“Excuse me one second, Nigeria is too hot.” Perhaps you want some aircon or more air-conditioning for your stage area where the Congolese comedian Eddie Kadi – doing a long, non-movie related stand-up act at your awards show about movies – suddenly takes out a white face cloth and wipes the visible sweat from his forehead.

The poorly-produced first AfricaMagic Viewers’ Choice Awards 2013 from M-Net in association with MultiChoice and which was broadcast live on the AfricaMagic channels on Saturday night, delivered several teachable moments of what not to do when you’re actually doing television and an awards show.

Here’s some of the excruciating and embarrassingly bad AfricaMagic Viewers’ Choice Awards 2013 on-air gaffes M-Net Africa and the producers should fix, focus on and improve, and eliminate, if they want this new televised awards show to be taken seriously at all:

Instead of actual real live red carpet coverage from the AfricaMagic Viewers’ Choice Awards 2013 in Lagos, Nigeria on Saturday night, M-Net and MultiChoice showed DStv viewers this: a total blackout, as the signal was lost for some reason and viewers got only a black screen and no sound on the AfricaMagic Movies1 channel (DStv 153) with only a channel logo and a PG13 advisory in the corners.

Technical mishaps like this lasting for several minutes are fatal for viewers and ratings – viewers don’t wait around watching a pitch black screen, they tune away and find something on another channel of interest.

M-Net’s red carpet coverage of the AfricaMagic Viewers’ Choice Awards 2013 just started at 6pm WAT on Saturday evening on AfricaMagic Movies 1 when sound problems immediately became evident. Within minutes, the signal mysteriously was dropped on AfricaMagic Movies 1, leaving viewers staring at nothing more than a black screen with two white logos on that channel.

The blackout on the channel endured for longer than 3 and a half excrusiating minutes – an eternity in dead on-air time – before the visuals and sound came back.

The red carpet coverage came back with DJ Case on the red carpet who didn’t appear to know where he was, saying he’s at the “AfricaMusic Viewers’ Choice Awards”. Uhm. No.

The M-Net signal was lost a second time during the red carpet live broadcast with the DStv channel again going black for a minute without sound.

Don’t make it look on television as if you’re doing an awards show in a garage with a bad orange carpet.

Four and a half hours for an awards show is too long. Interestingly, no DStv subscribers who recorded the show would see the complete event. All of the AfricaMagic channels which showed theAfricaMagic Viewers’ Choice Awards 2013 live, only had it programmed on the DStv EPG until 9:30pm WAT. In reality the awards show ran way longer and only ended at 10:32pm WAT.

You need to play music until presenters have reached the microphone and not have dead air and silence as they make their way across the stage.

The main microphone needs to be live and be live in time when presenters speak so that there is sound audible and not just moving mouths.

Presenters need to know not to stand with their hands in their pockets, wear short pants, touch their hair, wear dark glasses, or make inappropriate jokes.

Don’t put your arm around your co-presenter as if you’re on a date, because you’re not, and this is supposed to be a formal event, and you’re possibly impacting on a dress.

A small stage with an add-on platform for musicians complete with big Hammond keyboard in front and masking tape and several panning camera shots across it for four hours makes your production look like a Sunday morning third rate televangelist production.

A stage hand constantly seen slithering to put a mic on stage and removing it, boxey monitors, loose wires and cabling visible and production staff in the background scurrying with cables? Shoddy and terribly bad.


Have the stage lights on when presenters are already on the stage and are talking and presenting. Also, don’t start playing pre-recorded nominee introductions while presenters are still talking.

If you want a classy awards show, winners shouldn’t need to get their trophy from an unfunny presenter flat on the ground. If you incorporate unprofessional people into your show, viewers don’t laugh with your show, they laugh at your show.

Why is someone suddenly walking up to the host, interrupting him, and then also thanking someone on behalf of someone else on his hand-held mic while he is already busy with his next segment? Where is your security?

Why is another presenter (whose only purpose was to introduce a winner) suddenly herself returning to the mic, randomly, to launch into a thank you for her own husband?

Do you have an emergency wardrobe area with a seamstress to fix unforeseen wardrobe malfunctions for your awards show when you have one?

Do you have someone who checks all nominees and provide them with emergency jackets, ties, pants or shoes if they’ve showed up without any and there is the possibility that they might appear on-air and on-stage but are not properly dressed according to the style guide for the image you want to convey for your TV awards show?

To have someone appear on stage with rolled-up sleeves and no tie accepting an award is bad and embarrassing if you want to make it look as if you’re

doing a serious, formal and upmarket TV awards show and not a Saturday informal get-together.

Source: Talk Media


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