Friday, November 24, 2017's worse MultiChoice carriage deal for eNCA and the 5 other OpenView HD channels on DStv sees eMedia record an interim loss of R729 000.'s worse carriage deal for eNCA and the other packaged channels on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform - lessened by almost half - pushed eMedia Investments into a loss of R729 000 for the half year to end-September.

eMedia Investments, the TV business division of Hosken Consolidated Investments, reported in its interim results for the 6 months to the end of September that its interim revenue declined by 5% to R1.2 billion.

What contributed to the decline in revenue is increased programming spend, as well as the drop by almost half in the carriage deal income that eMedia Investments now gets from MultiChoice after signing a new carriage deal for its channels like eNCA and others to be carried on DStv.

Earlier this year eMedia Investments and MultiChoice signed a contract extension for eNCA but is now also including 5 other packaged channels from its Platco Digital run OpenView HD (OVHD) free-to-air satellite platform.

Until mid-2017 these additional 5 channels were only available on OpenView HD but has now been included in the packaged deal of the eNCA carriage contract.

eMedia Investments is however getting less money than before despite providing more channels to MultiChoice.

The carriage fee eNCA gets from MultiChoice was almost halved to R140.8 million from R266.6 million

"The decrease is attributable to the renegotiated DStv contract, which showed a significant decline in the licence fee revenue the group receives from MultiChoice for the supply of eNCA and five other channels," says André van der Veen, eMedia Investments CEO in the results statement.

eMedia Investments however did manage to make up some of this loss by growing adverting revenue by 16% from R45 million to R52 million.

Taking over the TV licensing rights from Sony Pictures of the weekday soap Days of Our Lives this year from the SABC's SABC3 that is now broadcast on also came with a hefty sticker price and saw eMedia Investments' content costs increase by 34% to R929 million.

Programming and other costs at increased by 7% to R359 million. however did manage to grow its advertising revenue by 4% to R689 million. was able to keep its TV audience market share basically stable, "but has seen a decline in the key revenue drivers of LSM5 to LSM7".

O Sole Mio! MultiChoice's DStv is available 'everywhere' - just not in Italy.

MultiChoice's DStv is available "everywhere" ... just not in Italy - and that is just not right according to a consumer who complained to the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (Asasa).

A consumer Manlio Molino lodged a complaint with Advertising Standards Authority because MultiChoice advertised that on DStv you can "enjoy your favourite TV programs anytime, anywhere, stream live TV, and stay up to date with the biggest shows on Catch Up".

Molino was upset and lodged a complaint with Asasa over MultiChoice's "Enjoy your favourite TV programs anytime, anywhere" claim and said the advertising is misleading as he could not access the service whilst in Italy.

He wanted to stream and watch soccer while in Italy and was told that the service is not available.

MultiChoice told the Advertising Standards Authority that the "anywhere" claim in regards to its "DStv Now" product is actually meant in relation to DStv subscribers who are interested in receiving DStv services in different devices other than decoder and a television.

MultiChoice said that the phrase "Anytime, Anywhere” refers to convenience rather than geographic location. In other words, subscribers who have access to "DStv Now" may access DStv anywhere outside their homes.

The Asasa directorate was divided on the matter. The minority of the directorate thought that in this day and age, with the internet and live streaming, it is not unreasonable to expect to be able to live stream or access a service globally, and that the DStv commercial should have been more clear on this issue.

The majority of the directorate however didn't consider the matter misleading. The majority felt that the hypothetical reasonable consumer would understand that licencing laws would limit international dissemination of content.

Therefore Asasa found that the commercial contains no content that suggests that the word "anywhere" applies to the whole world and the complaint was dismissed.

Ken Baker gone from E! Entertainment and E! News after sexual harassment claims; investigation ongoing.

Ken Baker is gone from E! Entertainment (DStv 124) where he was a correspondent for E! News after three women brought sexual harassment claims against him.

E! and E! News pulled Ken Baker off-air immediately at the end of October when sexual harassment claims surfaced and said he would remain off-air indefinitely as an investigation started.

Ken Baker frequently appeared on E! News on E! since he joined in 2008 and also appeared on E!'s digital social media series Live from E!.

E! in a statement now says the channel and Ken Baker have parted ways. E! says the severance is unrelated to the sexual harassment claims against Ken Baker. E! says the investigation into sexual harassment claims against him continues although he isn't at E! anymore.

"The investigation into the recent allegations relating to Ken Baker is still ongoing. However, unrelated to the investigation, the network and Ken Baker have mutually agreed that he will not be returning to his role on E! News. We will not be commenting further."

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Cloistered Idols 'sore loser' Mthokozisi Ndaba under medical professionals' care.

The Idols runner-up and “sore loser" Mthokozisi Ndaba (25) remains cloistered in Johannesburg and is under the care of medical professionals after struggling to deal with his bitter defeat against winner Paxton Fielies.

M-Net’s Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) channel that broadcast Idols has no idea when Mthokozisi Ndaba from KwaMashu, Durban who has gone to ground, will be doing interviews, with all media appearances and interviews this week that abruptly got canned.

Mthokozisi Ndaba has been branded a "sore loser" by the viewing public after blatantly storming off the stage at the Big Top Arena at Carnival City in the East Rand after Paxton Fielies (17) from Bishop Lavis in Cape Town was announced the winner at the end of Sunday night’s 13th season finale and sang her closing song surrounded by the rest of the top contestants.

He suddenly refused to attend the post-show press conference, the VIP prize-giving after party usually held in the Mardi Gras room at Carnival City, and declined to do any media interviews.

It's the first time in the history of the reality singing competition show that the runner-up refused to attend the post-show press conference and to appear supportive of the winner with Mthokozisi Ndaba’s behaviour, resulting in dueling negative headlines, that has so far somehow overshadowed what is supposed to be Paxton Fielies’ victory lap week.

According to reports Mthokozisi Ndaba already said before the start of Sunday’s finale that if he didn’t win, he wasn’t going to do media interviews.

