Friday, October 19, 2018

Hectic Nine-9 presenter Anomsa Vantyi leaves SABC2 after 7 years; Mpho Sibeko joins soap Scandal!.

The Hectic Nine-9 presenter Anomsa Vantyi (right) is leaving SABC2's youth afternoon show Hectic Nine-9 after being seen on it for the past 7 years, while actor Mpho Sibeko has joined's weekday prime time soap Scandal!, making his first appearance on 9 November.

Anomsa Vantyi is leaving the Okuhle Media produced show, 7 years after he made his first appearance in 2011 when he started as the Eastern Cape regional presenter. 

After four years of representing Port Elizabeth, Anomsa Vantyi joined Hectic Nine-9 as a permanent studio presenter in Cape Town in February 2015.

Okuhle Media says Anomsa Vantyi "has chosen to pursue other adventures, and the Hectic Nine-9 family is excited to see where his next adventure takes him".

"Hectic Nine-9 wishes Anomsa success in his future endeavours and will cherish his 'Hectic' presence from his time on the daily youth variety show".

Meanwhile actor Mpho Sibeko has joined the Ochre Moving Pictures produced Scandal! on and will make his first appearance on 9 November.

Mpho Sibeko plays the role of Samson Ngema, a nephew of Mlungisi Ngema, and is a seemingly charming young pastor and prophet who is going to cause havoc. 

He previously appeared on'ssister soap Rhythm City, as well as's Gold Diggers telenovela.

MultiChoice says viewer feedback over OUTtv pop-up channel will be used to test DStv subscribers' interest in gay-focused TV content.

MultiChoice says viewer feedback over the OUTtv pop-up channel currently broadcasting in South Africa on DStv until early November will be used to test DStv subscribers' interest in gay-focused TV content.

OUTtv started on 4 October for DStv Premium and DStv Compact Plus subscribers and will run until 4 November.

The channel so far featured programming ranging from a gay bachelor looking for love, a stripping dating show with full frontal nudity and even a series showing what happens behind the production of a gay porn site.

The programming on OUTtv ranges from PG to provocative with age restrictions that are programme specific, going from PG to 18SVNL.

MultiChoice was asked what complaints there have been, if any, so far about OUTtv from DStv subscribers. MultiChoice declined to answer.

MultiChoice was asked what positive feedback there has been, if any, so far about OUTtv, and if OUTtv as a channel is a once-off occurence or part of a test to be added as a possible permanent channel.

MultiChoice says it has not made any decision to make OUTtv permanent and that the plan is to end the pop-up channel on 4 November.

"Over the last few years, we've been offering pop-up channels to our customers as a value add to enhance their entertainment."

"OUTtv is a niche lifestyle channel aimed at the LGBTIQ+ community. As with other pop-up channels, it gives us the opportunity to test our customers' level of interest to this new and more niche content," says MultiChoice.

"The response from our customers to this pop-up channels have been very positive, with many welcoming it. Our aim is to offer our customers a range of different content that caters for different lifestyles and interests - to give our customers a choice of content that they would like to see."

South Africa's TV bachelor and his 25 beauties all tested for sexually transmitted diseases before they meet in M-Net's The Bachelor SA.

South Africa's TV bachelor - as well as the 25 beauties who will be vying for his attention, love and affection in M-Net's upcoming dating reality show - are being tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) before they meet and the filming of any interacting scenes might be taking place.

While all of the 25 women are single and not currently dating anyone, TVwithThinus also established that some of the women selected out of the thousands of entries received might already have a child or children.

The Bachelor SA, with Rapid Blue producing the local version of the dating reality format show, will start broadcasting on M-Net (DStv 101) on Valentine's Day, 14 February 2019.

Filming of the bachelor meeting and being introduced to the women will take place soon. M-Net confirmed that the 29-year old bachelor, Lee Thompson, as well as the 25 women chosen for the show and who will live together in an upmarket Johannesburg mansion, has undergone testing for sexually transmitted diseases.

That's in line with the American version where the bachelor and the prospective women also undergo STD screenings.

Earlier this year, in Amy Kaufman's new book, Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America's Favorite Guilty Pleasure, she revealed that contestants are asked beforehand if they've ever had a sexually transmitted disease, and if they say yes, they are removed from the selection process immediately.

Some contestants's medical tests also come back as positive for STDs. The most prevalent STD causing prospective contestants to be eliminated from The Bachelor is herpes.

