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It’s no secret most people are captivated by the downfall of politicians, celebrities and athletes. They hear about an extramarital affair or a particularly bizarre arrest and they can’t help but inquire for further details. It’s a phenomenon that seemingly began with the kings and emperors of yesteryear, but later this year, it will reach perhaps its craziest heights yet when a South African cable station, MultiChoice, launches an entirely new channel exclusively dedicated to coverage of the Oscar Pistorius trial.
The platform will officially launch on March 2nd, just one day before the ex-Olympian goes on trial for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp, his model girlfriend who was gunned down at his home on Valentine’s Day. According to The New York Daily News, it will run for twenty-four hours a day and last until the news cycle has run its course. Ideally, the channel would like to broadcast the actual trial live to the millions of interested fans, but at this point, it’s unclear whether Judge Thokozile Masipa will allow cameras to roll during the proceedings.
Pistorius first rose to prominence during the 2012 Summer Olympics. With below the knee amputations on both legs, the South African used artificial limbs to both qualify for the games and to put on a very respectable performance. He made it to the Semi-Finals in the Men’s 400 meters, and as part of the South African 4x400 relay team, he finished in eighth place overall. His courage and stick-to-itiveness won over the world almost immediately, and he was later chosen to carry his country’s flag during the closing ceremonies.
Unfortunately, that good will quickly came to an end a little less than a year ago when he gunned down Steenkamp. He was arrested almost immediately and admitted he pulled the trigger. He told cops, however, that he thought Steenkamp was an intruder hiding in the bathroom and never would have fired if he’d known it was her. Authorities didn’t buy his excuse, and he was later charged.
Pop up channels are far from a new idea. Most cable networks offer subscribers access to special channels to see certain sporting events during the season. Big Brother has long given fans the option of paying for live Internet feeds, and in foreign countries, many popular reality shows have tried the same general thing. If cameras are allowed inside the court room, it seems very reasonable that the new network might make quite a bit of money during its run. If all involved are simply able to comment on the proceddings, however, it’ll probably be a far harder sell.
You can revisit better times for the runner by watching him compete at the Olympics in the video below…