Saturday, September 21, 2019

MultiChoice's untrustworthy DStv Now streaming service once again implodes as it crashes during the Rugby World Cup 2019 opening match between South Africa and New Zealand on SuperSport; blames ' a problem with the influx of fresh logins on the platform, which had to be individually verified'.

Angry and frustrated DStv subscribers got no answers on Saturday afternoon from MultiChoice after its untrustworthy and temperamental DStv Now streaming service once again abruptly crashed during the broadcast of the opening match between South Africa and New Zealand of the Rugby World Cup 2019 on SuperSport.

MultiChoice told TVwithThinus on Saturday that "a problem with the influx of fresh logins on the platform, which had to be individually verified" caused the latest DStv Now blackout.

MultiChoice's untrustworthy DStv Now once again went down on Saturday afternoon, similar to when DStv subscribers were unable to watch the premiere episode of the final season of Game of Thrones on M-Net (DStv 101) in April, the finale of The Bachelor SA on M-Net in May, the English Premier League final, F1 racing or The Voice SA.

After MultiChoice once again showcased on Saturday how its video streaming attempts keep failing during big broadcast moments, the latest disastrous DStv Now implosion left DStv Premium subscribers angry and upset - one of the reasons why DStv Premium subscriber numbers keep plummeting as the subscriber segment paying the most for DStv are abandoning the service due to it no longer offering enough value.

TVwithThinus reached out to MultiChoice with an email enquiry and a phone call on Saturday about the latest shocking DStv Now service interruption and asked why DStv Now again crashed and what precautionary measures MultiChoice took beforehand to prevent something like this streaming blackout and technical breakdown from happening.

MultiChoice didn't immediately offer any explanations and on social media DStv didn't offer any explanations to frustrated DStv subscribers as to what went wrong.

"We are aware of the issues with DStv Now and understand how frustrated our customers are feeling," Stacey Venter, marketing specialist at MultiChoice's Connected Video division told TVwithThinus

Nthabiseng Serote, a MultiChoice corporate affairs spokesperson told TVwithThinus that "we would like to apologise to some of our DStv Now customers who were unable to access the platform for the Springbok Rugby World Cup 2019 match against the All Blacks".

"All customers that were logged in ahead of the start of the match were able to view the game seamlessly, however there was a problem with the influx of fresh logins on the platform, which had to be individually verified, causing a delay in accessing the platform".

"Our engineering team has been working tirelessly ahead of the Rugby World Cup to ensure preparedness for a record number of online viewers."

"Our DStv Now app goes through a series of checks during a user's login to verify the user, their password, package etc. This verification process is quite critical to ensure that our customers are able to have access to the platform for their entertainment requirements," Nthabiseng Serote said.

MultiChoice seems unable to handle large volumes of viewers on its rickety DStv Now app with MultiChoice technicians who have been unable for months to properly ensure adequate capacity, backups and functionality on the service as became evident on Saturday.

In April with the debut of the final season of HBO's Game of Thrones on M-Net (DStv 101) DStv Now spectacularly crashed in South Africa and across sub-Saharan Africa, angering viewers who stayed up until 3:00 to watch the episode. It happened again in later weeks.

In mid-May MultiChoice once again saw DStv Now implode, with the breakdown once again happening during a big weekend viewing schedule. 

On 12 May 2019 DStv subscribers missed the English Premier League final, The Voice South Africa on M-Net and other shows, three days after a botched "systems upgrade" on the preceding Thursday took down the entire service for hours, causing DStv Premium subscribers to miss the finale of The Bachelor SA on M-Net.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

BarLeader filming new 13-episode reality show set for 2020 and revolving around the Zumas as South Africa's former first family; series includes scenes at Nkandla homestead.

A mysterious new 13-episode reality series involving some of the Zuma family and partly filmed at the Nkandla presidential homestead is coming to screens in 2020 but the producers remain tight-lipped about the exact nature of the show or where viewers will get to see it.

The as-yet-untitled reality project is produced by BarLeader and executive producer Legend Manqele who grew up in the Sinathingi village in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, and who is responsible for reality shows like Being Bonang and Living the Dream with Somizi.

M-Net told TVwithThinus that the Zuma reality show project wasn't commissioned for one of their channels meaning that it won't be on VUZU, 1Magic or one of the Mzansi Magic channels, and SiyayaTV's Moja Love also said that the series isn't part of their new batch of locally commissioned shows.

A rep for MultiChoice's video streaming service, Showmax, also said it's unlikely to be a show for this platform.

On social media Legend Manqele teased the BarLeader project on Friday last week, using the caption "Meet the Zumas", and showing several photos of camera crews at work at Nkandla and hovering around Nonkanyiso Conco, who shares a son with former president Jacob Zuma.

