TREVOR NOAH RETEAMS WITH M-NET

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng shades local rapper AKA: 'Viewers know the singer because of the SABC. Without SABC there is no AK'.


The SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng says rapper AKA would be nothing without the SABC.

On Monday the public broadcaster's limelight-loving chief operating officer (COO) once again went on one of his own channels to talk about some of the SABC's grandiose new plans but when viewers indicated they're more interested in AKA's upcoming appearance, he threw serious shade at the local rapper.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng on Monday went on SABC2's Morning Live to talk about the SABC's new plans for new TV channels for an interview marred by sound problems that anchor Leanne Manas apologised for.

Leanne Manas told viewers they can ask Hlaudi Motsoeneng questions about the SABC's new TV channels plans, as well as for the SABC's chief financial officer (CFO) James Aguma who hardly got any talk time and had little specific to say during the segment.

"I quickly had a glimpse at Twitter to see if there are any questions you would like to ask the COO and CFO. Please do. This is your platform right now," said Leanne Manas.

"But it seems that people are too excited that AKA is coming to visit us so I don't know guys if you can compare to AKA at this point. So it looks like that's all they want to talk about."

The professional anchor then cleverly tried to open and give the SABC executives what is called an "easy in" by creating a link to a comfortable talking point by saying "that's local content. The power of local content."

Hlaudi Motsoeneng abruptly replied: "But they know the singer because of the SABC. Without SABC there is no AK," he said, leaving out the last letter of the stage name of the rapper whose real name is Kiernan Forbes.

Leanne Manas laughed awkwardly as Hlaudi Motsoeneng continued.

"And this is what we are say. We are calling  local content. So at the SABC we want to make sure that we cater more local content."

"Remember Leanne, we have put more than R600 million to cater for local content. People see many changes within the organisation especially because we have been concentrating using English. Now we are going to use other African languages which is good for the country."

Pick n Pay over grandmother 'break and pay' incident: 'We should have handled the situation better' says family retailer.

Pick n Pay says the retailer should have handled a situation better where an extremely traumatised grandmother and her grandson on Saturday were reduced to tears on the floor in Mitchells Plain after he broke a chocolate and store security and management demanded she pay.

After the shocking incident that quickly went viral on social media, consumers have raised concerns about how the "family" retailer handled the matter.

Parents and caregivers are also raising concerns about whether it's "safe" to still go to Pick n Pay, fearful and scared over what will now happen if they or minors break or damage something in a Pick n Pay and are held liable.

A distraught Lentegeur grandmother was captured on the Pick n Pay tiles, holding her crying grandson in her arms, surrounded by Pick n Pay security in Mitchells Plain after the youngster broke a Dairy Milk slab.

After her grandson initially took the chocolate and asked his grandmother if he could have it, she told him to put it back. The child did put it back but also broke the chocolate.

Pick n Pay security then demanded that she pay for the damaged product.

The grandmother became emotional and said she doesn't have the money with the situation that quickly escalated because Pick n Pay didn't handle it properly.

With a growing number of bystanders, security and store management, emotions kept building up and a disastrous scene ensued that Pick n Pay managed badly and reflected negatively on the retailer.

Pick n Pay admits that the incident was unacceptable and that the retailer is very sorry for any distress caused.

"We have now met with our customer from the store in Mitchells Plain," Jarrett van Vuuren, general manager of Pick n Pay in the Western Cape told TVwithThinus on Monday.

"We have apologised and stressed that our franchise should have handled the situation better," he said.

"Our customer is happy with our response and considers the matter to be resolved. We are pleased that she will continue to shop in our store."

The traumatised grandmother who feels highly embarrassed over the incident doesn't want to talk to the media.

Monday, April 25, 2016

M-Net Edge live screens Game of Thrones' 6th season premiere at Ster-Kinekor countrywide in South Africa as fans flock to see what happens to Jon Snow.


Eager fans flocked to Ster-Kinekor cinemas countrywide this morning at 03:00 to find out if Jon Snow remains dead in the 6th season premiere of the popular fantasy drama series Game of Thrones that M-Net Edge broadcast at the same time as the new season made its debut on HBO in America.

White Walkers, Khaleesi's and other characters (sadly, or luckily no dragons) from the hugely popular fantasy drama series made their appearance as throngs of fans queued for seats in the early hours of Monday morning to see the first episode that will be broadcast on M-Net Edge (DStv 102) on Thursday 28 April at 21:00.

M-Net and Ster-Kinekor created a great fan experience with flame artists, cosplay characters and even a harpist as attendees indulged in free snacks, coffee and Play energy drinks.

MultiChoice is also making Game of Thrones episodes of the 6th season once again available instantly after broadcast on the DStv Catch Up service, similar to what it did for the 5th season. M-Net also added the new companion talk show, After the Thrones to the M-Net Edge schedule.

While fans enjoyed the live Game of Thrones screening, Capetonians were ready to get their swords out when the DStv decoder decided to hibernate a few minutes after 03:00 and shut down with groans from the cinema audience.

The episode resumed within a few minutes when the DStv decoder was switched back on (and a "White Walker" won a DStv Explora as Best Dressed character).

Viewers left out a collective gasp at the end of the first new episode with a shocking and unexpected revelation about the Melisandre character.



SABC promises 5 new TV channels - 4 channels catering to different language groupings and SABC Sport as a separate TV channel.


The SABC is planning to launch 5 new TV channels - 4 channels catering to different language groupings as well as SABC Sport as a separate TV channel.

The plan for new language segmented SABC TV channels comes after years of the public broadcaster unsuccessfully trying to launch SABC4 and SABC5 as regional language channels catering to the northern and southern regions of South Africa respectively.

The SABC's four language segmented channels will be run in addition to the existing SABC1, SABC2, SABC3 and the SABC News and SABC Encore channels, the last two of which are packaged for MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform.

The additional new TV channels, when launched, will be available on the SABC's digital terrestrial television (DTT) platform and will also have to be available on various pay-TV operators' bouquets as part of the existing "must carry" rules as mandated by the broadcasting regulator, Icasa.

The additional new channels are a far cry from the ambitious 18 TV channels the SABC told parliament in 2011 it wanted to launch with the advent of DTT in South Africa.

The new TV channels plan comes as the SABC's latest new CEO, Frans Matlala remains suspended since November 2015, and with the SABC that reported a staggering loss of R403 million for the last reported financial year.

It's not clear where the struggling SABC that is under great financial pressure, will get the money to run the additional new channels and to produce the costly programming needed for the channels.

A single TV channel requires 8 760 hours of content per year. With the existing SABC channels filled with repeats and rebroadcasts already, its highly unlikely that the SABC will be able to programme multiple further channels scheduled with just brand-new local content.

The SABC that has not given specific channel names or any launch dates, says one TV channel will primarily be the Sotho TV channel, catering to Sesotho, Setswana and Sepedi languages. Zulu, Xhosa, Siswati and Ndebele will form part of a second Nguni focused TV channel.

