is back on the calendar with the Oslo Impossible Games on 11 June.

The month of June will also welcome the sports of horse racing (the Investec Coronation Cup on Friday 5 June), IndyCar (the Genesis 600 on Sunday 7 June) and the continuation of series which have already been holding live events through these troubled times, including UFC 250 (Sunday 7 June), the NASCAR Cup (7, 11 and 14 June) and WWE’s latest pay-per-view special, ‘Backlash’ on Monday 15 June.

Back home in Nigeria, the BBNaija reality show is creating buzz on social media as reports has shown that over thirty thousand young Nigerian submitted entries for the online audition.

The BBNaija reality show involves a group of strangers sharing a camera-filled house for about 90 days or more and every move is monitored and broadcast 24 hours a day to millions of viewers via a dedicated TV channel. The housemates interact with each other and participate in physical, mental challenges and even socio-cultural display while in the house and each week, at least one housemate with the lowest number of votes is evicted.

The eviction follows secret nominations by the housemates and voting by viewers and the final housemate in the house emerges the winner of the reality show.

While Nigerian TV audience are anxiously waiting for the return of these exciting content, the question is; who will control the remote control?

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