"As soon as the medical tests came back, you’d see that herpes was the biggest thing," said Ben Hatta, in the book and who worked as the executive producer's assistant on The Bachelor. "Sometimes you'd be the first person to tell a contestant that they had herpes. You'd be like, 'Uh, you should call your doctor.' Why? 'We're not going to be able to have you on our show, but you should call your doctor."

M-Net tells TVwithThinus that STD testing has been done on Lee Thompson and the 25 women.

"The selection process for The Bachelor South Africa and the 25 ladies was intense and comprised psychometric tests, medical examinations – which included STD testing  – and a series of interviews with reality show experts."

Filming on The Bachelor SA has now started but only for some background footage. 

Lee Thompson has not yet met the 25 women and he will not be staying with them in the mansion. M-Net and Rapid Blue are keeping the exact date on which the women will be meeting him under wraps.

In the show the bachelor chooses women with whom he wants to go on lavish dates and this will take place across South Africa. Some of the dates are known as "overnight dates" and eventually there are also "Fantasy Suite dates". While some contestants and the bachelor have sex, not everyone does.

Coming with a family?
Interestingly, Lee Thompson might not just snag a women but an "insta-family" with kids.

While the 25 women are all single and will be single when Lee Thompson are introduced to them, some might already have a child or children, and might have been married. 

This has happened in overseas versions. M-Net doesn't want to reveal at this stage whether women who have children are part of the 25 chosen for The Bachelor SA.

M-Net says "the terms and conditions specify that the ladies can be legally divorced or have children, but need to be single to be part of The Bachelor SA. At this stage, we can’t reveal more about the ladies' background".

Lee Thompson says he "can't wait to meet and get to know the 25 ladies. Chemistry often works in mysterious ways and I have no preconceived ideas about who I want to spend the rest of my life with."

The Bachelor SA will have around 25 episodes and end with a live finale on M-Net. It's not yet clear whether the first season will include the midway "Women Tell All" episode where eliminated contestants discuss their experience. 

The host of The Bachelor SA has also not yet been announced.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

BREAKING. MultiChoice, the SABC and Viacom International's MTV to broadcast the Global Citizen Festival in South Africa in December across the continent and globally.

MultiChoice, the SABC, Viacom International's MTV and YouTube have picked up the broadcasting rights of the upcoming Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 with the SABC, MTV (DStv 130) and YouTube that will broadcast the event in South Africa, sub-Saharan African and globally to 180 countries across six continents on 2 December.

MultiChoice has the responsibility to film and produce the event and to provide the live broadcast to the South African public broadcaster, as well as other international broadcast partners.

MultiChoice will broadcast the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 on DStv channel 199 to all DStv subscribers in South Africa and across sub-Saharan Africa.

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) will also broadcast the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 taking place at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, South Africa to 180 countries and territories outside the United States, including Australia, Argentina and beyond.

MTV Base (DStv 323) will also broadcast a 2-hour "best of" TV special in the days after the original live broadcast on DStv in South Africa as well as nearly 50 countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

YouTube and Twitter will bring the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 to the rest of the global audience.

The South African comedian Trevor Noah will co-host the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 with Naomi Campbell, Dave Chappelle, Sir Bob Geldof, Gayle King, Bonang Matheba, Nomzamo Mbatha, Tyler Perry, and Forest Whitaker, and Oprah Winfrey will do a keynote address about Nelson Mandela and his legacy.

Stars like Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Cassper Nyovest, D'banj, Ed Sheeran, Eddie Vedder, Femi Kuti, Kasey Musgraves, Pharrell Williams, Chris Martin, Sho Madjozi, Tiwa Savage, Usher and Wizkid are set to perform.

Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice CEO for general entertainment, says "We're honoured to be the exclusive pay TV broadcast partner in Southern Africa for this event that celebrates Madiba's legacy and reminds us all of the importance of giving back to our communities. We look forward to sharing this with our customers on the 2nd of December, and also giving them access to the musical highlights in the days thereafter".

Madoda Mxakwe, SABC CEO, says "The SABC is proud to partner with the Global Citizen Festival, which will enable the public broadcaster to bring the symbolic Mandela 100 concert to South African audiences".

"As we celebrate Nelson Mandela's centenary, we are pleased that this partnership will provide an opportunity for South Africans to reflect on Nelson Mandela‘s life and times, and promote his legacy."

Bruce Gillmer, Viacom’s global head of music and talent and co-brand lead for MTV International, says "MTV stands with the artists, leaders and passionate citizens who are raising their voices and taking action to effect positive change throughout the world".