A third channel will focus on Tsonga and Venda language speakers. A fourth SABC TV channel will be for Afrikaans viewers.

The SABC is also working on establishing its SABC Sport brand as a separate sports channel.

Reporting the news on the SABC, SABC2 Morning Live news reader Lebo Thinane made a Freudian slip, telling viewers that the "several language based TV channels will serve the ANC's audience".

Meanwhile local content will be increased for SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3. The SABC's controversial chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng says most of the new content will focus on languages the SABC marginalised like Afrikaans, Tsonga and Venda.

"As the public service broadcaster we continue to thrive in ensuring that all national languages achieve equal treatment as per our constitutional obligations," says Hlaudi Motsoeneng in a statement.

The SABC is under pressure to maintain its TV audience share that's under pressure as subscription and satellite television in South Africa keeps growing, with MultiChoice's DStv and Platco Digital's OpenView HD aggressively adding viewers year after year and with On Digital Media (OMD) and StarTimes Media SA's StarSat also in operation.

The SABC failed to meet its commercial revenue targets according to its latest financial report, citing increased TV industry competition. The SABC told parliament it will no longer present its commercial plan publicly out of fear over competitors.

The SABC said SABC News bulletins will now "have a segment that is dedicated to news from provinces" and that the public broadcaster wants more local content that reflect various provinces.

The SABC is also dumping the use of all external marketing agencies for marketing campaigns and will do it in-house.

The SABC is also dumping print advertising and advertising on all platforms outside of the SABC for vacancies. With immediate effect the SABC will only advertise available jobs on the SABC's TV and radio stations and its own digital platforms.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

SABC remains livid over satirical Twitter account of its controversial boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng; says if found SABC will deal 'in harshest way possible'.


The SABC remains livid about a satirical Twitter account of its controversial Auckland Park boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng, with the public broadcaster again "warning" the public that it's fake and saying it will deal "in the harshest way possible" when it finds out who is responsible for it.

The parody Twitter account of Hlaudi Motsoeneng with the handle @SABC_COO sprang up in May 2014 and has since been serving up wry commentary and words of appreciation to followers and SABC "citizens", clearly indicating that it's a "parody/satire" account from "Awkward Park, Johannesburg".

The SABC's famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng achieved meteoric rise inside the South African public broadcaster and is embroiled in a protracted court case regarding his appointment as chief operating officer (COO) following a scathing report from the Public Protector in February 2014 implicating him in several instances of maladministration and for lying about having a matric certificate.

In September 2015 Hlaudi Motsoeneng said he wants social media in South Africa like Facebook and Twitter "to be regulated" and what people can say on it.

The SABC has not been able to identify the person running the account or to shut down the satirical Hlaudi Motsoeneng Twitterer sharing hilarious bon mots with followers.

This week the "fake" Hlaudi told followers things like: "Those asking, yes, I do watch DStv in my office, but obviously only for the purposes of learning how SABC can improve its broadcasting," and "Many have asked if we are broadcasting the EFF manifesto launch. The answer is no. Instead we will be screening Sarafina".

Messages with bite shared on the satirical account range from things like "SABC is happy to announce exclusive book & broadcast rights to the story of President Zuma & his life of service, The Long Walk to Nkandla", to "For those asking, no, I don't smoke the devil's lettuce. My eyes are red from sleepless nights running SABC".

"He [Hlaudi Motsoeneng] doesn't have a Twitter account," says SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago.

"All of the things that are said there, are not his. He has said it very clearly that he is not on social media, deliberately so."

"We are taking it very seriously, especially if you look where its him saying we're not going to do the EFF manifesto and in the space of that we'll do Sarafina. People are just being malicious and they're damaging the brand SABC."

"We want to say to them we're taking this very seriously as the SABC. We will then have to follow up on this people and if this people are found we will deal with them in the harshest way possible," said Kaizer Kganyago.

"If we find out who it is, then we'll open a case because it's just pushing malicious information that damages the brand. People must understand that the brand SABC has got value and because of that value we have to get worried."

"Don't believe what you read in those Twitter pages because this is not ... we've got an official page of the SABC. If there's anything we want to we will say it there. We're a public broadcaster, if there are messages we want to send out we will come here and send them out like that," Kaizer Kganyago told SABC News.

"Our image is much more important than people who are trying to fool around. Maybe for them it's a joke but for us it isn't."

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

ANN7 worker James says Indian staff are favoured at the TV news channel, 'Indian workers have wifi' while employees are allegedly being mistreated.


The never-ending real-life personnel drama behind the scenes at ANN7 (DStv 405) continues unabated, with an ANN7 worker called "James" who on Wednesday evening spoke out about how Indian staff are allegedly favoured at the news operation and have access to wifi, while other employees are allegedly also being mistreated.

Infinity Media's struggling ANN7 known as "Guptanews", is part of the bigger Oakbay Investments.

Oakbay is facing a banking crisis after South African banks said they are withdrawing their banking services at the end of May.

Oakbay is desperate to find a new banker, failure of which will result in employees at ANN7 and elsewhere not getting paid and the possible closure and collapse of entities like ANN7 which is carried on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV service and which could possibly go dark and shut down after May.

Now it increasingly looks as if Oakbay workers are being exploited as a pawn to get the South African government and South African banks to "help" so that "job losses" of 7500 workers don't happen if the banking cut-off deadline arrives.

Instead of being referenced by other media for its news, ANN7 constantly remains in the news itself.

The news channel on DStv that was voted "worst employer of the year" by Cosatu in 2015, continues to be the subject of ongoing, sensational stories on an almost daily basis.

With numerous stories and allegations of human resource problems behind the scenes at ANN7 ever since it launch and the months before, right through 2014 and 2015, this year continues the eye-popping "theatre of the absurd" that is ANN7. 

On just one day - today - ANN7 is in the news itself for three different stories, all hugely damaging to ANN7's reputation, credibility and image as a news brand. 


On Wednesday morning for instance ANN7 employees Phuti Mosomane and Robbie Rousseau, the general manager of Sahara Computers (an Oakbay company), suddenly begged FNB, Standard Bank, Absa and Nedbank to reopen the company's bank accounts in an "open letter".

"We are not rich people. We are not politically connected. We have not captured the state. We have never offered any politician a job. We do not know if any of the allegations against the Gupta family or Oakbay management are true."

"We do not care. All we care about is providing for our families.If you do not open Oakbay's bank accounts we cannot be paid and Oakbay cannot pay its bills".


On Wednesday afternoon - and you can't make this up - there was a protest and ANN7 employees and Sahara computer employees chased protesting ANC Youth League members away from the ANN7 and The New Age headquarters in Midrand. 

ANN7 employees meanwhile demanded that Phuti Mosomane and Robbie Rousseau retract their letter and said it's not true that they didn't care about the allegations of state capture by the Gupta family.