Legend Manqele told TVwithThinus on Tuesday when reached by phone that he can't reveal what channel the show is for or more about it besides what he teased on Twitter. He confirmed that it will be a 13-episode reality series, not a documentary, and will be for 2020.

Asked whether it will be for South African viewers he said that he couldn't comment.

In November 2013 the free-to-air commercial broadcaster was hot under the collar and said it would take legal action although it never did, when a satirical article and marked as such, appeared on a website that said would be filming a new reality show entitled Zuma's Housewives.

The satirical article at the time had fun with the make-believe story detailing how the housewives reality show set against the backdrop of president Jacob Zuma's Nkandla would "profile the pleasure and pressures which four women encounter as wives of a South African president".

TV presenter Lalla Hirayama gets restraining order against her allegedly abusive father.

Lalla Hirayama got an urgent temporary protection order against her allegedly abusive father who will have to appear in court later in September to argue why the restraining order shouldn't be made permanent after he allegedly tried to derail the TV presenter's career and was abusive to her mother and grandfather.

The Sunday World newspaper first reported about the interim restraining order that the presenter of V-Entertainment of M-Net's VUZU (DStv 116) applied for at the Randburg magistrate's court.

The protection order was granted after her estranged dad, Lance Cooper tried to allegedly derail Lalla Hirayama's career, and verbally threatened her mother and her colleagues.

He allegedly also threatened to break down a door when he showed up at her Randburg house on 2 September where she lives with her mother and her 97-year old grandfather and threatened to break down a door if not let inside.

Lance Cooper allegedly continued to harass the family, and allegedly threatened to prevent Lalla Hirayama to leave South Africa as part of her career to cover the upcoming 2019 Rugby World Cup tournament with SuperSport in Japan.

Lalla Hirayama has now safely travelled to Japan. On 11 September on social media she posted a photo on Twitter showing that she had arrived in Nippon, saying "There's a lot going on but it's time to work".

It comes after she earlier said on 9 September that "it comes at a time when getting away from a dangerous personal situation at home is also a big blessing. I have been fortunate to take my mother with me, to ensure that she is safe" and that "Restraining orders are unfortunately only pieces of paper, at the end of the day".

An arrest warrant was also issued for Lance Cooper but was suspended on the condition that he doesn't violate the restraining order. Lalla Hirayama asked the court to stop her father from stalking her, damaging property, from coming to her workplace, or phoning her or her family or contacting them on social media.

In court papers Lalla Hirayama said "My father is known to consistently carry weapons such as knives, blades, axes, daggers and knuckle dusters on his person and has expressed his desires and consistent attempts to acquire a gun", with the presenter who asked that the police seize all weapons from him.

IN IMAGES. 62 photos of NBCUniversal International's sumptuous Keeping Up with the Kardashians 17th season premiere party for E! in South Africa.

Like, totally.

On Sunday 15 September 2019, E! (DStv 124) held a sumptuous Sunday afternoon VIP screening of the 17th season premiere episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, before its broadcast later that evening at 20:00.

The channel, supplied by NBCUniversal International Networks (NBCUIN) to MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV service in South Africa, rolled out the black carpet on Sunday at 28 Tugela Road in Riverclub, Johannesburg as the well-heeled high-society in media were chauffeured by golf carts up to the green-lawned mansion to sip champagne and tuck into a delectable smorgasbord of food.

Put together by the unrivalled Cape Town-based events solution company Show Works, the #KUWTK17-themed, mansion-set party decked out in black-and-white was absolute perfection with wonderful spring weather.

Guests watched the season 17 first episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians on E! in a brilliantly executed, fully immersive experience, relaxing on luxury couches, eating salads (out of round plastic containers Kardashian-style), and ordering drinks from a customised cocktail bar, and a champagne lawn bar.

Inside the mansion celebrity chef Lorna Maseko was doing the food, while guests could go into the Glam Room for makeup touch-ups and mini-makeovers, while GLAMOUR magazine had a Kardashian "cover shoot" photo both/cover page mock-up box in another garden corner while a DJ and sax player provided leisurely afternoon vibes.

In front of the multi-garage units outside gleamed black fast-rides all polished to perfection next to the black carpet, with a pink balloon cloud welcoming guests outside at the front door Roman pillars.

Almost everything at the E! event seemed as if it was conceived to be Instagram-able - so much more than at other TV programming media launches.

Of course it's not really how the Kardashian clan lives.

But on Sunday 15 September 2019 in Riverside, it really completely looked and felt like Calabasas - and as if a Kim, a Khloe, a Kourtney or even a Kris could, in any moment, be coming around the Korner.