The Oscar Pistorius Trial Has Two TV Channels

The trial, set to begin tomorrow, will be given 24-hour coverage on South African TV.

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The trial of Oscar Pistorius, the South African amputee athlete accused of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, is set to begin tomorrow. Much like the O.J. Simpson trial Pistorius' case has been compared to, it will be a media frenzy.

A 24-hour television channel dedicated solely to the trial began broadcasting today, and another dedicated channel, which will air the court proceedings live and then repeats of the day's testimony between court dates, is set to go live tomorrow.

A judge allowed cameras in the courtroom last week, though witnesses for either side can request that their testimony not be shown, as Pistorius is expected to do. When court is not in session, the 24-hour channel will air "exclusive documentaries" and "in-depth expert analysis."

So far, the AP reports, the 24-hour channel has shown the world security camera footage of Steenkamp hours before her death and "video of her swimming with dolphins while shooting a reality TV show for South African television. At one point, two dolphins tap their snouts on her cheeks."

The trial won't be like Simpson's in one regard: it is expected to end by March 20, while Simpson's lasted several months. A judge -- not a jury -- will decide Pistorius' guilt or innocence.

Pistorius, who rose to worldwide fame after being the first amputee runner to compete in the Olympics in 2012. He shot Steenkamp on Valentine's Day in 2013. He claims he thought she was an intruder. On the anniversary of her death he made his first public comments about the shooting, calling it a "devastating accident."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.