ANN7 employees wanted to know why the ANC Youth League is suddenly fighting for Indian people and not for black people. 

Then, an anonymous woman working at ANN7 called radio station 702, furious about the letter and saying The New Age and ANN7 workers are not agreeing with the letter and its sentiment.

"We are now being used to fight a political war".


On Wednesday evening the total weirdness engulfing ANN7 continued when an employee identified as James called The Money Show with David Whitfield on radio 702, slamming ANN7 as a place where "employees are tired of being mistreated".

"The Indian workers that are hired at ANN7 have wifi but the South Africans – who absolutely work their butts off – to try and make sure that we produce quality news, don't get that," said James. 

"There's a mistreatment of the staff for example, the editor who knows nothing of South African news - ," said James.

"I don't think the banks are going to want to do business with Oakbay. We are asking for investors to look into ANN7. We are trying to distance ourselves from the letter."

"All we're asking is outside investors to invest in ANN7. I'm talking from the lady who cleans the floor right through to the biggest anchor at ANN7 - they're willing to produce quality news. All they need is the right investor," said James.

"There are a lot of workers who are distancing themselves away from that letter."

Meanwhile another ANN7 worker who talked to News24 claimed that Oakbay management "treat us like dogs and then they expect us to speak on their behalf. That is nonsense".


Oakbay is suddenly being repped by the controversial British PR agency Bell Pottinger who had clients like Syrian president Bashar al Assad's wife, fracking company Cuadrilla, repressive governments ranging from Thailand and Egypt to Bahrain, and even the paralympic killer Oscar Pistorius.

Yet another pan-African TV news channel, africanews, launches across Africa; euronews' new African sister channel now streaming live for free online.


Yet another pan-African TV news channel, africanews, launched across the African continent today at 17:00 with africanews that can be watched not only on TV in some African countries (South Africa excluded) but is also streaming for free in SD or HD on its website.

Africanews, broadcasting its TV news channel in English and French and anchored in its Pointe Noire studios in Congo-Brazzaville, is an offshoot of the European euronews that MultiChoice carried on DStv and then dumped in late 2014 after 6 years.

With Sabido and eMedia Investments' eNCA (DStv 403) channel that gave up on self sourced, on the ground reporting in Africa in 2015, and with the Nigerian-based Arise TV news channel that abruptly imploded and went off the air in January, true pan-African channels like africanews are looking to find audiences who want to see and hear first-hand reporting on what is really happening in various African countries.

africanews will primarily be competition for China's CCTV News (DStv 409 / StarSat 266), as well as for the Lagos anchored TVC News (also streamed live on its website) available on StarSat channel 270 and on DStv in some countries.

Interestingly MultiChoice doesn't currently provide any true pan-African TV news channel for DStv subscribers in South Africa like TVC News or africanews.


Funnily enough, africanews in its look and on-screen presence (OSP) blatantly copies TVC News' look and colours of yellow and black.

Also not stated but very obvious is how africanews is hilariously using South Africa for the heavy lifting in its glossy africanews promo video.

It's South African places, cityscapes, buildings, people and news events that show up most prominently and takes up the most space in its glossy promo video to sell africanews' coverage of the continent and to give Africa a "progressive Western" type look, especially as far as infrastructure is concerned.

africanews kicked off with a staff of 85, representing 15 nationalities, doing rolling live news coverage and will be doing news magazine shows like Football Planet, The Global Conversation, Timeout Africa and daily focused segments on entertainment and culture and business news.

News blocks will also be segmented, for instance The Morning Call between 06:00 and 10:30 with Hannane Ferdjani and Robert K'Odingo, The Network and Business Africa.

Veronica Narkwor Kwabla is africanews deputy editor.

africanews, funded through a mix of distribution and carriage agreement income, advertising and production revenues, looks to expand its language offering in future but is launching across Africa with English and French.

"It all began with the recognition that the rising African continent is an incredible source of news and that there is a great pool of talent that lacks a quality media environment," said Michael Peters, CEO of euronews and africanews.


"The question was simple," said Michael Peters in a "press conference" launch that was broadcast today on the channel and on africanews' online video feed.

"Was it like about doing like everyone else, meaning launching euronews Africa, or whether its about doing something totally different - africanews."

"africanews is the biggest bet no-one has ever done in the industry and the only stupid guy who decided to launch a new brand which is nuts - euronews. Can you imagine the amount of money, of time, of attention that you need to build a brand like euronews."

"And my decision is to say, I won't use the euronews brand like all the others are doing. I'm creating a new brand that will become the sister brand of euronews. This is a bet that no-one has done in the industry," said Michael Peters.

"We want to implement a media organisation called africanews that will be the voice of the African continent in Africa, and the rest of the world."

"africanews is here to give an African perspective about news, whether its African news or world news. This is another bet. What is a pan-African perspective? We have the same problem in Europe.What is a pan-Europe perspective?"

"You have a lot of African media who are pan-regional, rather than pan-continental. So you have a lot of pan-regional media who are extremely strong in the Francophone side of Africa, or strong in the Anglophone side of Africa, or the West of Africa, or the East of Africa."

"But until now there is no one real pan-continental brand that is able to speak to people in at least French and English and I hope soon in other languages. So we try to offer to the viewers, the consumer, a real pan-African view," said Michael Peters.

"This [africanews] is not the project of European people trying to impose any European views on the market."

"africanews will have to make money. The business plan is to be break even in 5 years time. For the launch of today we already have advertisers who trusted us.

MTV's successful new fantasy drama series, The Shannara Chronicles, renewed for a second season; no episode order or starting date given.


The Shannara Chronicles has been renewed for a second season by MTV, although the recently completed first season has not yet been shown on MTV in South Africa and across Africa or on any other of MultiChoice's channels on DStv.

The fantasy drama series based on the fantasy novels of the famed fantasy author Terry Brooks.started at the beginning of the year and just concluded its 10-episode, first season run as MTV's first drama series.

Interestingly, The Shannara Chronicles ranked as the highest grossing digital download for a single season on MTV in the channel's history in America, accomplishing the goal of attracting more, new and new younger viewers to the brand.

In January Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa) told TVwithThinus that "it is very likely that we will be airing The Shannara Chronicles on MTV in Africa" but so far nothing has come of it.

VIMN Africa said "we do endeavour to air American series as close as possible to the United States premieres, so we will be able to update you shortly about the premiere date for the series on DStv".

That didn't happen.

Now the show has been renewed for a second season while South African viewers missed out on following the first season as the rest of the world.

In the drama series Austin Butler as a half-human, half elf, goes on a quest with an elf princess (Poppy Drayton) and the last druid (Manu Bennett) to help save the elf kingdom when their magical tree that keeps the demons at bay, starts dying.

No episode order, nor starting date for the second season of The Shannara Chronicles has been announced - nor what story the second season will tell. 

The other books in the novel series deal with completely other characters in other eras, and the first season ended where the book ended.