After throwing open his life to the public and courting their attention, votes and engagement, he now wants privacy.

There are now fears that Idols possibly “broke” Mthokozisi Ndaba who is coming down from lofty expectations back to reality after a magical high-life in fame’s spotlight the past few weeks and that involved things like being surrounded by fluttering stylists, circling producers and cameramen helping to make him and the other contestants look and feel good and even a whirlwind tour to London.

In pre-finale interviews he already spoke of what he was going to do with his winnings only to see Paxton Fielies win the majority of the over 30 million votes cast during the final week of the show to take home the prize package worth over R1.5 million.

Brand damage setting in for no-show artist
On Tuesday an unverified “press statement” emerged allegedly from Mthokozisi Ndaba saying his behaviour was “a moment of weakness since I had wanted and needed this so badly, not just for me but for my family” and that he felt like he had let down those closest to him.

Nobody close to Mthokozisi Ndaba knows where the mystery “press statement” comes from that started circulating on social media and its authenticity couldn’t be verified.

Meanwhile brand damage is setting in for Mthokozisi Ndaba with potential clients and corporates who would have booked him for performances who will now think twice about whether they want a no-show artist who is seemingly unable to life up to the showbiz world’s golden mantra for stage performers of “the show must go on”.

With the runner-up getting prizes worth over R150 000, sponsors will also be privately miffed with Mthokozisi Ndaba since they’ve already lost out of the much-needed tit-for-tat exposure that comes from things like hand-over ceremonies, photos and interviews the runner-up does that include thanking sponsors.

Mthokozisi Ndaba’s manager, Kim Coppen, referred media enquiries to Mzansi Magic, saying the TV channel is responsible for his publicity until next week.

Nondumiso Mabece, head of publicity at M-Net for local entertainment channels, told TVwithThinus in response to a media enquiry that Mthokozisi Ndaba has not returned to KwaMashu but remains in Johannesburg and is being cared for by medical professionals.

“Mthokozisi is still in Johannesburg and under the care of medical professionals and the support of his family.”

“It is currently not clear when he will be conducting interviews and we ask that he be provided the space and privacy to come to terms with the show results”.

Mzansi Magic was asked when the channel realised that Mthokozisi Ndaba wasn’t going to attend the post-show press conference and if it’s true that he said he wasn’t going to talk to the media if he loses.

“Mzansi Magic realised at the point when the press conference was meant to commence that Mthokozisi is requesting to be excused,” says Nondumiso Mabece

About the mystery statement purportedly from Mthokozisi Ndaba the channel says “we are aware of a statement that was supposedly from Mthokozisi but we cannot confirm this”.

Asked if Mthokozisi Ndaba is aware of how his behaviour is impacting on Idols, Mzansi Magic and detracting from Paxton Fielies’ winning moment but above all impacting on his own brand as a stage artist, Mzansi Magic says that the channel “works with all the Idols contestants from the audition phase until the end of the show, on how to conduct themselves, especially during interviews and how to represent their respective brands”.

"Paxton Fielies has been enjoying her first few days as an Idols winner and has spent time conducting interviews, meeting with her agent and will be meeting with her recording label before she travels to Port Elizabeth where she will be performing at the end of the week," says Mzansi Magic.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

M-Net stocks up on the latest new crop of American patriotic TV dramas; adds The Brave, Valor and SEAL Team.

M-Net (DStv 101) has locked and loaded up on the latest new crop of American patriotic TV dramas, filling the channel's schedule with patriotic red, white and blue military dramas like SEAL Team, Valor and The Brave.

As Americans feel increasingly under siege - unsure of their place in the world where its world dominance as a super power is being challenged by China and others, and with acerbic "America first" rhetoric from its incompetent president Donald Trump in an ongoing scare-mongering campaign - there's a new surge of patriotic programming flowing from Hollywood, trying to reaffirm its military might and capabilities in the world.

Hollywood studios are aware that the "hard power" overly patriotic shows might not sell well or perform well in foreign distribution and has actually toned down some of the shows.

In September The Hollywood Reporter reported how the extremely patriotic shows, The Brave, Valor and SEAL Team, all now on M-Net, could be hampered when it comes to international sales to international TV channels and broadcasters.

"These shows are all really well made and the production values are great, but some of it is pretty jingoistic: lots of breast-beating and flag-flying," said the head of acquisitions at Sweden's public broadcaster.

Already on M-Net on Wednesdays at 20:00 is SEAL Team, a new drama series with David Boreanaz as Jason Hayes, the leader of a specialised unit of American Navy SEALs.

Jason Hayes and his squad train, plan and execute the most dangerous military missions while each have personal problems.

"A tight-knit team with personal demons, checkered pasts and unwavering patriotic, this is one unit determined to take down the bad guys in the face of overwhelming odds," says M-Net.

On Tuesday 21 November at 20:00 The Brave started on M-Net (DStv 101), following the heart-pounding missions of America's elite undercover military heroes.

These agents try to save the lives of innocent people in some of the most dangerous places in the world, led by DIA deputy director Patricia Campbell (Anne Heche), and her team of analysts.

Also in The Brave is Mike Vogel that M-Net viewers last saw in Under the Dome and Bates Motel.

On Saturday 25 November at 20:00 the new drama series Valor will be starting on M-Net (DStv 101).

In Valor, an elite group of helicopter pilots take to the skies, but things go terribly wrong for the team of soldiers on a covert mission to Somalia.

Only two members of the squad make it back to America alive: Warrant Officer Nora Madani (Christina Ochoa) and her commanding officer Captain Leland Gallo (Matt Barr).

It quickly becomes clear that the two are hiding the truth about what had happened from everybody - their friends, loved ones and even their superiors.

It's discovered that their fellow soldier Jimmy Kam is alive but captured and the two are determined to rescue him.

There's however dangerous secrets, unknown enemies and suspicious colleagues that all threaten to jeopardise their new mission.

The veteran SABC sport commentator Cebo Manyaapelo (50) has died after a long illness.

