SA radio personality Gareth Cliff's "unradio" station CliffCentral has denied it failed on Comedy Central Africa after its agreement was terminated due to low viewing figures.
HumanIPO reported on Wednesday the show would no longer be aired on the television channel, with TV critic and journalist Thinus Ferreira reporting the show is to be pulled due to a lack of views. Cliff launched his "unradio" show - radio everywhere but on the radio - at the beginning of last month on the comedy channel as well as on WeChat.
CliffCentral said, contrary to some media reports, the fact the show had been pulled was not a failure and the team was now looking forward to refocusing on its streamed content.
"The Comedy Central reporting was unfortunate because it was an experiment and an amicable ending," a CliffCentral spokesperson told HumanIPO. "In retrospect, it divided our audience, so now we can focus on building CliffCentral.com."
Only an add-on
Gareth Cliff at the launch of CliffCentral in May.
Cliff said the Comedy Central tie-up was only ever meant to an add-on to CliffCentral's main focus.
"CliffCentral is all about using an experimental platform to deliver unrestricted radio content in an interactive way," he said. "The Comedy Central deal was just an add-on. We felt initially that an additional television audience would expand our reach, in reality, it was holding us back from doing the crazy, fun, provocative stuff we needed to be doing with our new platform."
He said the original idea behind CliffCentral was "alive and well and kicking".
"We're experimenting here, and part of the process is knowing when something is not working," he said.
"Comedy Central was an experiment and we've made the mutual decision to move on and focus on delivering provocative and intelligent content via our website and WeChat official account, consolidating our audience rather than dividing them."
Cliff said this freed his team to do what they do best - "uncensored, unhinged, unscripted radio".
"We're still really excited about our original idea and the potential it has. All we really have to say is 'don't watch this space - listen and engage!'," he said.
The station has also unveiled a new line-up, broadcasting from 6am until 6pm every weekday, which includes the likes of Stan Katz, Casper de Vries, Tony Ndoro and Penny Lebyane.
"I'm delighted to reclaim my studio from all the cameras, cables and lights that inevitably come with TV. The vast majority of my audience are thrilled they won't have to look at me and can keep listening instead," said Cliff.
"It's superb to be part of such a brilliant team doing stuff that's never been done before. We're all looking forward to taking CliffCentral from success to success in ways we've been planning and in ways we haven't even thought of yet. Keep streaming!"
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