According to a South African Tourism Update, the production has full exclusivity of Swadini Reserve from January 23-March 15 during the shooting and live transmission of the reality series.
A March 15 finale could be paired with the Australian Grand Prix, which last year aired from 5-7:30pm AEDT.
From March 16 the production has partial exclusivity to the waterfall section during de-rigging and site restoration.
A 6 week shooting period also fits with Russel Howcroft’s statements last week on ABC radio.
This would leave two weeks before the Easter non-ratings period (March 29), and another 2 weeks before ratings resume (April 12), leaving open the question: what’s next on TEN’s schedule?
MasterChef, which is probably the next big juggernaut nearing completion, last year returned in early May, managing to avoid a head to head battle with My Kitchen Rules. But this year there are whispers Seven’s hit series may run longer, causing TEN to hold off on MasterChef to avoid a clash.
At TEN’s Upfronts last year it spruiked Celebrity, Shark Tank and Gogglebox as Quarter 1 shows, with MasterChef and Have You Been Paying Attention? as Quarter 2 (roughly post-Easter).
For now this is purely speculation, but fingers crossed we aren’t facing more Jamie Oliver and Modern Family replays.