The veteran SABC sports commentator Cebo Manyaapelo (50), known as "CC", has died.

The cause of death is yet unknown, as is details of his memorial and funeral service that will be announced at a later stage.

Cebo Manyaapelo left hospital in September after he spent two months at months at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto being treated for an as yet undisclosed illness.  He died on Wednesday in Mahikeng, after a long illness.

He started his sports presenting career in 1984 as a sports presenter for the then Radio Bop.

Cebo Manyaapelo presented programmes like Re tla dula re thabile and Mamepe on the SABC's Motsweding FM since the 1980's.

"The country has lost a very great man in Cebo Manyaapelo and his work will continue to bring us great insight and understanding of the world of sport for decades to come‚" says the SABC in a statement.

"Cebo Manyaapelo's talent was not only confined to South Africa and he represented the SABC beyond the borders of South Africa where his skills were equally appreciated."

"His meaningful contribution to the SABC will remain and continue to inspire all who knew him in his personal and professional space. He will be deeply missed and may his soul rest in peace," says the public broadcaster.

As Idols on Mzansi Magic continues to grow its viewership and voting, M-Net says Idols' voting engagement is now as important as ratings.

While it is still linear TV ratings that drive renewal or cancellation of shows, in the new era of convergence between TV and social media, the size and impact of voting and people talking about it for a show like Idols, has become as important as the ratings, M-Net says.

The 13th season of Idols, the FremantleMedia format show produced by [SIC] Entertainment, remains a South African television juggernaut – not just maintaining its ratings lead on the list of most-watched shows on pay-TV in the country but also showing immense growth in both social media engagement between viewers and the show, and huge growth in the number of votes cast.

What it means is that the so-called "stickiness" of Idols continues to increase and grow.

Through social media platforms, people using "second screens" – smartphones, tablets and other devices – while they're watching the show on the "first screen", TV, Idols not just manages to lure more and more people but also keeps them watching and engaging.

It means that viewers are not just watching Idols, they're engaging with the brands of Idols, Mzansi Magic, DStv and the show's sponsors – which is exactly what M-Net, that runs the Mzansi Magic channel, wants.

Idols that lured over a million viewers for its just-concluded 13th season and that has been renewed for a 14th season with nationwide auditions starting on 28 January 2018, is far from cresting as far as linear and catch-up TV ratings are concerned.

Idols remains not just one of the most watched shows on Mzansi Magic. In terms of linear ratings and the number of DStv subscribers actually watching, makes it one of the most watched shows on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform overall.

M-Net's decision to do a slow transition of Idols from M-Net (DStv 101) to Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) by first doing a few jointly simulcast seasons of Idols on both channels before the reality singing show became a Mzansi Magic only show, has paid off extremely well in targeting a brand new audience and demographic.

The move also came at exactly the same time as extremely fast consumer growth and uptake in mobile and smartphone use, as well as data and social media app usage in South Africa – something that is giving already successful reality TV shows like Idols a whole new and massive additional adrenalin injection.

The 13th season of Idols once again smashed voting records – another indication that Idols isn't going away from South African television soon. Over 30 million votes were cast last week by viewers before this past Sunday's Idols season finale – a new record.

Over the course of the 13th season, over 98 million votes were cast – yet another voting record for Idols and Mzansi Magic. Co-executive producer ProVerb says he expects the upcoming 14th season of Idols to surpass 100 million votes.

TVwithThinus asked Reneilwe Sema, M-Net director of local entertainment channels, what factor the social media interaction – the massive voting statistics for instance, play alongside the actual TV ratings in a show such as Idols and when it comes to renewing it for another season.

"The social voting element is key because it does prove the popularity of Idols," says Reneilwe Sema.

"The more engagement you have, the more popular the show is."

"So we look forward every week to see what the numbers are that come in. And the more people who vote – it means the more popular the competition is, the more intense the competition is, the more engagement there is."

"It's very important to us," says Reneilwe Sema. "And besides the ratings the social media interaction is important as well because it means the audience is engaging with the show on a weekly basis."

"To track the consumers and what they are saying about the show, is very important to us."

The SABC says it now wants satellite TV operators to pay for the SABC channels they're forced to carry under a regulatory 'must carry' rule.

South Africa's public broadcaster, the SABC, is asking the country's broadcasting regulator to review the so-called "must carry" rule under which satellite pay-TV operators are currently forced to carry the SABC's TV channels, but are in return not required to pay for it.

Under the "must carry" regulation from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) introduced almost a decade ago, satellite TV operators like MultiChoice's DStv, China's StarTimes Media SA and On Digital Media's StarSat, WoWtv and Siyaya TV must all carry the SABC's SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 channels.

The SABC's channels are also carried on eMedia Investment's OpenView HD (OVHD) satellite platform, run by Platco Digital.

Since these satellite operators are compelled through the regulation to carry these SABC channels, they are not required to pay for it.

Now the cash-strapped SABC, that recorded a R977 million loss at end-September for its latest reported financial year, wants satellite TV operators to pay money in exchange for the retransmission and relaying of its free-to-air analogue channels on the pay-TV operator's digital channel bouquets.

The SABC chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini has written to Icasa, asking for an urgent public review of the "must carry" regulation that was introduced in 2008.

"Contrary to the enabling legislation, which provides for 'commercial negotiations' between the parties, the regulations state the SABC 'must offer its television programmes at no cost' to subscription broadcasters," the SABC says.

It's not yet clear whether the SABC wants operators to continue to be forced to carry the SABC channels and then be forced to pay for them - or whether the SABC wants to make the carriage of one or more SABC channels optional, and then attach an individual price per channel for each operator.

The SABC says that Icasa's "must carry regulations" have "had a serious impact on the SABC from a potential revenue point of view".

The SABC says the SABC board is currently conducting an urgent review of all contracts and regulations that negatively impact on the sustainability of the public broadcaster.

According to Bongumusa Makhathini the "must carry regulations effectively 'zero rate' the three SABC channels and have created a "precedent-setting, non-commercial negotiating environment".