"In the spirit of Nelson Mandela, MTV believes in the power of music to unite and inspire. We're proud to amplify this incredible night of music and activism in his honor to fans around the world."

The Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 executive producers are Dr. Precious Moloi Motsepe, Patrice Motsepe, Kweku Mandela, Dave Holmes, Declan Kelly, Liza Henshaw and Hugh Evans.

Leaders who will be speaking at the event include South African president Cyril Ramaphosa; Amina J. Mohammed, deputy secretary-general of the United Nations; prime minister Erna Solberg of Norway and president Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana.

Other leaders who will speak include president Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana; Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO); Alexander De Croo, deputy prime minister of Belgium; David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme; ambassador Ertharin Cousin, board director of The Power of Nutrition; and Peter Sands, executive director of the The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

BREAKING. Netflix's prison drama series, Orange is the New Black, seen on M-Net cancelled after 7 seasons.

It's the end for the inmates at the Litchfield Minimum (now Maximum) Security Prison - Netflix has cancelled Orange is the New Black seen in South Africa and Africa on M-Net (DStv 101) with the upcoming 7th season set for 2019 that will be the prison drama-comedy series' last.

Produced by Lionsgate, Netflix made the announcement in the form of a video post done by the Orange is the New Black cast.

Netflix that last renewed the series before its 4th season premiere in 2016 for another three seasons, decided not to order further episodes.

Orange is the New Black, created by Jenji Kohan, was based on Piper Kerman’s memoir Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison and got six Golden Globe nominations and 16 Primetime Emmy nominations of which it won three.

Orange is the New Black was one of Netflix's very first scripted series and like House of Cards was sold internationally and picked up by M-Net that retained the right to air them for the duration of their first-run shelf life before the launch of Netflix South Africa in January 2016.

OpenNews to launch on 1 November on eMedia Investments' OpenView; new local TV news channel infused with social media content will make use of new Cape Town interactive studio.

eMedia Investments will launch its new free-to-air TV news channel OpenNews on 1 November on its Openview satellite service, with the social media infused news channel that will chase news that's trending and going viral.

OpenNews will be done from a new interactive studio in Cape Town just like when first launched its eNews TV news bulletins in 1999 from its former Longkloof Studios to bring South African viewers an alternative to the television news from the South African public broadcaster.

OpenNews will lean heavily into social media buzz, covering all news, including showbiz and celebrity coverage for its free-to-air audience, and with anchors also sharing their personal opinions about the news.

OpenNews that will go live at 17:00 on Thursday 1 November on Openview channel 120, will broadcast until 23:00 at night and initially for just 6 hours per day.

The rest of the 18 hours will be packaged international news acquired from global broadcasters.

With OpenNews, eMedia Investments is broadening the TV news offering available on Openview with the platform that added the BBC World News channel in 2017 and moved it to channel 121 since 20 August to be on an adjacent channel number of the soon-to-launch OpenNews.

To differentiate from the heavy Johannesburg news bubble of other TV news channels like eNCA (DStv 403), SABC News (DStv 404) and the country's major daily TV news bulletins all done from Johannesburg studios in Hyde Park and Auckland Park, OpenNews will utilise a new Cape Town studio and do the news from the Mother City just like when launched its eNews brand 19 years ago.

The new interactive studio in Cape Town will see OpenNews anchors draw on content from multiple platforms, and besides coverage of politics, crime and courts, OpenNews will take a keen interest in celebrity and showbiz news.

Although not direct competition since the target audience is different, OpenNews will be a rival for eMedia Investments' own 10-year old eNCA that is produced specifically for MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform as part of an existing channel carriage agreement.

OpenNews will also be competition for SABC News as well as Newzroom Afrika, the new TV news channel that is set to replace Mzwanele Manyi's axed Afro Worldview on DStv in early 2019.

eMedia's plan is to bolster the loss-making Openview's existing content proposition and TV channel offering to attract bigger uptake of this free-to-air satellite TV service under consumers. 

Openview grows at roughly 35 000 new set-top box (STB) activations per month, but the number of 1.15 million activated STB at the end of March 2018 but Openview still has to almost double its viewership ratings before it can become profitable.