"This dream team delivered a beautiful, groundbreaking show with compelling stories and character journeys which brought in new viewers.  I can't wait to see what season 2 brings," says Mina Lefevre, the executive vice president and head of scripted development at MTV in America in a statement.

"We're thrilled to continue the momentum established in season 1," says Jenna Glazier, the executive vice president of television series at Sonar Entertainment.

"Along with the ongoing support of MTV, the entire creative team is poised to raise the bar even higher in season 2".

South African television viewing remains stable in total although less people are watching SABC1, SABC2 and e.tv on a weekly basis.


South African television viewing remains stable in total, although less people are watching SABC1, SABC2 and e.tv on a weekly basis, according to the latest All Media and Products Survey (AMPS) for January to December 2015.

The South African Advertising Research Foundation's (SAARF) latest AMPS figures were just released (which will also be its last of South Africa's largest national survey since it started in 1975).

While the Living Standard Measure (LSM) audience segmentation tool is largely outdated and will be replaced by some new, as yet unannounced currency, LSMs is still what basically everybody is the biz refers to and uses to make and track those elusive audiences and ad buys.

Despite a number of declines for individual TV channels in South Africa like SABC1, SABC2 and e.tv, television in total remained stable at 91.8%.

This is despite the decline in weekly viewership of three terrestrial TV channels, the total community TV sector, and a general loss of weekly TV viewers in the Western Cape.

e.tv's weekly viewing dropped from 67% to 65.1% - plunging due to a decline in viewers tuning out in large urban areas in specifically the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. e.tv viewership losses were seen across both males and females.

SABC1 likewise saw a drop in its weekly audience figures: down from 76.9% to 75.4%. SABC1 lost viewers in large urban areas and the Western Cape tuning out.

SABC2 also shed viewers with its weekly audience dropping from 72.1% to 70.4% - driven by losses in large urban areas, the Western Cape and Limpopo and female viewers tuning out.

Although at a lower percentage, SABC3's weekly audience remained stable at 55%, despite losing viewers in the Western Cape in the LSM8 to LSM 10 demographic - the wealthier viewers.

The weekly viewing of M-Net's terrestrial channel managed to remain stable at 6%.

Weekly audience levels for total community TV in South Africa dropped from 10.4% to 9.4%, due in part to losses in large urban areas and female viewers.

Viewership of Platco Digital's OpenView HD (OVHD) is growing. The weekly audience rose with audience numbers now at 195 000 per week, or 0.5% - up from 0.2% previously. This viewership increase comes from all community sizes, from the Western Cape and North West and from both more women and men turning in to the free-to-air satellite platform.

The total weekly audience of On Digital Media (ODM) and StarTimes Media South Africa's StarSat remained stable, although extremely small, at 0.6%.

Viewership of MultiChoice's DStv remained stable with an even weekly audience figure of 39.9%.

Interestingly, according to AMPS Dec 2015 only 1.4% of South Africans watch television online or over their cellphones per week.

Sky's Sky1 announces a brand new fantasy drama series series, The Last Dragonslayer, based on Jasper Fforde's novel.


Britain's pay-TV operator Sky just announced that it's commissioned a brand-new drama series for Christmas time that will start filming this month, The Last Dragonslayer based on Jasper Fforde's novel.

A bit Harry Potter, a bit A Series of Unfortunate Events, the drama will follow the 15-year old Jennifer Strange (Ellise Chappell) in the Ununited Kingdoms who becomes the apprentice to the last Dragonslayer in a modern world but one where magic exists.

The Last Dragonslayer will start in Christmas this year on Sky's Sky1 channel.

Sky1 is Sky's flagship channel, very similar to M-Net (DStv 101) on MultiChoice's DStv. It's therefore almost a sure bet that M-Net will pick up this show and broadcast it sometime in 2017.

"For 2016, an adaptation of Jasper Fforde's The Last Dragonslayer holds all of the ingredients for the perfect seasonal treat for the entire family; wizards, dragons, a kick-ass heroine and the perfect magical cast led by Ricky Tomlinson, Ellise Chappell and John Bradley," says Cameron Roach, Sky commissioning editor in a just-released statement.

"Adapting Jasper Fforde's madcap world and unique characters, screenwriter Tom Edge has forged an exciting, fast-paced family adventure that is both compelling, endearing and emotional," says Pete Czernin of Blueprint Pictures.

The Last Dragonslayer will be directed by Jamie Stone with  Laura Hastings-Smith as series producer.

Netflix grabs new time traveling drama series, Travelers, with Eric McCormack, in which heroes team from the future tries to save mankind's future.


Netflix has grabbed a new time traveling drama series entitled Travelers with Will & Grace's Eric McCormack that will be a co-production with Canada.

Travelers, created by Stargate SG-1's Brad Wright, will be broadcast on Canada's Showcase channel, and on Netflix in the rest of the world, including South Africa.

Travelers will start in mankind's future with a twist on the time travel yarn and be a cross between Quantum Leap, Legends of Tomorrow, Heroes and Alphas.

Hundreds of years into the future, the last surviving humans are able to send individuals' consciousness back through time into people living now.

Like Quantum Leap's Dr. Sam Beckett, these individuals "disguised" inside currently living people, have to work together secretly as a team to perform missions to prevent a terrible tragedy from resulting in mankind's disastrous future.

Eric McCormack will be the FBI special agent Grant MacLaren as the team's leader.

Mackenzie Porter will be Marcy, a clever but disabled woman in the care of her social worker (Patrick Gilmore).

Then there is Trevor (Jared Paul Abrahamson), a high school quarterback; Carly (Nesta Marlee Cooper) who is a single mom in an abusive relationship and the drug addicted student Philip (Reilly Dolman).

Wendy Williams on BET decides to help the konfused Bette Midler with a flow chart and everybody else who can't keep up with the Kardashians.


Wendy Williams decided to help and jumped in with a family tree chart for Bette Midler who's konfused - and for everybody else who can't keep up with the Kardashians.

"Bette Midler can't keep up with the Kardashians," Wendy Williams told viewers in the latest episode of her talk show The Wendy Williams Show on BET (DStv 129) and hauled out a flow chart to explain how Rob and Kylie are both 

"Now that Blac Chyna and Rob are engaged, Bette's confused about their family tree," said Wendy.

Bette Midler tweeted earlier, saying: "Rob Kardashian's engaged to the mother of the child of Kylie Jenner's boyfriend? They'll share a stepchild. Somebody send me a chart!"

Wendy Williams showed how Rob and Kylie will be both uncle and aunt, and stepdad and stepmom to Blac Chyna's son, King Cairo, she had with Tyga.

"It's very, very difficult for me to understand either," Wendy told her studio audience.

"Bette, just so that you can keep up with everything going on, we've got your address and I'm mailing this to you."

South African media conglom Naspers dumps the Rand for the Dollar as its new reporting currency; is restating its financial information back to 2014.