Also at play and coming to bear on the issue is that the SABC has failed to make significant progress in South Africa's lagging switch from analogue to digital broadcasting, a process known as digital migration, to digital terrestrial television (DTT).

The SABC's channels are not yet universally available as digital free-to-air channels in South Africa.

Under DTT all of the SABC's TV channels - SABC1, SABC2, SABC3 - and including SABC News and SABC Encore supplied to MultiChoice's DStv exclusively as part of a controversial commercial deal, would become available for free, to all viewers.

Currently many pay-TV subscribers who are supposed to get access to the SABC's analogue channels but live in parts of South Africa where they can't, are able to get access to the public access channels through pay-TV operators' services.

The SABC says SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 are among the most watched channels on DStv.

"In 2008 the regulations seemed to be drafted on the basis that the 'must carry obligation' was an onerous once for subscription broadcasters and that these broadcasters would be 'doing the public broadcaster a favour' by carrying its channels as part of a subscription television bouquet."

"The SABC will demonstrate in the public process that, on the contrary, the SABC must carry channels have commercially benefited MultiChoice Africa at the expense of the public broadcaster."

"It is the SABC's view that the 2008 regulations have unfortunately failed to protect the viability of the public broadcaster and it is on this basis that we submit that the regulator should urgently commence a separate, public regulatory process to review the must carry regulations," says Bongumusa Makhathini.

The SABC says it is proposing "relatively simple amendments to the regulations that only seek to bring the must carry regulations in line with the enabling legislation and create the correct regulatory framework for commercial negotiations between the public broadcaster and subscription broadcasters".

Bongumusa Makhathini told Icasa that "the viability of the public broadcaster is at stake here".

TVwithThinus asked both MultiChoice and StarSat for comment on Thursday morning as well as the regulator, Icasa.

StarSat hasn't yet responded.

MultiChoice: 'Must carry' benefited the SABC and its obligation of universal access
MultiChoice told TVwithThinus that it has taken note of the SABC letter and that MultiChoice "doesn't agree with the SABC that the must carry regulations have failed to protect the integrity and viability of public broadcasting services, or that MultiChoice has commercially benefited from the regulations at the expense of the public broadcaster".

"The regulations had great benefit to the public broadcaster and the public at large as SABC channels were made available nationwide on all pay-TV platforms, including DStv, to fulfill the SABC's universal access mandate."

MultiChoice says "the must carry regulations were debated extensively during the integrated ICT white paper review process".

"The draft white paper on audio-visual and content services is currently before cabinet. It addresses, amongst other issues, the must carry regulations and the funding of the public broadcaster."

"We believe this matter should be dealt with in this policy process. The white paper process will most likely consider the changing nature of television and whether new over-the-top (OTT) operators should also be subjected to regulations, including the must carry regulations".

MultiChoice says it believes that any stakeholder, including the SABC "that does not agree with Icasa or think the regulator acted outside of its powers, can have the process reviewed through the courts."

"The SABC chose not to do so when the regulations were made 9 years ago."

In its letter to Icasa, MultiChoice says "MultiChoice is sympathetic to the financial difficulties currently faced by the SABC".

"However we believe it is opportunistic for the SABC to use these difficulties to motivate now for the urgent amendment of regulations which have after all, been in force for some time."

"As the SABC itself acknowledges, the main causes of its current financial crisis lies elsewhere. It is also disingenuous for the SABC to seek an urgent amendment of the regulations on the basis that they are ultra vires, 9 years after their coming into operation, in circumstances where the SABC failed to review them in the courts of law."

MultiChoice says "further we take exception to the singling out of MultiChoice ... as having commercially benefited from the regulations at the expense of the public broadcaster. The must carry regulations govern all pay-TV broadcasters that carry 30 or more channels.

"Globally the purpose of must carry obligations is to extend universal access to public interest content."

"As the regulator and various policy documents have stated, the must carry obligation is critical to universal access and the objective of providing public broadcasting services to all citizens, rather than for the purpose of funding the public broadcaster."

MultiChoice told Icasa that "In South Africa, there has undoubtedly been great benefit both to the public at large and to the public broadcaster, from having the SABC channels available countrywide on pay-TV platforms, including on DStv".

"Carriage of the public broadcasting services in terms of the regulations gives the SABC 100% geographical cover and service availability throughout South Africa. Not only do consumers benefit from this, but the SABC benefits from extended coverage, larger television audiences and increased advertising revenue at no extra cost."

MultiChoice says the must carry regulations "create the appropriate balance between ensuring universal access to public broadcasting services by all and the imposition of carriage obligations on subscription broadcasting services, and we do not believe that an amendment of the regulations is necessary."

Icasa: SABC won't be getting any 'urgent public review' soon
The broadcasting regulator Icasa told TVwithThinus that the regulator's must carry rules won't be reviewed soon and that the SABC's urgent request won't be considered any time soon.

Icasa said it "noted the contents of the letter received from the SABC on 21 November 2017 in respect of the impact of the must carry regulations" and that any process to change regulations "must involve engagement of all stakeholders through public consultation to afford all affected and impacted parties an opportunity to be heard".

Icasa says "the same process was followed during the development and implementation of the current must carry regulations, and the SABC participated fully in that process".

According to Icasa the SABC won't get an urgent public review of the must carry regulations anytime soon.

"The review of the must carry regulations is not in the plan for the current financial year," says Icasa.

"Therefore the SABC's request for this review can only be considered in line with the regulator's future planned programmes of performance and delivery of its mandate."

Here's the SABC's letter to the regulator:

Here's MultiChoice's letter to the broadcasting regulator, in response to the SABC's letter:

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

BBC cameraman Mark Milsome dies in Ghana on the set of the Netflix miniseries, The Forgiving Earth, during night time stunt gone wrong; production shut down.

A British cameraman, Mark Milsome (54) has died over the weekend in Ghana on the set of the Netflix miniseries, The Forgiving Earth, when a night time car stunt went horribly wrong, with production in the show that has completely shut down.