The existence of OpenNews will also create a news channel and news content fall-back fail-safe option for eMedia in the eventuality that the MultiChoice and M-Net contracts for eNCA, and eNuus supplied to kykNET (DStv 144) are not renewed should future channel carriage renegotiations fail and eNCA get dropped and that would otherwise leave eMedia without any news channel. earlier this month also added a new hour of Afrikaans TV news and current affairs programming on its eExtra (Openview 105 / DStv 195 / StarSat 489) channel, comprising of the half hour TV news bulletin, Nuusdag, and the half hour studio desk interview show, Nuusdag Perspektief, that also form part of  its broader TV news content expansion plans.

eMedia Investments says OpenNews will keep viewers informed and entertained with "a fast-paced overview of the top local and international news stories" in an on-air style in which anchors will "weigh in on the top stories, share their opinions and engage with viewers in real time."

"OpenNews will offer viewers an entirely new way of experiencing the news," says Nisa Allie, OpenNews managing director, who has been an eNCA assignment editor and news editor in Cape Town.

"Sharing the screen with our anchors is a team of savvy video journalists, who will approach news in a fresh, punchy, fluid and engaging way. Using the latest technology, we are moving away from the traditional format and merging television news with social media." 

Marlon Davids, managing director of channels, says "As the first local TV news channel on the Openview platform, OpenNews is an exciting addition to our offering".

"It's not just a first for Openview, but also a first for the country. For the first time, free-to-air viewers will truly be able to experience the news in a lively, interactive and unrestrained way."

Furious TStv dealers, agents and installers in Nigeria stage public protest at shambolic pay-TV start-up's headquarters; demand millions back they've paid over a year ago to sell TStv decoders they never received.

Furious TStv dealers, agents and installers in Nigeria have staged a public protest in Abuja, accusing the Nigeria's TStv satellite pay-TV operator of massive fraud and demanding their money back that they had paid over a year ago for TStv decoders that never arrived.

The shambolic TStv had already been caught out over multiple fake promises to consumers, a litany of false starting dates and even pirating stolen TV channel signals.

Angry TStv dealers on Tuesday held a public protest at TStv's headquarters in Abuja where they were not allowed to enter and with TStv CEO and managing director Bright Echefu refusing to answer their questions.

They are demanding a refund of more than N1 billion ($2.74 million / R39 million) that they had made more than a year ago to Telecom Satellite TV (TStv) in pre-payments for TStv decoders, satellite dishes and other accessories that haven't been delivered as part of the company's false promises to agents, customers and the Nigerian government.

TStv that tried to compete with MultiChoice Africa's DStv and China's StarTimes imploded with lies and fraud, and in April yet again claimed to start selling TStv decoders after multiple postponed dates and a failed launch in October 2017.

The claimed "Sassy" decoder that no longer looked like any of the stolen images TStv earlier used, and that was to be sold without a satellite dish or LNB, is apparently nowhere to be found.

After the failed launch, with TStv first promising multiple TV channels it had no channel carriage contracts for, and blatantly pirating stolen TV signals, also dropped its false claims of  free WiFi - the Sassy isn't capable to provide it.

Dealers and agents who were lured by TStv with fake and false claims to hand over money to sell decoders and do installations are now demanding their money back.

They are accusing Bright Echefu, as well as Nigeria's clueless minister of information, Lai Mohammed who gave TStv a three year tax waiver, of fraud and deceit.

In a statement protesting TStv dealers say "When TStv launched operations last year October with the aid of minister of information Lai Mohammed, a lot of us took up their dealership with N13.6 million each being paid for TStv decoder and accessories with vouchers".

"But as we speak not a single decoder has been given to the dealers, with several failed promises and deceit by CEO Bright Echefu since last year October. We have to speak out and let the whole country knows what we are going through, more so since TStv is still collecting money from innocent Nigeria."

TStv staffers in Nigeria have allegedly gone unpaid since April and TStv's headquarters has apparently been mostly deserted after 80% of the TStv staff got fired who have also been owed months of unpaid salaries.

The last time Bright Echefu made a public statement was in late August, when he issued a statement saying "From the date we announced TStv, it has been fight all the way".

"I doubt if a week passed without us quenching one fire or the other. We didn’t anticipate that there would be war. We were also not trained to fight in the arena we were pushed into."

"The kinds of weapons our enemies would later contend us with, showed they had stocked their armoury waiting for a time like now."

"We may not have their kind of money, neither their kinds of weapons, ''connections'' and networks but one thing I sure know we had more than them was a determined spirit and a steadfast God. A God who doesn’t fail."

On 20 August Bright Echefu said "Our struggles drained us financially and pitched us against all good meaning Nigerians, subscribers and dealers that believed in us. We were wrestled even down to our satellite providers but our God is ever faithful."