South Africa's Naspers that incorporates Africa's biggest pay-TV operator MultiChoice, announced a change in its reporting currency, dumping the South African Rand for the American Dollar, saying that in future it will report all of its earnings in the greenback instead of the South African currency.

In a statement Naspers says that it will change the presentation currency in its consolidated financial statements from Rand to Dollar with effect from the financial year ended on 31 March 2016.

Naspers says that over the past 100 years, the group has evolved from a single-country newspaper business and early investor in pay-TV to a video entertainment leader and global internet and e-commerce group.

"Coupled with the evolution of the business, the group's shareholder base is now largely comprised of foreign investors to whom financial reporting in Rand is of limited relevance. Internally, the board also bases its performance evaluation and many investment decisions on Dollar financial information".

Naspers is also summarising and restating its financial information in dollar for the financial years ended 31 March 2015 and 2014, as well as for the 6-month interim periods ended 30 September 2015 and 2014.

Naspers dividends will continue to be declared in rand.

SABC3's Mela presenter, Zahira Variawa, marries her dashing dog doc in Dubai; wedding will be shown on 8 May in 4-part travelogue series.


The SABC3 Mela presenter, Zahirah Variawa, has married her dashing dog doctor, Andrew Marty in Dubai where her Australian husband is a veterinarian for the United Arab Emirates president.

The luxurama wedding of the lovebirds who met at an Andrea Bocelli concert in Abu Dhabi, took place at Fairmont The Palm in Dubai and will be broadcast on Mela on Sunday 8 May.

With comedian Siv Ngesi as host, the two got married at the end of March among the exotic Dubai dunes surrounded by 160 of their close friends and family, including South African cricketer Graeme Smith.

Zahirah Variawa will be in Durban from 27 April after she moved to Dubai, with Mela that will be doing weekly Dubai travelogue inserts from 1 May - including her wedding on 8 May.

Zahirah Variawa now runs her own brand management service in Dubai and says moving to Dubai involved major mind-shifts and was a steep learning curve, but that she has learnt to love her new home and its cosmopolitan residents.

With her husband, their Dubai destination wedding will form the centrepiece of the four travel inserts that Mela will broadcast.

Prince William reveals when he was scolded by Queen Elizabeth II who came running across the lawn in special Sky News programme, The Queen at 90.


On the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, her grandson Prince William in a new documentary reveals how his furious grandmother ran across the lawn at Balmoral and gave him "the most almighty b*****king" after a quadbike and go-cart accident with his cousin Zara.

Prince William is one of the British royals who opens up tonight in the special programme on Sky News (DStv 402) at 22:00 (South African time), The Queen at 90, to celebrate the British monarch's birthday on Thursday.

(Her official birthday will only be celebrated in June).

In the programme, Prince William tells of how his grandmother was there for him after the death of his mother, Princess Diana and how a particular scolding she gave him as a teenager had stuck with him over the years.

"(We) were on a quad bike in Balmoral and we were chasing Zara around who was on a go-cart. Peter and I managed to herd Zara into a lamppost and the lamppost came down and nearly squashed her."

"I remember my grandmother being the first person out and running across the lawn in her kilt. She came charging over and gave us the most almighty b*****king."

"That sort of stuck in my mind from that moment on that I really should be a little bit more careful about what I'm doing and try not to kill my cousins."

In the programme Prince Williams says "having lost my mother at a very young age, it has been particularly important for me that I had somebody like the Queen to look up to and who has been there and has understood some of the more complex issues when you lose a loved one."

While The Queen at 90 doesn't appear on MultiChoice's electronic programme guide (EPG) for DStv, South African and African subscribers can tune in tonight at 22:00 or set a manual recording for that time.

New local MTV documentary, The People vs the Rainbow Nation, looks at whether South Africa's 'Rainbow Nation' has become a myth for disenfranchised youth.


MTV in South Africa commissioned a youth race documentary entitled The People vs the Rainbow Nation that will be broadcast on Thursday night looking at whether the Rainbow Nation that Archbishop Desmond Tutu described in 1994 has become a myth.

The 50-minute documentary from Lebogang Rasethaba and produced by Allison Swank of Arcade Content will be broadcast on Thursday 21 April on MTV (DStv 130) at 21:15 and on MTV Base (DStv 322) on 27 April at 12:00.

Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa) commissioned The People vs the Rainbow Nation in response to the American documentary White People that the youth channel felt would be more relevant and timeous for its local audience.

While race discussions dominates, the documentary also includes views on education, economic Apartheid, white privilege, colonialism, sexism, governance, patriarchy and classism in South African society.

The People vs the Rainbow Nation interviews youth activists and students at various campuses including Tuks, Wits, Stellenbosch and the University of Cape Town to get their opinions about the new youth struggle in South Africa which recently gave rise to upheaval and violence on tertiary campuses along with social media "hashtags" ranging from #RhodesMustFall to #FeesMustFall.

"The People vs the Rainbow Nation follows the contrasting lives of students of different ethnicities from four different South African universities in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Stellenbosch and Pretoria, asking if equal rights have meant equality, and whether the promise of the Rainbow Nation is still alive and kicking, or if the dream is tarnished beyond repair," says Dillon Khan, the head of MTV Africa.

"We wanted to make a film that we wished someone had made when we were young to help us make sense of the construct of society, how to engage the systems of power at play and where we as individuals fit in in all of this," says Lebogang Rasethaba.

SABC2's Venda soap Muvhango again warns the South African public over yet another fake casting call scam; drops a casting agency it used.


Muvhango is once again warning against yet another fake casting scam involving the SABC's Venda soap and has now even gone as far as dumping a legitimate casting agency its used for years.

The Word of Mouth Productions soap which in previous years had to warn people not to fall prey to fake casting exploitation and not to pay money for fake auditions, is once again warning people about a casting scam and says it has also cut ties with Becky Casting Agency.

Muvhango says potential soap stars should never ever have to pay for an audition or a screen test.

"Muvhango would like to disassociate ourselves from the acting scam currently making rounds in and around Johannesburg," says the soap's associate producer, Morishe Matlejoane.

"The scam invites prospective actors to audition or screen test for different characters at 224 Louis Botha avenue Orange Groove venue in Orange Grove for a fee of R300."

"The scammers unfortunately used the name of a casting agency we have been doing business with for years and as a result we are left with no choice but to cut ties with Becky Casting Agency as their name was roped in from an e-mail we had sent to the agency," says Morishe Matlejoane.

"Production companies don't charge a fee for auditions or screening and any company or individual who does so, is committing fraud. We would like to encourage the victims of this scam to report the matter at the police station nearest to the venue of the bogus auditions."

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Sony Channel blames fast turnaround times with filming for GoggleBox South Africa, for showing DStv viewers the families watching a show that never aired.


The Sony Channel says a fast turnaround time is to blame after filming the latest GoggleBox South Africa episode that showed families watching RuPaul's Drag Race on M-Net's VUZU channel - although the show and the episode never actually aired on DStv.

GoggleBox South Africa as the first local South African commission for Sony Pictures Television's Sony Channel (DStv 127) purports to show DStv subscribers how other South African viewers are reacting to what is being shown on television in the country.

The Sony Channel admits that the families are not actually filmed watching all of the shows live at the time it's broadcast on MultiChoice's various DStv channels.

The Sony Channel says the GoggleBox South Africa producers worked from the print schedules for April supplied by M-Net for its VUZU channel - a schedule that then changed.

In the 8th episode of GoggleBox South Africa that was broadcast on Thursday night, the Sony Channel showed how families watched the 8th season premiere episode of RuPaul's Drag Race.

The episode was however never screened on VUZU since M-Net ran into content licencing issues and pulled the show from its line-up. The 8th season of RuPaul's Drag Race will now only start on 26 June on VUZU.

It's not clear where Eject Media and Picture Tree got the episode to show the GoggleBox SA families, since it wasn't broadcast on DStv and therefore also couldn't be recorded. Passion Distribution is responsible for the international distribution and licensing of the World of Wonder produced RuPaul's Drag Race.

The inclusion of the "staged" programme that never aired but was presented in GoggleBox SA as being on TV in South Africa and Africa on DStv, is damaging to the authenticity of the show and Sony Channel's reputation.

"GoggleBox South Africa is a past 7 days review show, where our households review programmes which have aired in the past 7 days," says Sonja Underwood, Sony Channel territory director in a statement to TVwithThinus.

"Due to the fast turnaround of the show, some of the programmes are watched live and some are pre-recorded as the filming schedules don't allow for the live viewing of all programmes."

"Confirmed channel highlights are used when deciding on which shows to feature in each episode. Unfortunately there was an unforeseen schedule change resulting in the show in question not being broadcast," says Sonja Underwood.

How Sony Channel's GoggleBox South Africa is cheating viewers; people made to believe that families are watch DStv content that's not been shown on DStv.


The Sony Channel and Gogglebox South Africa have so far remained silent on how its cheating DStv viewers by showing how families are purportedly watching content on MultiChoice's satellite pay-TV platform - although it was never actually broadcast.

Serious questions are now being raised over Gogglebox SA's production integrity and the show's authenticity.

It comes after DStv viewers are apparently being duped following the latest episode of the show, broadcast this past Thursday night, that showed how families were watching RuPaul's Drag Race on M-Net's VUZU channel on DStv.

The problem is that the show the families "watched" never aired.

The Sony Channel (DStv 127) showed that the first episode of the 8th season of RuPaul's Drag Race - the show's 100th episode - was watched by the GoggleBox SA families while it was actually never shown on either the VUZU or VUZU AMP channels in the first place.

That made it virtually impossible for the several families included in GoggleBox South Africa to really have watched it as they were shown doing in a lengthy part of the episode on Thursday night on the Sony Channel.

On screen, GoggleBox SA credited VUZU AMP channel and World of Wonder Productions, but M-Net's VUZU says RuPaul's Drag Race isn't actually on its schedule and line-up at all as either a first-run new season or as any repeats.

Vuzu told viewers who asked how it's possible that Gogglebox South Africa is showing families watching RuPaul's Drag Race on the Sony Channel, that the drag show reality competition show "will not be airing on VUZU AMP due to an oversight relating to the content licence deal".

Vuzu told TVwithThinus in response to a media enquiry that RuPaul's Drag Race "has been pushed back due to an oversight with the content licence deal" and that it will now only start on Sunday, 26 June at 22:00 and on the VUZU (DStv 116) channel, not VUZU AMP.

Gogglebox SA is the first local South African TV production for Sony Pictures Television's Sony Channel in South Africa and Africa, and is produced by Eject Media and Picture Tree.

The apparently staged "viewing" with in-show families watching DStv content that isn't actually on TV, raises questions about how real and authentic Gogglebox SA is.

The show's whole premise is predicated on showing viewers at home how others viewers in South Africa are responding to what everybody can watch on television and the content that was shown on MultiChoice's DStv in the previous week.

Before launch, the Sony Channel touted the show's authenticity, saying the "topical show is filmed 7 days before the episode airs, allowing viewers to observe the households watching the week's TV shows, encouraging up-to-date discussions".

Gogglebox South Africa and the Sony Channel's territory director Sonja Underwood have not responded yet to a media enquiry made last week after the airing of the episode about how it was possible for the families to watch RuPaul's Drag Race on Gogglebox SA and DStv if the show wasn't broadcast and isn't on television at all.

Sony Channel says it is looking into the matter and is working in the issue.

It's not clear if there's possibly been other programming from the range of DStv channels included in the previous 6 episodes of Gogglebox SA that families were shown to be watching that might also not actually have been broadcast on MultiChoice's pay-TV service at the time of those episodes' recording.

Also not clear is where the shown footage for RuPaul's Drag Race comes from and how it was acquired in the first place.

It wasn't possible for the families in the show to watch it live on DStv sitting on their couches, or as a recording since it wasn't shown in the South African territory, yet the production somehow has the episode and showed families responding to it while watching it.

ALSO READ: The Sony Channel blames fast turnaround times with filming GoggleBox SA, for showing DStv viewers the families watching a show that never aired.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

eNCA editor-in-chief Prof. Anton Harber: 'We are more committed than ever to ensure our news meets audience needs and is of the highest quality'.

Image from the commemorative book, e: The First 10 Years


The new editor-in-chief of the eNCA (DStv 403) news channel on DStv, Prof. Anton Harber, personally reached out to me just over a week ago regarding the news that e.tv no longer wants to do a TV news bulletin during prime time on e.tv.

As a TV critic (and a journalist who loves TV news) I also shared my personal thoughts and that I feel that e.tv is moving away from its once lofty TV news ideals.

It feels to me that e.tv overall seems less and less willing to want to fight for, and do more when it comes to TV news for South African viewers.

I have since asked e.tv for an interview with Prof. Anton Harber about his new job and position and about the news changes at eNCA and e.tv, and willtalk to him next week about that.

I didn't publish or make public Prof. Anton Harber's communication to me when he wrote to me, but today he said that he feels that I should be carrying his letter to me in response to my article about e.tv's proposed plan to drop its news bulletin in prime time.


Here is his letter:

"You asked in your blog today, what I, as the new eNCA Editor-In-Chief, think about e.tv's application to Icasa to allow it to change its news programming.

Your suggestion that this is e.tv dumping its news is misleading. 

Rather, the station is looking for some flexibility to deal with changing audience and revenue demands. We will still have the same obligation to do two hours a day of news.

I would not have joined this company if I was not convinced that it had a serious commitment to serving its audiences with news and current affairs.

I can assure you that everything I have seen in my few weeks in this post has confirmed this commitment.

News may shift around and change and we live in a world in which news consumption is changing radically but we are more committed than ever to ensure our news meets audience needs and is of the highest quality."

Prof. Anton Harber

Sunday's upcoming Carte Blanche on M-Net will be a special 90 minute edition looking at the fleeing Gupta family; rising South African food prices.

Sunday's upcoming episode of Carte Blanche on M-Net at 19:00 will be another special 90 minutes episode that will look at whether South Africa is on the verge of going hungry, and where the fleeing controversial Gupta family went.

Here's the preliminary line-up for this Sunday's Carte Blanche on M-Net for Sunday 17 April:


Is SA Going Hungry?
The cost of food could rise by a whopping 30% in the next year. Due to severe drought and an unstable exchange rate, the price of all essential products has been steadily escalating. So far, these increases have largely been absorbed by retailers, but consumers are advised to brace themselves for tough times at the tills. How will ordinary South Africans cope when a trip to the supermarket becomes unaffordable?
Producer: Sophia Phirippides
Presenter: Claire Mawisa
Researcher: Chwayitisa Futshane

Philippi Under Threat
The Philippi farming community gives the Cape 200 000 tonnes of vegetables and flowers every year. Only 20 kilometres from the centre of town, Philippi has been Cape Town’s bread basket for nearly 2000 years. Carte Blanche asks: why are the city’s own town planners threatening its survival during one of the most devastating droughts this country has ever seen?
Producer: Liz Fish
Presenter: John Webb

 Who are the Guptas?
From multi-billion rand business interests, to a wedding party landing at a national key point and a President seemingly under their influence.  Who are the Guptas really? Carte Blanche takes an in-depth look into the lives of SA’s most controversial family.
Producer: Este de Klerk
Presenter: Devi Sankaree Govender
Researcher: Chwayitisa Futshane

 Love in the Time of Zika
As the Zika virus continues to spread beyond Brazil, this moving report follows three mothers caring for babies with Microcephaly. Spread by rampant mosquitoes attracted to stagnant water, the disease has resulted in a sudden spike in newborn babies with underdeveloped brains, deafness and blindness. In the lead up to the 2016 Olympics, Brazil's soldiers have had to step in to help combat the virus.
Producer: Journeyman

Jasmine Thompson
When 15-year-old Jasmine Thompson released her acoustic cover version of Chaka Khan’s “Aint Nobody” at the tender age of thirteen, the song climbed the UK charts and peaked in other countries. Videos she’s posted online have since received millions of views and launched her international career on stage. Carte Blanche catches up with the tech-savvy singer on tour in South Africa.
Producer: Diana Lucas
Presenter: Derek Watts

Dumped soap actress Connie Chiume was actually fired from e.tv's Rhythm City after 8 and a half years; says it 'wasn't nice but the nature of the industry'.


The dumped actress Connie Chiume who filmed her last scenes at the Quizzical Pictures produced soap back in February already, didn't quit and didn't retire - she was actually fired from e.tv's soap Rhythm City and says being forced to go "is not nice".

Of course you wouldn't know it from e.tv's prosaic statement yesterday: so rosy, and filled with such heartfelt goodbyes and parting sorrows from everyone (it's not just e.tv that does this) that it deliberately obfuscate what really happened and what is really going on.

Part of why South Africa's TV industry is so bad is because it struggles to be honest with itself and to be honest with viewers.

Other countries are hardly better, but at least America's TV biz - and the press covering it - do a slightly better job being more forthcoming, more direct and more upfront about the comings and goings (and the real reasons why) of executives, crew and talent.

Connie Chiume's contract wasn't renewed. The actress was let go after 8 and a half years. "It is how the script was written and one cannot argue with the writers. It was my time to go. It is not nice but that is the nature of the industry," she the Daily Sun.

Why should it be a "bad" thing? Or a "secret"? It's bad on a level yes - an actress lost a nice long term gig, but it's exactly like she says - the nature of the TV industry.

A slew of local soap stars and channels announced departures the past few days and weeks, all looking to "spread their wings", "focus on family", "look for new challenges" and "sail away on the endless sea of love".

Puh-lease. It's the start of a new financial year for companies and certain actor's contracts ended (for whatever reasons).

Contracts start and end at all times, but the cutting of talent are always more pronounced during this beginning time of the year (just like TV channels will do their new on-air looks usually around September and October when the new marketing budget money rolls in). It's all very cyclical.

The real "sad" is that the majority of talent can't be honest about why they're really gone in their "announcements", and that the local press can't be better to report the real actual reason(s) instead of copy and pasting publicist's carefully crafted press releases.

The biz and actors need to get over the perceived stigma of saying "I was let go", "I was fired for creative reasons", "I negotiated for a higher fee, it didn't work and I walked" and "I didn't like it there anymore".

Just because our soaps sell fantasy, doesn't mean there shouldn't be more upfront honesty about the production of it in reality.

Veteran M-Net executive Jan du Plessis broadens his portfolio with M-Net's general entertainment channels folded into his existing movies division.

South African TV industry veteran Jan du Plessis has broadened his job responsibility as a director at M-Net, with oversight of M-Net's general entertainment channels that were folded into his existing portfolio of looking after M-Net's movie channels.

Jan du Plessis from this month now also looks after channels like M-Net (DStv 101), M-Net Edge (DStv 102) and a few others, following Gideon Khobane's appointment as new SuperSport CEO and departure.

I'm told Gideon Khobane's specific position as director of M-Net's general entertainment channels was not filled; rather M-Net decided to combine the M-Net series and movie channel clusters in one "division".

This "new" bigger grouping is now headed up by veteran M-Net executive Jan du Plessis who returned from his sabbatical in October last year and who has been the M-Net director for movies since August 2014.

The precise job title of Jan du Plessis, a longtime M-Netter, is now channel director: M-Net general entertainment and movie channels.

Jan du Plessis joined M-Net in 1994 from Sterk-Kinekor where he headed up the acquisition's division, and was previously the head of the M-Net channel, then the director of group content services until that division was shut down and he became director of movies in August 2014.

When M-Net celebrates its 30th anniversary this coming October, Jan du Plessis will have been at M-Net for 22 of those years.

Marlon Davids appointed as the acting managing director for e.tv channels at e.tv following the departure of Monde Twala.

Marlon Davids has been appointed as the acting managing director for e.tv channels at e.tv following the departure of Monde Twala.

Monde Twala left e.tv last month to join Viacom International Media Networks as the new vice president for the BET channel, youth and music at its African content and channels hub in Johannesburg.

The well-liked and experienced Marlon Davids is e.tv's general manager for content strategy and planning.

The executive rose through the ranks through hard work, previously working at e.tv in international programming and acquisitions.

Marlon Davids jumped to M-Net where he became the head of content planning and scheduling for channels like M-Net, M-Net Series and the M-Net Movies channels, after which he returned to e.tv two and a half years ago.

BREAKING. M-Net grabs and adds brand-new After the Thrones companion show to M-Net Edge on DStv as a Game of Thrones after-show.


You're reading it here first.

M-Net is set to make the world of Westeros and the TV world of South African Game of Thrones viewers even better by adding the brand-new after-show, After the Thrones, to M-Net Edge (DStv 102) exactly like in America when the 6th season starts on 25 April.

M-Net will announce later today that it has acquired, and will schedule, the brand-new companion Game of Thrones talk show, After the Thrones.

HBO is starting After the Thrones for the 6th season of its popular fantasy drama series that's enjoying global appeal with a rabid fan base.

After the Thrones will be a weekly half hour show, presented by Andy Greenwald and Chris Ryan.

The show will be taking a lively, humorous and sophisticated look at Game of Thrones, recapping the latest episode, explaining the who, what, when and where, while exploring the complicated politics and history of the story and speculating about upcoming events in future episodes.

Besides adding After the Thrones as a new companion show to Game of Thrones on M-Net Edge, the new weekly show will also be made available by MultiChoice on its DStv Catch Up service for DStv subscribers.

M-Net calls its M-Net Edge channel "the official home of HBO in South Africa" and by adding something like After the Thrones, M-Net signals and accomplishes two things.

Firstly M-Net executives show that they're serious about not just Game of Thrones as a prestige programming title, but also about M-Net Edge and building the channel out as a unique and distinct premium content destination on DStv.

The programming - something that would have been seen as "overkill" for a TV series even 5 years ago - now helps to enhance a channel like M-Net Edge where viewers realise they can go to for a "deep dive" and an extended, more immersive viewing experience around a specific property to dissect the smallest details of a story they're following.

Secondly M-Net executives, through slotting in After the Thrones directly after each week's Game of Thrones episode, are at the same time enhancing the show and the channel's so-called "stickiness" factor.

DStv subscribers who tune in to M-Net Edge for the fantasy drama's weekly episode will likely now stay tuned in for even longer and to the specific channel, resulting in higher ratings for a larger timeslot duration for M-Net Edge and DStv.

The 6th season premiere episode of Game of Thrones will start on Monday 25 April at 03:00 on M-Net Edge (DStv 102) as a simulcast broadcast at the same time as on HBO in America and episodes will then be broadcast during prime time on Thursdays from 28 April at 21:00.

MultiChoice is also making Game of Thrones episodes of the 6th season once again available instantly after broadcast on the DStv Catch Up service, similar to what it did for the 5th season.

Episodes of After the Thrones will start to roll out from 25 April in America, one day after each new Game of Thrones episode.

After the Thrones episodes will not be simulcast in South Africa but M-Net and MultiChoice will make the first episode available on DStv Catch Up from Tuesday 26 April already, just a day later.

After the Thrones will then be broadcast every Thursday night at 22:00, from 28 April, directly following Game of Thrones

All other M-Net Edge programming on Thursday nights from 22:00 will move half an hour later.

These so-called "after-shows", like After the Thrones, are rapidly growing as a new TV trend. 

TV channels and producers are realising that dedicated fans of hugely popular TV dramas will stick around to watch even more - especially when the episode that they've just seen is being discussed and analysed by like-minded people on a channel they're already tuned to.

While the Fox Networks Group for Africa failed to bring FOX viewers of The Walking Dead its popular after-show entitled Talking Dead, AMC added it to its own channel line-up for South African viewers from the start of the second season of the spin-off Fear The Walking Dead since Talking Dead covers both zombie dramas.

Other after-shows not seen in South Africa include Talking Saul (for Better Call Saul), Survivor Live following Survivor, Empire B-Side for EmpireAfter the Black following Orphan Black, and after-shows for The Bachelor, BET's The Wendy Williams Show and The Dirt following the Discovery Channel's Gold Rush.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng admits in parliament: 'We are still not doing well when it comes to African languages - including Afrikaans'.


The SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng told parliament on Tuesday that the SABC is not doing well when it comes to African languages, including Afrikaans, and that the public broadcaster should be doing more local content in other languages.

"Even at the SABC if you look now, I think we are still not doing well when it comes to African languages - including Afrikaans in this case."

"When you look, the majority of our content on the platform is English," the SABC's famously matricless chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng told parliament's portfolio committee on communications.

"The way we treat our own African languages when it comes to news, is different the way we treat other languages. So those are the issues that we are dealing with within the organisation."

In October 2015 the SABC finally dropped all other languages besides English and repeats of all of its news bulletins in other languages from its SABC News (DStv 404) channel on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform, turning its news channel into an English language only channel.

The SABC dumped news in other languages from its news channel despite announcing at the launch of the channel that its "unique selling point is SABC News Channel's multilingual programming" and promising that SABC News will deliver news "to audiences in all 11 South African official languages".

"We are also assisting the provinces to come with, to produce local content in their own languages," said Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng in his purple suit in parliament basks in glowing praise from other SABC executives and the SABC board.


Parliament on Tuesday felt like the old, aristocratic French court of yore and the excessive fawning one sees during a North Korean inspection tour, when SABC executive after SABC executive lavished glowing praise, in front of him, on their magnificent SABC boss, Hlaudi Motsoeneng,

The SABC's famously matricless chief operating officer (COO), dressed in his often-seen royal purple suit, was praised in parliament by his fellow SABC executives for reducing costs, building "strategic partnerships", his wonderful sense of fashion and even just his personality.

"Thanks to Hlaudi, [the SABC] was able to reduce the costs by about $2 million [for sports rights], said James Aguma, SABC chief financial officer (CFO).

"In this area of sports rights it is the individuals who negotiate for these rights, that determine whether you're going to make a saving or not. We battled for some time to negotiate but however in this area it's a personality issue".

"We've asked Treasury to give us funds [to cover local elections], we've not got them. Luckily the COO has managed to get us about R15 million from strategic partnerships," said James Aguma.

SABC board member Dr. Aaron Tshidzumba, said "we had officials talking about the skill of our COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng. He comes in handy on his negotiation skills."

"Last year we were left with two days to be closed out on the CAF [soccer broadcasting] deal because the private industry was bidding higher. He was on suspension ["voluntary leave"] at that time. When he came back, within two days, he even got less $2 million, which is R32 million [to close the deal]," said Dr. Aaron Tshidzumba.

The SABC's head of news Jimi Matthews, and current acting SABC CEO, likewise fawned over Hlaudi Motsoeneng, even complementing him in parliament on his fashion sense.

"It has to do with personality. It has to do with determination. Sometimes I think it has to do with the way you dress," he said, as Hlaudi Motsoeneng laughed with appreciation.

"But it has to do a lot with personality, and I think that's the one thing that has impressed us," said Jimi Matthews.

"So when different executives or staff members at the SABC talk about the persuasive qualities of Hlaudi Motsoeneng it's not a thumb-suck or far-fetched. We have a very good working relationship with the trade unions for instance for the same reason," said Jimi Matthews.