Agent Sarah Prince on Monday told the Associated Press (AP) that Mark Milsome died in Ghana when a night time stunt sequence for the thriller series The Forgiving Earth went horribly wrong.

An investigation is now underway into what happened.

The Forgiving Earth is set to be broadcast in the United Kingdom by the BBC, and on Netflix in the rest of the world.

Previously called Black Earth Rising, the miniseries is a thriller about the prosecution of international war crimes and the personal, legal and political turmoil it ignites. It's written by Hugo Blick as writer-director, with Drama Republic producing.

Mark Milsome started out in the 1990s as a clapper loader, working his way up the camera department to focus puller, camera operator and director of photography.

Sarah Prince said Mark Milsone "was an incredibly humble and talented man. We are all devastated by his loss".

"We have very little information at present. The production company have confirmed that an investigation is underway. It occurred on a night shoot during a stunt sequence".

"We all need answers to this dreadful tragedy".

Mark Milsome previously worked on TV series like Sherlock, Game of Thrones and Call the Midwife as well as films like Saving Private Ryan and Quantum of Solace.

In a statement the BBC says "We are deeply shocked and saddened to hear this terrible news. Mark Milsome was hugely talented and a much respected colleague. Our thoughts are with Mark's family and friends at this incredibly difficult time".

Hugo Blick and Drama Republic in a statement say "It is with huge sadness that we confirm the death of Mark Milsome, a camera operator who was working with us on the Netflix/BBC production The Forgiving Earth."

"We are all completely devastated. Mark was such a wonderful, kind and generous person. All our thoughts and condolences are with Mark’s family and his close friends at this tragic time. Giving them our support and focus is our number one priority."

The Guild of British Camera Technicians in a statement says "The GBCT Board and its membership are absolutely devastated by this tragic news".

"Mark Milsome was not only an incredibly talented camera operator, he was also one of the kindest and sweetest of human beings. He will be greatly missed. Thoughts and prayers are with Mark's family at this awful time".

Netflix in a statement says "Our deepest condolences go out to Mark’s family and friends. We were shocked to hear of this tragic loss, and our hearts go out to all those that knew him and worked alongside him."

Bloomberg TV dumps Charlie Rose's The Charlie Rose Show after lurid sexual harassment allegations from several women of groping, lewd calls and walking around naked.

Bloomberg Television (DStv 411 / StarSat 264) has dumped Charlie Rose's The Charlie Rose Show and CBS News has suspended Charlie Rose where he's one of the three co-hosts on the morning show CBS This Morning after lurid sexual harassment allegations from multiple women saying he walked around naked in front of them, made lewd phone calls and groped their breasts, buttocks or genital areas.

Bloomberg Television that record and broadcasts Charlie Rose, produced by Charlie Rose Inc., has pulled the show from the business news channel immediately.

"We are deeply disturbed to learn of these allegations and are immediately suspending the show from airing on Bloomberg TV and radio," Bloomberg said in a statement.

Charlie Rose has also been suspended from CBS, where he co-hosted CBS This Morning since 2012.

"Charlie Rose is suspended immediately while we look into this matter. These allegations are extremely disturbing and we take them very seriously," CBS News said in a statement.

Eight women, who were either employees or prospective employees of Charlie Rose, told The Washington Post that he sexually harassed them, made unwanted sexual advances toward them, made lwed phone calls, walked around naked in front of them, and groped their breasts, buttocks or genital areas.

Charlie Rose in a statement says he apologises "for my inappropriate behaviour".

"I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realise I was mistaken."

Charlie Rose's longtime executive producer, Yvette Vega admitted that she had been told several times of his inappropriate behaviour, and acknowledged that she failed and deeply regrets not helping women who complained about his behaviour.

UPDATE Monday 21 November 2017 19:35 - CBS News has fired Charlie Rose.

CBS News president David Rhodes says Charlie Rose is fired.

"A short time ago we terminated Charlie Rose’s employment with CBS News, effective immediately. This followed the revelation yesterday of extremely disturbing and intolerable behaviour."

"There is absolutely nothing more important, in this or any organisation, than ensuring a safe, professional workplace - a supportive environment where people feel they can do their best work. We need to be such a place."

Idols runner-up Mthokozisi Ndaba not doing any interviews; getting 'assistance to deal with emotions' after Paxton Fielies won.

The Idols runner-up Mthokozisi Ndaba is not doing any media interviews at all at the moment and is getting "assistance to deal with emotions" according to Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) after he lost to Paxton Fielies who won the 13th season of Idols on Sunday night.

Mthokozisi Ndaba (25) from KwaMashu, Durban who've suffered several setbacks in life, is struggling to come to grips with the fact that he lost to Paxton Fielies (17) from Bishop Lavis, Cape Town and refused to attend the post-show media press conference on Sunday night.

After Paxton Fielies was announced as the winner, Mthokozisi Ndaba literally bolted from the stage while Paxton Fielies closed out Sunday's season finale with a song and the other top Idols contestants surrounding her as they traditionally do.

He became the first runner-up no-show in the history of Idols not to attend the press conference afterwards where winner and runner-up sit together and face the media, with Mzansi Magic that said he is "compose himself".

Nondumiso Mabece, head of publicity at M-Net local entertainment channels, says Mthokozisi Ndaba isn't doing any media interviews and is getting assistance to work through his disappointment.

"Mthokozisi has requested to be given time to come to terms with the result of the Idols show. He will indicate when he is ready to speak to the media".

"He is currently receiving assistance to deal with emotions involved in this situation."

As runner-up Mthokozisi Ndaba doesn't go home empty handed - he won prizes worth more than R150 000, including R50 000 cash from Telkom, R50 000 cash from Capitec bank, R10 000 in vouchers from Truworths, a wireless handheld microphone from Sure of R30 000 and R25 000 worth of musical equipment from Yamaha.

Mthokozisi Ndaba was orphaned at 14 with his sister and went to life with his grandparents.

In 2009 he failed matric when his grandmother died but went back in 2013 and passed although in that year his firstborn son Ntandoyenkosi died. He'a also had to bury another infant son.

In February he was hit over the head and shot in both legs during a robbery at home with his guitar and laptop stolen, and he literally limped back to Idols, initially keeping the incident secret from the producers.

Earlier this year Mthokozisi Ndaba said besides singing his other dream is of doing a TV show entitled Save Me from Me that revolves around helping township youngsters involved with substance abuse to get help and to be connected with people and organisations who can help with the scourge of alcohol and drugs.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

AWKWARD. Idols runner-up Mthokozisi Ndaba stuns by refusing to show up for Mzansi Magic's post-show press conference; becomes first no-show runner-up in the series' history.

The Idols runner-up Mthokozisi Ndaba (25) from KwaMashu stunned the South African media on Sunday night when he pulled a disappearing act and refused to attend the Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) post-show press conference after Paxton Fielies (17) was crowned the winner of the 13th season with the most of the over 30 million votes cast during the past week.

Mthokozisi Ndaba's seat behind his name card and microphone next to Paxton Fielies very awkwardly remained conspicuously empty for the entire duration of the press conference at Carnival City after the conclusion of the 2-hour live broadcast.

Mzansi Magic executives and Idols producers, themselves caught on the backfoot and without time to even remove his name from the table, simply told the press that Mthokozisi Ndaba is "composing himself".

With his no-show he became the first runner-up ever in the 13 seasons of the show not to appear alongside the winner before the media.

In the past the Idols runner-up would always also face the media, discuss their plans moving forward, accept their prizes and graciously congratulate the winner.

M-Net always releases the final voting tally and voting statistics over the course of the season after two weeks following a season finale, so it's not yet known by how many more votes and what voting percentage Paxton Fielies won over Mthokozisi Ndaba.

There are some things to keep in mind, as a lot of personal psychology come into play in every person's life - even more so for those whose lives are on public display and when they're suddenly thrust into the harsh glare of fame's spotlight.

While everyone's success in the world of showbiz is often built on the rejection experienced by someone else, is does take a lot of courage, and often practice and experience to force a smile or to give a hug when you're not the one winning the Oscar, or not the one crowned the new Miss South Africa.

Mthokozisi Ndaba was orphaned when he was 14 and failed matric in 2009. He went back and passed in 2012.

Then in February this year he was shot in his leg during a traumatic robbery at home.

He literally limped back to the competition, and initially kept what had happened a secret from Idols producers.

Obviously his loss on Sunday night became too much for him in the moment, a feeling that every single person who has ever had to lose any public competition knows and endures.

The right thing to do however is to show up for the end and conclusion, just as you showed up during the competition for its duration.

On Sunday night the Idols producers were specifically asked what type of psychological and emotional support the show provides to contestants during - and after - the show.

"We provide counselling of their choice. Some people ask if they can maybe see a pastor, some people want to see a psychologist, so we do offer all those services to the contestants. And whether they take them up is purely up to them," said Gavin Wratten, Idols executive producer.

"That is why we also have someone like a Donald Moatshe as the Idols mentor who's part of the team. His mentorship to them is not just about how to sing a song, but also how to deal with rejection in the industry."

"Because it is a reality show and this is basically what happens in the industry: You go and say 'Here's my single', and someone says 'Yes' to someone, and they say 'No' to somebody else."

"But we do offer as much support as possible. We have people with them 24/7, looking after them, and if there's any hastle, we've got a doctor on call, we've got everybody standing by," said Gavin Wratten.

Nondumiso Mabece, head of publicity at M-Net local entertainment channels, stressed that emotional support of Idols contestants "is not something that's only done at the end of the show. It's done throughout the show".

"On a weekly basis the contestants get an opportunity to speak to someone like a psychologist throughout the show. It's not just emotional after - like today - it's emotional what they go through every single week."

"Definitely the emotional support provided to Idols contestants is something that is very important to us."

Paxton Fielies wins the 13th season of Idols on Mzansi Magic as runner-up Mthokozisi Ndaba disappears and is a no show at the post-show press conference.

Garnering the majority of the over 30 million votes cast during the past week, on Sunday night Paxton Fielies (17) from Bishop Lavis in Cape Town became the winner of the 13th season of Idols on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161).

Meanwhile runner-up, Mthokozisi Ndaba (25) from KwaMashu did a a stunning disappearance act and was nowhere to be seen afterwards as he refused to attend the post-show press conference before the media - the first time ever in the 13 season history of the show that the runner-up chose not to be at, and sit at the winner's press conference.

The win of Paxton Fielies - who gave up her school year and dropped out in June to pursue her Idols dream with the permission of her mom Crystal - further cements Cape Town and the Western Cape's lead as the city over KwaZulu/Natal as the city and province that yielded the most Idols winners over the course of the series.

Paxton Fielies was the youngest contestant in the 13th season out of the Top 16 group.

The 13th season of Idols produced by [SIC] Entertainment once again racked up records, pulling in close to 100 million votes (just over 98 million) over the duration of the 13th season that once again was also not just a Mzansi Magic but an overall DStv ratings grabber.

Idols has been renewed for a 14th season, with nationwide auditions that will start on 28 January 2018.

TVwithThinus asked Paxton Fielies about her decision about dropping out of Grade 11 and with so much on the line - and if and how she will finish her studies, and if she feels vindicated in her decision.

"Me and my mom really had to sit down and actually discuss the pro's and con's but then again, this is an amazing opportunity and I kept procrastinating to enter competitions."

"This year, I thought, that 2017, is my risk-taker year. It was definitely a risk that was worth taking with my studies."

"I definitely will complete my studies. For me, time is not really something that bothers me. It's the fact that at least I know now [that I've won] where I'm going; where I'm headed."

"I will definitely completely my studies, whether it be through correspondence,online, study, home schooling. I don't think I will physically be able to go to school with shows and performances happening."

"But for me it's very important, it just depends on how I manage my time, but I will definitely finish my studies and do shows," said Paxton Fielies.