New study finds consumers are confused by streaming services; more would drop pay-TV if they knew what was available and could stream live programming, especially sports.

New American research from a TV consumer study has found that consumers are confused by streaming services (so-called over-the-top or OTT operators like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video etc.), don't know what programming, and live programming, are available or where; and that more would dump their pay-TV subscriptions and switch to streaming services if more live programming were available, especially sports.

Since the United States has a more sophisticated and more mature TV market and consumer market, it's easy to postulate that the findings of the study by Telaria and Adobe, entitled "Inside the Minds of Cord-Cutters and Cable-Keepers", would be true - and even more so - for South Africa and Africa.

South African consumers and pay-TV subscribers are still getting used to nascent streaming services ranging from Naspers' Showmax run by MultiChoice that also provides the DStv satellite direct-to-home (DTH) pay-TV service, Netflix operating Netflix South Africa, Amazon Prime Video, Cell C black, and a few other small service.

While streaming service uptake in South Africa is rapidly growing, it's still from a very small base with streamers like Showmax, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video unwilling to make subscriber numbers per market, like in South Africa, available.

What the Telaria and Adobe study found is that while a lot of people switch to streaming services, even more would switch and get rid of their existing traditional pay-TV subscription if they knew that they could get live programming - especially sports content - and knew what live TV programming existed.

Among consumers who won't let go of their pay-TV subscription - people called "cable keepers" - 20% said they don't know how, if they dropped their pay-TV, how they would access live TV.

"Despite steady declines in subscribers, cable still dominates viewership," the study found.

"The primary reason people keep the cord is the perception that only a linear connection can deliver live television content (42%). The second and third most common reasons are the desire to have a lot of TV channels (34%), and the fear of losing favourite networks (32%)."

Sports content and other live TV events are also strong reasons why people want and want to keep their pay-TV subscription.

According to the study 30% of "cable keepers" said they would drop their pay-TV subscription of they could stream their favourite sports content, live events they want to watch and TV news.

Pay-TV subscribers also don't know enough about streaming services, and don't know what is available, and where.

More than half (55%) say they are confused by the available streaming options.

"Despite the barriers, almost half of cable subscribers have or are considering cutting the cord," the study found.

"This is especially true among millennials, who outpace older segments in cord-free status. One in three pay-TV subscribers would definitely cut the cord if they could live stream their favourite sports, events and news, and an additional 40% would consider it."

"Sports fans are even more likely to consider cutting the cord if they could live stream programming."

According to the study the top reason why people dropped their pay-TV subscription was that it was deemed to be too expensive (73%), that everything was available through streaming (36%), and that there were too many TV channels available on the pay-TV bouquet (36%).

The study found that a lot of people are accessing streaming services through password sharing. A whopping 16% of respondents said they use someone else's password from a network or a provider to authenticate an app on a device.

Another 21% share their passwords with friends and family. Interestingly people are more satisfied with the price they're paying for streaming services than for traditional pay-TV with 70% saying they're satisfied with the monthly price they're paying for streaming, compared to just 40% for traditional pay-TV subscribers.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

BBC Studios appoints Fiona Campbell to head up its documentary unit from December.

BBC Studios has appointed Fiona Campbell from BBC News as the head of BBC Studios documentary unit where she will be responsible for leading a team of documentary makers across a range of history, arts and documentary output in conjunction with BBC Studios' efforts to expand into new forms, platforms and territories.

Fiona Campbell starts in December and replaces Aysha Rafaele, who is setting up a factual drama hub within BBC Studios.

BBC Studios' documentary unit has been behind content ranging from several of the shows from Louis Theroux, to Life & Death Row and the upcoming Inside the Foreign Office.

BBC Studios' documentary unit works with film making talent to produce exceptional, thought-provoking factual television, including observational access series, history and arts.

Lisa Opie, managing director of BBC Studios factual, says "Fiona is an extraordinary program maker, with incredible experience and expertise spanning current affairs, factual and digital, both in production and in commissioning".

"Documentaries provide a real opportunity for our business to grow, both in the United Kingdom and internationally, and I'm delighted to have someone of Fiona's calibre leading our world-class documentary unit"

Fiona Campbell says "It's a dream come true from my time as an aspiring filmmaker in Belfast to lead BBC Studios' documentary unit".

"It will be a privilege to collaborate with and support some of the country's leading and exciting new directors and authorial voices."

