Oscar Pistorius. Picture: REUTERS
Paralympic and Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius of South Africa speaks during a news conference after the official opening ceremony of the Doha GOALS forum in Doha, on December 11 2012. Picture: REUTERS

THE Oscar Pistorius murder trial, which starts in March this year, will be beamed into South African homes on a 24-hour "pop-up channel" to be launched by pay-television provider MultiChoice.

The world-famous Paralympic athlete will stand trial after he shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, at his Pretoria home on Valentine’s Day last year.

MultiChoice said on Wednesday that the trial channel, presented in association with the producers of current affairs show Carte Blanche, would feature round-the-clock coverage of the legal proceedings, as well as documentaries, profiles and analysis.

It will be the first time in Africa that such a channel is used to cover a major news event.

"We previously added dedicated channels for special events such as Idols and Big Brother," MultiChoice’s head of content, Aletta Alberts, said. "This pop-up channel will give our viewers in-depth coverage of the Oscar Pistorius trial, with a rich variety of content and social media integration."

The channel will be available exclusively to DStv Premium, Extra and Compact customers.

The trial is scheduled to run in the North Gauteng High Court from March 3-20. The trial judge will decide closer to the start date whether any part of the proceedings will be broadcast live, according to MultiChoice.

On February 14 last year, Mr Pistorius fired four shots through a bathroom door in his home and killed Steenkamp. He claims he mistook her for a burglar and acted in self-defence.

Monday would have been her 30th birthday.

After the shooting Mr Pistorius was released on R1m bail. Some of the bail conditions have been amended since then.