"I feel like I've learnt about a lot of new things. I experienced new things. I learnt about a lot of things in the music and entertainment industry during Idols."

'I knew this was a chance for me to discover new things'
"The highlight for me - except winning - is celebrating my birthday on the show which was amazing. And also I never thought I'd be performing on my birthday and for me that's always been a dream - to be working on my birthday."

"Idols has been a great platform for me to grow as an artist and as a person," said Paxton Fielies.

"There's still a lot to learn, but I'm ready to learn. I'm open to learn. For me every week was a difficult week, but what I always did, my supporters - they always drive me."

"Even if its 5 people, then I know that there's people who appreciate my talent and who are listening and who are supporting and I know those are the people who are going to buy my music."

"That's why I always say I don't consider them supporters. I consider them family because they've always been there for me, and they are the reason why I am here today."

Paxton Fielies said "I knew the platform that Idols provided and I knew that this was a chance for me to discover new things about myself as an artist."

"Sometimes I got criticism from the judges, maybe not such good comments, but I didn't let that get me down because I knew there were people voting for me and I knew that I worked hard."

"My goal is to make it internationally," said Paxton Fielies, who said that "I don't want to just be an R&B or just a pop artist. I want to appeal to different audiences."

"If you have a dream - everybody has a dream. But you have to execute and make that dream become a reality."

"There is no limit to what you can achieve if you work hard for it and you believe in yourself."

Gavin Wratten, executive producer, said Paxton Fielies is "once of the most grounded, level-head, focused 17-year olds I've ever met in my life. She's really awesome."

Growing social media interaction as important as ratings
TVwithThinus asked Reneilwe Sema, M-Net director of local entertainment channels what factor the social media interaction - the massive voting statistics for instance play alongside the actual TV ratings in a show such as Idols and when it comes to renewing it for another season.

Idols drew a new record of over 30 million votes for the final week before the season finale, and drew close to 100 million votes (98 million) in total for the season - a phenomenal feat that shows tremendous direct viewer engagement on second screens as they watch Idols on the first screen as a pay-TV show.

"The social voting element is key because it does prove the popularity of Idols," said Reneilwe Sema.

"The more engagement you have, the more popular the show is. So we look forward every week to see what the numbers are that come in. And the more people who vote, it means the more popular the competition is, the more intense the competition is, the more engagement there is."

"It's very important to us. And besides the ratings the social media interaction is important as well because it means the audience is engaging with the show on a weekly basis."

"To track the consumers and what they are saying about the show, is very important to us."

M-Net's Channel O celebrates its 20th birthday on DStv with a spectacular black-and-white Channel O 20th Anniversary music festival.

The M-Net packaged music channel, Channel O (DStv 320) celebrates its 20th anniversary on Saturday night with a special Channel O 20th Anniversary Music Festival that took place, and was filmed for a TV special, at Newton Park in Johannesburg.

People could buy tickets for the festival that featured a large array of artists, while M-Net also created a beautiful Channel O VIP section.

This VIP section was filled on Saturday night with "by invitation only" guests, music biz bigwigs and media from across South Africa who all came together to celebrate the TV channel's big milestone.

The Channel O 20th anniversary featured a line-up of legends who have been part of the channel's line-up since its inception on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform in 1997.

VIP guests in the black-and-white with a touch of gold side stage area sipped on champagne and snacked on chicken drumsticks, hamburgers, hot dogs and Chinese stir fry, while artists performed at the Channel O 20th Anniversary festival ranging from legendary DJs like Ready D, DJ Shimza, PH and DJ Sandiso to stars like Skwatta Kamp, Riky Rick and HHP.

Also on stage were Busiswa, the kwaito stars Trompies, TKZee and Tbebe, as well as Frank Casino, Nasty C and Benny Maverick.

A special "tribute segment" paid homage to music industry heroes who have passed away like Brenda Fassie, Flabba, Mandoza and Lebo Manthosa with artists doing cover versions of their most popular songs.

Okmalumkoolkat, Kwesta and Cassper Nyovest headlined the closing act at the Channel O 20th anniversary birthday special.

"In true Channel O style, we've pulled out all the stops for our 20th birthday," says Reneilwe Sema, M-Net's director for local entertainment.

"Two decades at the forefront of music entertainment is a remarkable feat, and we're dedicating this milestone to the artists, presenters, record labels and industry leaders who've enjoyed this journey of success with us; but most of all it's for the fans - music lovers past and present, without whom Channel I would not be the mega brand it's become today".

South African police trash interferes, manhandles and blocks SABC News crew from reporting at Beitbridge border crossing about the Zimbabwe military coup.

Trash South African police shockingly interfered and blocked the South African media from reporting freely - although the right to freedom of speech is enshrined in South Africa's Constitution - when the South African Police Service (SAPS) blocked a reporting and camera crew of the SABC's SABC News from doing a report from the Beitbridge border crossing.

An SABC News crew reported from the Beitbridge border crossing on Friday morning, alongside other South African TV news crews, covering one angle of the unfolding military coup happening in Zimbabwe.

An incompetent and clueless South African police officer shocking put his cap over a SABC News camera, during a live report on SABC News (DStv 404) - blacking out the visuals as SABC News reporter Mike Maringa and camera woman Vanessa Langa valiantly tried to do their job as journalists.

It's not clear why South Africa has trash police on active duty who are not aware of the rules barring them from interfering with the press and their reporting.

South African journalists and the media are allowed to report freely from any public domain and the South African Police Service (SAPS) is not allowed to interfere - let alone black out reporting and blatantly harassing and trying to censor the press.

The South African police needs to leave the SABC and SABC journalists, trying to do their jobs, alone.

"We are having a problem. Police officers have just closed our view. We'll have to cut it short. They are saying we are not allowed to be filming at the border gate," SABC News reporter Mike Maringa reported live while the police tried to block him.

Mike Maringa was standing in a public space while the South African police idiot put his cap across the SABC News camera lens.

Now the South African Police Services (SAPS) is describing its illegal interference in freedom of speech and harassing the press as "isolated".