"We live in a time of rapidly changing media consumption, which presents great creative and commercial opportunities. I can't think of a better place to seize them and shape the future than in BBC Studios."

Discovery's Animal Planet rebrands with new blue leaping elephant channel logo and changing it's focus to 'family'.

Discovery's is rebranding its Animal Planet channel with a new blue leaping elephant channel logo and introducing some new international programming from 28 October while it's changing it's focus to "family".

Animal Planet is no longer available in South Africa after MultiChoice axed the channel in late-2017 without adequate warning and the removal of the channel as part of a new Discovery channels set carriage deal eliciting anger from many DStv subscribers.

Animal Planet is available on Econet Media's Kwesé TV in Southern Africa in countries outside of South Africa.

Animal Planet will change its on-air look on 28 October and will introduce some new global programming like Cricket! It's the Irwins following the nature conservation family and Amanda to the Rescue in which Amanda Giese cares for dogs that others have discarded.

The new Animal Planet appearance will be phased in in more than 200 countries and territories and was done by the New York-based graphic design firm Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv (CGH).

Animal Planet says it remains committed to "keeping the childhood joy and wonder of animals alive by bringing people up close in every way" and that the refocused Animal Planet will be "a multi-platform experience for every member of the family".

"Animal Planet has been a much-loved brand around the world for more than 20 years, and the time has never been more right to engage with mass audiences across every platform who are as passionate about animals as we are," says Susanna Dinnage, Animal Planet global president.

"We are able to reach all generations through our content and storytelling – we are here to entertain and delight by bringing people up close to animals and nature."

It's interesting to note that Animal Planet that started out covering animals, then shifted and rebranded to "Surprisingly Human" and focused on the interaction between humans and animals with landmark series like Whale Wars, now seems to change again to be offering programming for viewers of different ages, created around how "families" interact with animals and the dynamics between "families" of animals, as well as human families interacting with animals.

Pablo Pulido, the vice president for marketing at Animal Planet says "Animal Planet required a mark to represent the global aspect of the brand, as an experience that translates across countries, regions and cultures and beyond linear: a platform agnostic approach."

"CGH is known for developing iconic brand marks and I'm excited they delivered a truly global mark for Animal Planet."

Sagi Haviv, a partner at Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, says "We are thrilled to be working with Animal Planet and wanted to capture the energy and joy of this beloved brand. Building on Animal Planet's original mark, the new leaping elephant is fresh and distinctive, and should be able to travel across platforms, audiences and the world".

Animal Planet is in active development and production on more than 25 new series to to be announced later this year and in 2019.

It's not clear what or how much of this Animal Planet programming DStv subscribers might possibly see on some of Discovery's other channels currently carried on MultiChoice's platform.

South Africa's parliament shortlists these 12 candidates for the 4 vacant SABC board positions, public asked to comment.

South Africa's parliament has released a shortlist of 12 names of possible candidates to replace the 4 vacant seats on the SABC board of the embattled South African public broadcaster.

The latest SABC board once again has vacancies after several resignations, including Rachel Kalidass, Febe Potgieter-Gqubule and Victor Rambau, as well Nomvuyiso Batyi who withdrew.

The South African public has until 23 October to comment on any of the 12 shortlisted candidates selected by parliament's portfolio committee on communications and must send comments to committee secretary Thembinkosi Ngoma at

Interviews of the candidates will take place on October 30.

The 12 candidates are:
  • Kevan Jones
  • Advocate Lekalakala Motshedi
  • Thabo Leshilo
  • Diliza Madikiza
  • Unathi Magwentshu
  • Makhubalo Vuyokazi
  • Mathews Mofokeng
  • Bernedette Muthien,
  • Mergan Naidoo
  • Thozama Nene
  • Michael Nurick
  • Jasmina Patel

New 'sex first' dating reality show eliciting gasps at 2018's MIPCOM TV market.

A new "sex first" dating reality show is raising eyebrows that is being offered to interested broadcaster's at this year's MIPCOM, the world's biggest annual TV market currently taking place in Cannes on the French Riviera.

According to reports the new show Making Love from French producers WeMake is eliciting gasps from MIPCOM attendees in which reality cameras follow contestants sexing first and - maybe - getting to know each other later.

After Dating in the Dark, Naked Attraction and then Sex Box - a British series that started in 2013 in which couples climbed into a box on stage to have sex while an audience watched and waited for them to emerge and talk about their sexual intercourse - Making Love is now taking things even further.