"The provincial management of the South African Police Services in Limpopo has taken note of the incident that took place on Friday morning in which our members were apparently seen manhandling journalists of the SABC during the Morning Live programme at Beitbridge Border Post," says province police commander commissioner lieutenant general Nneke Ledwaba in a statement.

"We condemn the actions of these members and would like to take this opportunity to assure members of the community in general and the SABC, in particular, that the police are not in any way mandated to harass or manhandle any member of the media".

According to province police commander commissioner lieutenant general Nneke Ledwaba the South African police has "a sound working relationship with journalists from all media houses" - just not when they put their police caps over the cameras of TV news crews during live reports.

"We apologise unreservedly and we respect the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa with all its limitations and we have the responsibility of protecting all citizens, including journalists," says province police commander commissioner lieutenant general Nneke Ledwaba.

"We however, regard what happened this morning as an isolated incident which does not represent the general behaviour of members of the South African Police Service".

Sadly that is the general behaviour that South African and African viewers got to see on SABC News on Friday morning during the live crossing.

Province police commander commissioner lieutenant general Nneke Ledwaba said the South African Police Service will "conduct an internal investigation into the matter with a view of taking corrective measures".

Province police commander commissioner lieutenant general Nneke Ledwaba didn't name the police officer who tried to censor the SABC News reporting, and didn't say whether the person has been suspended and will face a disciplinary hearing.

The SABC condemned the South African Police Service's harassment of the SABC News crew.

"The SABC condemns these police actions with the contempt it deserves," SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago told News24.

"These actions are shocking as the police are supposed to be protecting citizens and journalists."

"It must be emphasised that these unfortunate events happened after our news crew was granted permission to film on the basis that they will do crossings and conduct interviews outside the border gate," said Kaizer Kganyago.

SABC News crew, including foreign editor Sophie Mokoena, immediately deported back from Zimbabwe to South Africa after trying to get into the country after military coup.

An SABC News crew from South Africa trying to get into Zimbabwe to cover the Zimbabwe coup against the old dictator Robert Mugabe was abruptly deported back to South Africa and denied entry on Friday 17 November.

The Zimbabwe government didn't give any reasons for barring the SABC News journalists and crew entry into the country who tried to report from there for the SABC's SABC News (DStv 404) channel.

South African TV news channels - eNCA, SABC News and ANN7 - have been trying to play catch-up since Wednesday when news of the military coup first broke - trying to compete with the first-hand on-the-ground reporting from international TV news channels.

CNN International excelled and was the best in biz with its Zimbabwe coverage with at least two correspondents on the ground in Harare, while Sky News also reported from the ground in Zimbabwe, alongside Al Jazeera that has a news bureau in the troubled Southern African nation.

The news crew from the South African public broadcaster was deported after landing at the Robert Mugabe International Airport.

The SABC's foreign editor for SABC News Sophie Mokoena, reporter Noma Bolabi and others were barred from entering Zimbabwe.

MultiChoice to drop Guptas' controversial ANN7 channel from DStv in June 2018 according to reports; says it's not currently negotiating to keep ANN7 on DStv.

With Sunday newspaper reports saying that MultiChoice plans to drop the controversial ANN7 (DStv 405) channel from its DStv bouquet in June 2018 when the existing contract expires, MultiChoice on Sunday told TVwithThinus that MultiChoice has not been approached by ANN7 for renewal of the contract and that MultiChoice is not in possible renewal negotiations.

On Sunday the Afrikaans Rapport newspaper reported that the biased so-called "news" channel, slammed for driving racial division in South Africa and known for its ongoing litany of on-air blunders and mistakes, will disappear from DStv during June when the current contract between MultiChoice and ANN7 expires.

Afrotone Media Holdings is now the new holding company for ANN7 and The New Age with Mzwanele "Jimmy" Manyi as executive chairman.

So far more than 12 500 DStv subscribers have signed an online petition at .

The thousands of angry people are demanding, and explaining why, they want MultiChoice to get rid of ANN7.

DStv subscribers are saying that they don't want to be forced to pay for a channel where money is paid by MultiChoice to the highly controversial Gupta family whose involvement with South African State Capture has been exposed, and that is damaging South Africa with biased so-called "news".

In the past week The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) also asked MultiChoice boss Mark Rayner in an open letter to get rid of ANN7 and to come clean about MultiChoice's dealings with ANN7.

Further leaked emails from the Gupta leaks two weeks ago have shed further light on the insider contract negotiations and dealings between MultiChoice and ANN7, with MultiChoice paying hundreds of millions of rand of DStv subscribers' money to ANN7 for the channel to provide its distorted so-called "news" coverage.

On Sunday Rapport said that MultiChoice will dump ANN7, primarily due to the ongoing brand damage ANN7 is inflicting on the DStv brand by proxy.

According to the report MultiChoice has not Mzwanele "Jimmy" Manyi, nor has he made any effort yet to get in touch with MultiChoice.

ANN7 that has been used for personal on-air vendettas against politicians not aligned with the tarnished president Jacob Zuma, has also been a bottom-feeder in terms of TV news channel ratings on DStv.

MultiChoice in a quick response to a media enquiry on Sunday morning told TVwithThinus that it is not currently negotiating to keep ANN7 on DStv.

"We have a legally binding channel carriage contract for the ANN7 channel."

"We cannot comment on the terms of the contract (including the duration of the agreement) as it is subject to confidentiality clauses."

"We have not been approached by the owners of ANN7 for the renewal of the contract and we are not in negotiations for the renewal of that contract. Timelines for negotiations for the renewal of contracts vary from contract to contract and are dictated by different situations and circumstances."

"We are furthermore unable to cancel a contract prior to its expiry unless there is a clear breach of that contract."

"As we have stated previously, DStv is a platform that relays many local and international news channels, representing a wide spectrum of views - for instance SABC News, eNCA, ANN7, CNN, Sky News and many others."

"We don't have editorial control or any involvement in running the operations of any of these news channels, including ANN7."