Making Love's tagline is "Could making love make you fall in love?" with the show that will film everything behind closed doors as strangers immediately have sex, and then emerge to either decide if they want to start a relationship and perhaps go on a second date, or never see each other again.

After sex, contestants in Making Love go to the bathroom to tell the camera how their sex partner performed.

SABC news boss Phathiswa Magopeni covers Acumen business magazine, reveals how she had been openly mocked inside SABC corridors where she's trying to 'turn the SABC elephant'.

The new SABC news boss, Phathiswa Magopeni (48) is on the latest cover of Acumen, the business magazine of the Gordon Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria, talking about "turning the SABC elephant", and revealing how SABC staffers openly mocked her when she arrived.

Phathiswa Magopeni is currently hard at work trying to improve the SABC and SABC News' reputation and the credibility of the public broadcaster's newsroom operations, while she is working on her PhD at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).

In the fascinating 4-page article cover story, Phathiswa Magopeni (complete with an error in the spelling of her name on the Acumen cover) who returned to the SABC in March this year, reveals how she had been mocked inside SABC corridors when she returned.

An SABC staffer for instance told her in her face that "several people have tried and failed and it's men who have tried".

Another said: "Who do you think you are and how do you think you're going to change the environment?"

She reveals that so far there's been no late night editorial calls from South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, the country's latest current minister of communications, Nomvula Mokonyane, or ANC political party leaders.

About revamping SABC News she says "In crowded spaces like ours there are tough choices to be made, such as exercising disciplined focus and remaining absolutely clear about who you are, and what you are about and what you cannot be as a news outlet."

"We are going to tell this story in its light and shade."

Phathiswa Magopeni who visited the SABC's 30 offices in all 9 provinces says she will have to make tough decisions on who moves forward with her among the SABC's 950 news staff that includes 300 freelancers.

"We need to allow constructive dissent within the newsroom and no editor is going to say 'shut up'. Because if you don't listen I have no reason to believe you are going to bring the multiplicity of voices in our news content," she says.

"If you don't listen to the forces that make you uncomfortable here, I have no reason to believe that you are going to bring in different voices from outside."

MultiChoice donates broadcasting equipment to Soweto TV including a new final control centre with Cinegy Air PRO.

Naspers' MultiChoice pay-TV business has donated new state-of-the-art broadcasting equipment to the community TV channel, Soweto TV (DStv 251 / StarSat 488) where Bridget Nkuna is the new Soweto TV CEO since August.

MultiChoice gave the free-to-air community TV channel broadcasting in the Gauteng provice a new final control centre (FCC) with Cinegy Air PRO, a broadcast automation with video servers for SD and HD playout.

Soweto TV will use the new equipment for broadcasting but also on-the-job training for local youth, and will help with improving Soweto TV's production quality and on-air look.

South Africa's broadcasting regulator, Icasa, has fired 16 staffers the past 5 years for theft, gross negligence, going missing and crashing a car while convicted fraudster Rubben Mohlaloga remains chairperson.

South Africa's troubled broadcasting regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has fired 16 staffers in just the past 5 years for things like theft, going missing without leave, crashing a car, gross negligence and insubordination; while the convicted fraudster, Rubben Mohlaloga continues to be Icasa chairperson.

Rubben Mohlaloga remains employed, paid and in the position as Icasa chairperson 8 months and counting after he was convicted in court of fraud in mid-January.

The South African government's department of communications, in a written reply to parliament to answer a questions about how many people have been fired at entities like Icasa over the past 5 years, said 16 Icasa staffers got fired between 2013 and 2018 for reasons relating to gross negligence, theft, misconduct and insubordination.

During the 2013/2014 financial year, 3 out of the 4 people who were fired were because they were found guilty of gross insubordination. The 4th was fired by Icasa because of gross negligence.

In 2014/2015 Icasa fired another 5 staffer. Two were fired as a result of gross negligence related to supply chain management, one for gross insubordination, another for gross misconduct and poor work performance, and the 5th got fired after going missing without leave.

In 2015/2016 Icasa fired a staffer for gross insubordination.

In 2016/2017 Icasa fired yet another 3 staffers - two because of theft and stealing Icasa assets and the third who got fired over gross negligence.

In 2017/2018 Icasa got rid of another three workers because of misconduct related to gross negligence, gross insubordination and gross negligence related to the loss of an Icasa vehicle

None of the fired 16 staffers were paid paid severance packages.

New 27th season of SABC2's Afrikaans magazine show, Pasella, adds former Idols winner Sasha-Lee Davids as presenter.

SABC2's Afrikaans lifestyle magazine show Pasella will return for a 27th season on Wednesday at 19:30 adding the former Idols winner, Sasha-Lee Davids as one of the new presenters.

The SABC's longest-running Afrikaans magazine produced by Tswelopele Productions keeps Paul Rothmann and Simon Witbooi, known as HemelBesem, as presenters, and is adding fellow rapper Rumarcques Gelderbloem known as Oxijin, actress Amalia Uys, known for her role as Sanmarie on the SABC2 soap 7de Laan, as well as Sasha-Lee Davids who was the co-winner in 2009 of the 5th season of Idols on M-Net.

Pasella is the first of the longrunning SABC2 prime time shows getting a refresh and that has to lift sagging ratings.

Nomsa Philiso, the SABC's group executive for television, last month told parliament that the SABC is working at reversing the viewership slides at its SABC2 and SABC3 TV channels.

"SABC2 also had its own problems from 2014 coming this way - it has had 6 major schedule changes - so it has dropped some of its share and would like to see a targeted increase from a 13% share to 15%."

"We are also looking at some of the key properties that are under-performing in the prime time timeslots on SABC2 and we are also going to be reviewing those."

"From a SABC2 point of view we really want to continue to entrench the positioning of SABC2 as a family channel, which is really focused on nation-building and social cohesion," Nomsa Philiso said.

The 27th season of Pasella will showcase things in three, for instance locations, experiences and subjects that all share a common thread. The show will for instance cover three of South Africa’s most interesting train trips, will be exploring three out of the ordinary South African breakaway accommodations and visit some of South Africa’s top animal hotels.

As before, as Pasella visits various places around South Africa, it will do it with local personalities, share recipes and talk to people behind some of the most innovative and creative locations.

Some of the entertainers that will be featured in the new Pasella season include personalities like actors Frank Rautenbach and Jill Levenberg; the Idols winner Paxton Fielies, the singer Claire Johnston and radio DJ Martin Bester

The show will also spend some time with local sport stars like Dillyn Leyds, Jaco Coetzee, EW Viljoen and Scarra Ntubeni and this season will also include stories of some inspiring South Africans.

Monday, October 15, 2018

South Africa to possibly get a local version of Colombia's Ugly Betty as Known Associates Entertainment options the right to an adaptation.

South Africa could possibly get a local version of Colombia's Ugly Betty after the recently established production company Known Associates Entertainment acquired the option from Colombia's RCN to adapt Betty La Fea for South African viewers.

A South African version of Ugly Betty could land at M-Net (DStv 101), or even the cash-strapped public broadcaster SABC where it could become a drama series or longer telenovela like the original.

Known Associates Entertainment plans to make Ugly Betty in South African languages.

South African viewers watched the American version of Ugly Betty with America Ferrera created by Silvio Horta that started in 2006 and that was executive produced by Salma Hayek and Ben Silverman on VUZU, M-Net, SABC3 and The Sony Channel (DStv 127).


BBC Studios Africa held its Summer Upfront 2018 event on Wednesday at Summer Place in Hyde Park, Johannesburg.

At the event that was attended by the press and TV critics, advertisers, TV executives and producers, BBC Studios Africa showed and took guests through its BBC First, BBC Lifestyle, BBC Brit, BBC Earth, CBeebies, and BBC World News channels.

BBC Studios Africa showed promo sizzle reels for each and talked through changes, as well as unveiling upcoming and new programming.

In attendance and speaking to guests were Joel Churcher, the vice president and general manager for BBC Studios Africa; Shireez Latief, senior marketing manager at BBC Studios Africa; and Sarah-Jane Harling, advertising director for BBC Studios Africa.

The BBC Studios Africa Summer Upfront 2018 event started with arrival cocktails including garden animals (the theme was in keeping with the upcoming new and amazing-looking natural history series Dynasties on BBC Earth), followed by the upfront presentation, and concluding with food and drinks afterwards as guests mingled.

It was interesting to note that BBC Studios Africa has done away with serving plastic straws, similar to M-Net's media event for the My Kitchen Rules South Africa second season finale pre-drinks and afterparty recently, as well as FOX International Networks Africa's upfront that gave guests metal straws.

The presentation of the BBC Studios Africa Summer Upfront 2018 took place on a very well-done and cleverly recreated version of the set of The Graham Norton Show.

Here is the BBC Studios Africa Summer Upfront 2018 in photos: