Friday, February 17, 2017

DAILY TV NEWS ROUND-UP. Today's interesting TV stories to read from TVwithThinus - 17 February 2017.

Here's the latest news about TV that I read, and that you should too:

■ CNN CEO Jeff Zucker says CNN not damaged by "fake news" claims.
Says CNN "still incredibly trusted" as USA president Donald Trump keeps slamming CNN as "very fake news".

■ MultiChoice Zimbabwe and DStv isn't the problem - the Zimbabwe government is.
The Zimbabwean government slammed for wanting to close the door on companies like DStv, instead of growing the broadcasting industry.

■ MUST-READ: The Great Unbundling now spinning in reverse.
The New York Times on how the internet is actually preserving subscription television and other services (music, etc.) and how bundling value together is helping pay-TV and other players, as well as consumers in the new world of delivering news and entertainment content.

■ Interviewing Donald Trump, aka ...
... How to get straight answers from difficult people. A journalist who's spent a lifetime asking questions people don't want to answer, give some tips on how to try and get some answers.

SABC dumps TV broadcasting coverage of South Africa's cricket team tour to New Zealand; says its too expensive.

The SABC says it won't broadcast the South African national cricket team outbound tour to New Zealand because the broadcasting rights are too expensive.

South African viewers are only able to watch the action of the upcoming T20, ODI's and three test matches on SuperSport on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago in a statement says the SABC failed to reach a contractual agreement for broadcasting rights of the Proteas' cricket action.

"Sport rights have become costly with many rights holders demanding a 100% increase on rights fees which the public service broadcaster cannot afford," says Kaizer Kganyago.

The SABC has a duty to broadcast national teams and national sport of interest.

The SABC didn't say when it started negotiations - prices notoriously increase like just like flight tickets as dates approach - and also didn't specify whether specifically the cricket broadcasting rights also increased 100% since the SABC last broadcast an overseas Proteas cricket tour.

The SABC says South Africans depending on the public broadcaster can follow news updates of the Proteas in New Zealand on Radio 2000 with hourly updates on match days from today until 29 March.

Kaizer Kganyago says the SABC will continue to "engage and negotiate for better deal and rights to broadcast other tournaments in the near future for the benefit of the South African public".

Thursday, February 16, 2017

MultiChoice hiking the prices of DStv packages for 2017 from 1 April - but the percentage increase this year is lower than usual.

DStv subscribers in South Africa will again pay more from 1 April with MultiChoice hiking monthly subscription fees for the year.

MultiChoice is telling DStv subscribers that it is trying to keep subscription fees down in South Africa's tough economic climate.

DStv Family subscribers face the biggest price hike: from R219 to R235 - a jump of 7.3%. That is well above the current headline consumer inflation rate of 6.6%.

All the other DStv monthly price hikes are below the current inflation rate.

It's not yet clear by how much M-Net analogue subscribers' monthly subscription fee will increase.

DStv Premium subscribers will have to fork out R789 per month from April for MultiChoice's most expensive service, although it represents an increase of just 3.95% - the smallest increase out of all the packages.

Last year the DStv Premium increase was a massive 8.58%. It's however not surprising that DStv Premium subscribers are getting the smallest percentage increase this year.

The overall percentage of DStv Premium subscribers as part of MultiChoice's total subscribers base has been falling in 2016 and slid from 22% to 18% ((2.24 million subscribers to 2.005 million).

That's according to MultiChoice's results for the 6 months until the end of September 2016.

MultiChoice likely wants to stem or reverse this trend as subscribers have been opting away from the top tier, not seeing it as representing enough value.

DStv Extra subscribers will pay R489 from 1 April 2017 - a 6.53% increase.
The DStv Extra increase was 8% in 2016.

DStv Compact is increasing from R345 to R365, an increase of 5.79%.
The DStv Compact increase was 8.2% in 2016.

The subscription fees of MultiChoice's cheapest two offerings, DStv Access (R99) and DStv EasyView (R29) will remain unchanged.

The monthly access fee (R85), individual rentals for DStv BoxOffice movies (R35) and DStv decoder insurance will also remain unchanged.

Here is how DStv prices for 2017 will increase and the percentage price hike:

                                    2016      1 April 2017
DStv Premium            R759       R789               3.95%
DStv Extra                  R459       R489               6.53%
DStv Compact            R345       R365               5.79%
DStv Family               R219       R235               7.3%
DStv Access               R99         R99
DStv EasyView          R29         R29

Add-on packages
DStv Indian                 R340       R360               5.88%
DStv Indian add          R220        R229              4.09%
DStv Portuguesa         R445        R465              4.49%
DStv Portuguesa add   R220       R229              4.09%

Two contributing factors
Two things are likely influencing MultiChoice's smaller than usual annual DStv price hike.

Firstly, the South African rand that took an incredible beating in 2016 is recovering and on a strengthening trend.

Since the same time last year the South African rand has strengthen almost 25% against the American dollar.

MultiChoice and M-Net must buy foreign content like American shows and films and broadcasting rights for sports in dollar and pay certain channels on the DStv platform as part of carriage deals in the global currency.

Secondly a flurry of subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) players are pecking around MultiChoice's pay-TV nest, will all the recent entrants looking to steal an egg or two where they can.

Netflix, friendly foil ShowMax from same-stable Naspers, Amazon's Prime Video, from China's PCCW Global, PrideTV and other streamers now all offer local South African watch-and-gorge services.

Nominees for the 11th South African Film and Television Awards 2017: Once again odd nominees, head-scratchers and snubs.

The nominees in the various categories for the 11th South African Film and Television Awards 2017 were announced on Thursday morning at The Forum in Bryanston, Johannesburg, once again including some odd nominees, head-scratchers and snubs.

The announcement was followed by a panel discussion afterwards where judging chairperson John Kani said the aim is to move the Saftas to a level where it means something.

The Saftas, taking place in March at Sun City this year for the first time, is once again mired in controversy this year for soaps that decided not to enter and were therefore locked out of the Most Popular TV Soap category which is a viewers' vote.

Issues around several other aspects also remain, including questions around the judging, categories and representation.

Nominee head-scratchers include Trevor Gumbi as a nominee for best actor and Bob Mabena as best TV presenter, while people are wondering where the various shows from Connie and Shona Ferguson' Ferguson Films are.

Awkwardly, High Rollers that SABC3 abruptly cancelled and wanted to get rid of has been nominated for several awards in talent and technical categories and is also a nominee in the best TV soap category.

Sarah Graham Food Safari and Jou Ma se Chef are seen as variety shows.

The various nominees also once again show a big disconnect between who and what got nominated and what South African viewers are actually watching (ratings).

And where are the black films - or are South Africa not making any? Happiness is a Four Letter Word got nominated for best hair and make-up and Renate Stuurman for best supporting actress.

As usual - partly through sistemic design, partly through just how the Saftas judging are set up - the real quality content on South African television is not recognised, not visible, and not properly being represented as what's really the best of South African television of the past year.

News programmes as TV reporters are completely excluded from the Saftas - think of the stellar work down during #FeesMustFall and all the other big breaking news and controversies of 2016.

Meanwhile shows and series, specifically local magazine shows in various different genres are not getting the proper respect and inclusion, all lumped together in a badly organised hotchpotch of "magazine" and variety" shows.

The fascinating thing is how the Saftas categories are basically devoid of local shows made for pay-TV in South Africa - programming that has clearly better productions in general with bigger budgets, higher production values, presenter skills and that ends up looking better on screen.

Bob Mabena gets nominated as best TV presenter in a TV awards show system where a Devi Sankaree Govender who exposed Eskom and Iman Rappetti are not.

It stretches credibility that The Man Cave is nominated as part of what was supposedly the best on television in 2016 in South Africa - yet something like great local election coverage is ignored.

Open the time capsule in a century's time, and going by Saftas nominees, someone will have a very skewed perception of what South African television in 2016 supposedly was.

Trashy advertiser-funded productions (AFP) like Coke Studio and Xperia Mashlab - basically long advertisements to market brands - are "best music shows"? But Lip Sync Battle Africa not included?

Besides an overload of English language programming, Afrikaans films almost have a lock on the Saftas film categories. Where are the other 9 South African languages?

Yes, the Venda language Muvhango is boycotting the Saftas, but where are the shows and films in South Africa's other languages? They can't be all that bad not to get any nominations?

The nominees list for the 11th Saftas once again contained spelling mistakes of titles and people's names - amateurish and disrespectful of the TV and film industry it says it serves and looks shoddy. Shephards? Thwala? Really?

Here is a rundown of the various categories and nominees for the 11th Saftas. Several technical categories for directing, production, sound, script writing and others exist as well, but are not listed here:

Best Wildlife programme
Africa's Trees of Life
Brothers in Blood: The Lions of Sabi Sand
Soul of the Elephant

Best documentary feature
Nobody's Died Laughing

Best youth show
100% youth
Craz-e Sistahood
MTV Base meets Bill Gates

Best children's show
Challenge SOS
Disney Cookabout
Silly Seasons - Piece of Cake

Best factual education show
Diamond River Hunters
Now or Never
Ocean Adventurer

Best actuality show
Carte Blanche
Saving Microbabies

Best magazine show
All Access Mzansi
The Man Cave

Best variety show
Jou Ma se Chef
Sarah Graham Food Safari I

Best talk show
Real Talk with Anele
Republiek van Zoid Afrika
The Chatroom

Best reality show
Ultimate Braai Master
Weg! Agterpaaie Nimibie

Best game show
Musiek Roulette
Noot vir Noot
Point of Order

Best music show
Coke Studio
Jam Sandwich
Xperia Mashlab

Best international format show
Clash of the Choirs
The Great South African Bake Off I
The Voice South Africa I

Best TV drama
Heist I
Sober Companion

Best actress in a TV drama
Tiffany Barbuzano (Sober Companion)
Brenda Ngxoli (Hustle)
Linda Sokhulu (Sokhulu & Partners II)

Best supporting actress in a TV drama
Jana Cilliers (Die Boekklub)
Tina Jaxa (Isikizi I)
Samela Tyelbooi (It's Complicated I)

Best actor in a TV drama
Neels van Jaarsveld (Bloedbroers)
Jerry Mofokeng (Heist I)
Trevor Gumbi (Sober Companion)

Best supporting actor in a TV drama
Chris van Niekerk (Die Boekklub)
Tumisho Masha (Saints & Sinners II)
Warren Masemola (Heist I)

Best TV soap/telenovela
High Rollers
The Road

Best actor in a soap/telenovela
Anthony Coleman (High Rollers)
Justin Strydom (High Rollers)
Siyabonga Twala (Isibaya)

Best actress in a soap/telenovela
Tina Jaxa (Gold Diggers)
Clementine Mosimane (Gold Diggers)
Masasa Mbangeni (Scandal!)

Best supporting actress in a soap/telenovela
Maggie Benedict (Ashes to Ashes II)
Nandi Nyembe (Ashes to Ashes II)
Linda Sebezo (Greed and Desire)

Best supporting actor in a soap/telenovela
Mandla Gaduka (Ashes to Ashes II)
Pallance Dladla (Isibaya)
Warren Masemola (Ring of Lies)

Best TV comedy
Puppet Nation ZANews
Those Who Can't

Best actress in a TV comedy
Zola Nombona (Forced Love II)
Hannah Barnard (Puppet Nation ZA News)
Chantal Herman (Those Who Can't)

Best actor in a TV comedy
James Borthwick (Hotel)
Kagiso Lediga (The Bantu Hour)
Grant Swanby (Those Who Can't)

Best supporting actress in a TV comedy
Sylvaine Strike (Those Who Can't)
Kate Normington (Those Who Can't)
Robyn Scott (Those Who Can't)

Best supporting actor in a TV comedy
Deon Lotz (Buurtwag)
Graham Wier (Hotel)
Reabetswe Rangaka (The Mayor)

Best film
Noem My Skollie
Shepherds and Butchers

Best actor in film
Deon Lotz (Dis Koue Kos, Skat)
Dann Jaques Mouton (Noem My Skollie)
Garion Dowds (Sheperds and Butchers)

Best actress in film
Anel Alexander (Sink)
Shoki Mokgape (Sink)
Christia Visser (Tess)

Best supporting actress in film
Hlubi Mboya (Dora's Peace)
Leleti Khumalo (Free State)
Renate Stuurman (Happiness is a Four Letter Word)

Best supporting actor in film
Grant Swanby (Modder en Bloed)
Abdurahgmaan Adams (Noem My Skollie)
Deon Lotz (Shepherds and Butchers)

Best TV presenter
Tumi Morake (Point of Order)
Siv Ngesi (Man Cave IV)
Bob Mabena (Mzansi Magic music specials)
Katlego Maboe (Expresso)
Chanley Wong (Craz-e Sistahood)
Laurian Nortje (Hectic Nine-9)
Lawrence Maleka (Clash of the Choirs)
Thembisa Mdoda (Our Perfect Wedding)
Maschechaba Ndlovu (The Big Debate VII)

Best TV talk show host
Anele Mdoda (Real Talk with Anele)
Karen Zoid (Republiek van Zoid Afrika)
Bonnie Mbuli (Afternoon Express)

DAILY TV NEWS ROUND-UP. Today's interesting TV stories to read from TVwithThinus - 16 February 2017.

Here's the latest news about TV that I read, and that you should too:

■ M-Net is interested in showing films and documentaries telling the stories of Limpopo.
Government official claims she's succeeded in getting local films airtime on South African TV channels.

■ "Journalism has nothing to do with popularity".
CBS News anchor Scott Pelley says if journalists do their job right "we're probably not going to be very popular" in a rare joint interview with all 3 of America's nightly TV news bulletin anchors including David Muir and Lester Holt.
[The CBS Evening News is weekdays on Sky News (DStv 402) and NBC Nightly News is on CNBC Africa (DStv 410).]

■ Is this the most disturbing reality TV show ever?
In Kyrgyztan's trashy Kelin (Daughter-in-Law) unmarried young women are forced to work to win the approval of their potential mother-in-law. Can they clean? Can they milk cows? And how well do they wash their future mother-in-law's feet?

■ China's censorship of South Korean TV shows continue.
While some South Korean shows are hugely popular, some are banned and some are forced to change their titles.

■ TV presenter's boob shows.
Argentinian presenter Vitto Saravia accidentally bares a breast on TV live on the air.

■ Speaking of, Cocolce says she had no shame about showing her breasts.
The Big Brother Naija contestant on the DStv reality show had fun breastfeeding Bassey, saying "the naughty girl Coco came out".

■ The Sky TV decoder in Britain has an epic "secret" feature
that you won't find on a DStv Explora in South Africa and Africa yet.

■ New Zealand columnist rage against her pay-TV service.
Slams Sky in New Zealand for pretty much the usual same old gripes, never saying what she's prepared to pay for all the things that's wrong and that she's not getting.

■ Is Amazon working on creating its own pay-TV channel?

■ CNN en Español banned from Venezuela.
CNN International's Spanish language version banned by Venezuelan government in a crack-down on press freedom a few days after the months long investigation and broadcast a few days ago of that shocking story about the fraud with Venezuelan passports and visas issued in Iraq.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Zimbabwe Reserwe Bank slams Zimbabweans for 'illogical' behaviour of subscribing to and paying for DStv and worsening the country's foreign exchange situation.

File this one in that can't-make-it-up category: The Zimbabwe Reserve Bank has the bizarre audacity to slam Zimbabweans for subscribing to, and paying for, DStv - calling Zimbabwean consumers' pay-for-TV behaviour "illogical" and unsustainable on the Zimbabwe economy.

The bank's restrictive stance on money leaving the country is raising fears on two front - firstly for MultiChoice Africa and MultiChoice Zimbabwe trying to do business in the struggling Zimbabwe economy, and secondly for ordinary Zimbabwean consumers who just want better television and who are prepared to pay for it but might soon not be able to.

Struggling Zimbabwean consumers, looking for entertainment, escapism and connectivity to a bigger world and trying to subscribe to DStv already saw their payment options for DStv subscriptions dwindle the past few months.

Meanwhile the Zimbabwe Reserve Bank's statement through governor of the reserve bank, John Mangudya is raising anxiety that it's going to somehow clamp down on DStv subscribers - driving DStv subscriber numbers down by targeting the payment options available to them.

The Zimbabwe Reserve Bank is upset that Zimbabwean consumers dare to watch DStv and pay for something like it, when they're supposed to buy "local" things like cooking oil.

The Zimbabwe Reserve Bank in its January 2017 monetary statement (find it on pages 62 and 63) says Zimbabwe consumers paying for DStv and thereby allowing foreign exchange to leave the embattled Southern African country, is doing an illogical thing.

Zimbabweans spent U$206.7 million on DStv subscription payments and credit card payments during the second half of 2016 between July and December and Zimbabwe's central bank doesn't like it at all.

The bank says in its statement that the "wasted" money "should have been preserved as foreign exchange for raw materials and other foreign payments that include education". "Use of hard-earned foreign currency in this manner is not sustainable for the economy".

"Spending more foreign exchange on DStv subscriptions rather than on raw materials to produce cooking oil, for example, is not only counter-productive but also illogical."

In short it means that the bank says that DStv Zimbabwe as a business and DStv subscribers in that country paying for it, are worsening Zimbabwe's already extreme cash shortage.

In a normal economy and a real democracy, consumers are allowed to spend and use their discretionary income as they wish as long as it's not illegal. Sadly in Zim, even DStv is now bad according to its big bank. 

The use of Visa credit cards outside of Zimbabwe has already been disabled without prior warning and Econet Wireless has also been forced to stop payments for DStv subscriptions in Zimbabwe in American dollar through its mobile money platform EcoCash.

Many Zimbabweans now have to convert their money into South African rand and do payment that way, but there's also amount limits being imposed, making this option increasingly more difficult and almost impossible as well.

The Zimbabwe government probably thinks bank ATMs are more entertaining that watching DStv.

That must be the reason why Zimbabwean consumers have been limited by the Zimbabwe Reserve Bank in the amount of their money they can withdraw as cash at ATMs per day.

That way, Zimbabweans can experience better entertainment, standing in long queues and enjoying wasting hours of time, trying to get to the front to make withdrawals.

Zim is ripe for entertaining local TV shows but the local Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation probably won't bite. 

An international jetset reality shopping show for Grace could work - maybe even The Great Zimbabwe Bake Off in which she and competitors try their hand at doing lavish birthday cakes for old Bob.

Or what about Desperate Housewives of Harare or Million Dollar Listing Bulawayo? Maybe Fear Factor Zimbabwe would reflect current sentiment the best.

SABC2's bizarre decision to dump the 7de Laan weekend omnibus repeat is the same as if the SABC were to can SABC3's Isidingo.

SABC2's bizarre and abrupt decision to dump the 7de Laan weekend omnibus repeats on Sundays without prior warning is the same in overall viewership terms as if the SABC were to cancel SABC3's Isidingo.

The SABC's shock decision to can 7de Laan's afternoon omnibus repeats on Sundays so that SABC2 can "revitalise the Sunday afternoon schedule" has lead to a growing avalanche of complaints from SABC2 viewers.

So far SABC2 has chosen to remain silent and ignore viewers' complaints, with the channel that isn't responding to any of the comments from the flood of viewers begging SABC2 to bring the 7de Laan Sunday omnibus back.

Last week SABC2 channel head Gerhard Pretorius said SABC2 always listens to viewers and wants to hear from them.

The move, described by viewers as shortsighted, unfair and misguided, comes after a month in which the SABC lost over 18.8 million viewers - many switching to - during its schedule disruption in January to show AFCON 2017 soccer matches that didn't perform in the ratings.

As first noted by TVSA, the 7de Laan omnibus repeats on Sundays lure roughly 1.1 million viewers to SABC2.

This 1.1 million SABC2 viewers are tuned in to the channel despite it being during the afternoon and on a weekend when far less less viewers are available than during weekdays and prime time.

SABC3's local soap Isidingo pulled 1.3 million viewers for its highest rated episode in January during prime time.

Gerhard Pretorius' decision to dump the 7de Laan omnibus on Sundays, is therefore roughly akin to the SABC cancelling Isidingo.

The decision comes while the loss-making public broadcaster is already struggling to hold onto its existing audiences and to increase its SABC TV audience market share that in 2016 missed its target of 52% and fell further to 48.8% according to the SABC's latest financial report.

Oddly striking is that SABC2 decided to remove a proven repeat that delivers results, a sticky audience and loyal viewership, for new, unproven content, during a daypart where that effort and cost will be less effective than if new programming is actually directed and scheduled during SABC2's prime time where it's most needed.

It's also odd that SABC2 decided to cut the omnibus after it moved 7de Laan earlier from 6 February to 18:00 where even less viewers are now able to see it, and removing their ability to catch up.

While new content like 7de Laan is wasted by showing it too early, the SABC has no problem yet again rebroadcasting old rerun content like Vetkoekpaleis during prime time at 19:00.

Also odd is SABC2 announcing and lying to viewers that they can catch a repeat on SABC3 at 13:30 on weekdays where 7de Laan is not showing but SABC3 is showing news.

"So where exactly do your viewers belong? On YouTube?" asks SABC2 viewer Margaret van Tonder. "I hope you are taking note of how many people are disappointed in you, SABC2!"

This 6pm timeslot is just not working out!" says Neofabulous Ramafoko. "We've just come home from work, sorting dinner out, getting kids to bath, etc. 1pm we are at work so we can't see the repeat. As if that isn't enough: no omnibus!"

"The SABC is taking its viewers for granted," said Roberta Maluleka.

BREAKING. Broadcasting regulator Icasa refuses's application wanting to dump doing TV news during prime time; says eNews plan is not in the public interest.

South Africa's broadcasting regulator has ordered to continue to do TV news bulletins during prime time and denied the commercial free-to-air broadcaster's application for a change to its licence conditions to dump doing TV news when most South Africans are able to watch.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) on Wednesday afternoon poured cold water over's plans to change its licencing conditions and worm out of doing a TV news bulletin for South African viewers, saying that not giving viewers news during prime time would not be in the public interest.

In 2016 applied to have its licensing conditions changed - specifically clause 6.2 - citing falling ratings for its TV news bulletins during prime time.

It's plunging viewership for news is something actually partially caused by the eMedia Investments broadcaster itself that has moved its prime time English TV news bulletin to several different timeslots of the past few years and experimented with different styles.'s English language TV news bulletin was once the most watched in South Africa before started tinkering and gave prime time preference with plum timeslot to its popular soaps Scandal and Rhythm City.

Mark Rosin, eMedia Investments' group chief operating officer (COO) in 2016 said for to continue doing TV news during prime time "no longer makes sense now".

Mark Rosin said that "the idea of relying on a single prime time bulletin has inevitably become antiquated and needs to be able to take this into account with regard to its overall programming scheduling".

Under Mark Rosin's tenure and eNCA has seen dramatic cutbacks the past two years in news staff, the shuttering of news bureaus, closure of its African division and a contraction of the news programming that eNews and eNCA used to offer.

The SABC that also made a submission after said it wants out of prime time news, said that if was allowed to lessen its prime time news burden, the SABC also wants a revision of its licensing requirements - basically that it then also wants a lesser responsibility to do news during prime time.

'Not in the public interest'
With visual censorship of the SABC's TV news that caused outrage and controversy in 2016 when it comes to images of destruction of public property, if were to not do news during prime time, it would have left millions of South African viewers with no access to pay-TV news channels like eNCA and ANN7 with only the SABC's TV news bulletins to rely on.

On Wednesday acting Icasa chairman Rubben Mohlaloga said that "broadcasting services in South Africa play a crucial role in deepening our democracy by, among other things, providing a platform for the expression of multiple views".

"The authority is of the view that removing the news out of the prime time slot will not be in the public interest". Disappointed
In a statement says its "disappointed". says the channel "had hoped that an amendment would afford it the flexibility to move its prime time bulletin to a different timeslot, outside of the prime time window, in a bid to better cater to its viewers changing needs".

"We remain committed to providing our audience with independent news of the highest editorial standards, but we are disappointed that we have not been afforded the flexibility to do so within what we think are reasonable parameters," says Mark Rosin.

'Significant milestone'
The Democratic Alliance (DA) political party in a statement says the Icasa decision is "a significant milestone in ensuring that the 12 million South Africans who rely on prime time news broadcasts as a source of information, will continue to have access to news broadcasts at a reasonable time".

The DA's Phumzile van Damme says " has an obligation to the 79% of urban adults who tune into free-to-air newscasters as a source of information and to ensure that programming is in the interests of the citizens of our country".

"The DA hopes that this decision will also urge the SABC, who along with made a presentation to Icasa on 25 October 2016, to reconsider its ambitions to also amend their licence agreement".

RATINGS JANUARY 2017: SABC loses over 18.8 million viewers in one month as AFCON 2017 schedule disruption sees Generations viewers flee to's Gold Diggers.

The SABC's schedule disruption to broadcast AFCON 2017 was a disaster for the public broadcaster that shockingly lost at least 18.8 million viewers during January when it moved its most watched entertainment shows to smaller channels while soccer matches that replaced it, failed to pull in any significant audiences.

The SABC shed a breath-taking number of viewers in January 2017 who shunned the broadcast of African Cup of Nations 2017 (Afcon) soccer matches from 14 January on SABC1 and didn't follow their popular shows to the SABC's smaller channels.

Viewers are the currency broadcasters crave since ratings determine spot rates for commercials, that in turn impacts advertising revenue and how much broadcasters can ask advertisers to pay.

The SABC's dramatic viewership loss of more than 18.8 million viewers during January as part of its so-called "transversal strategy" in which it moves shows interchangeably between its three channels, caused the loss-making public broadcaster to kick off 2017 with a further dent in its income.

Generations usually on SABC1 and inexplicably moved to SABC3 - the smallest of the SABC's channels - (after it went to SABC2 in previous years of AFCON coverage) shed in excess of 7.3 million viewers.

Generations failed to make even the top 20 list of SABC3's most-watched list during January.

The viewership of Uzalo, usually on SABC1 and moved to SABC2, plunged by a whopping more than 6.6 million viewers.

Skeem Saam on SABC1, moved to SABC2, shed more than 4.8 million viewers.
Shockingly, like Generations, neither Uzalo or Skeem Saam made SABC2's top 20 most watched list in January.

To make things worse, not a single AFCON soccer match that was broadcast on SABC1 cracked that channel's most watched list last month, not even appearing as any of the top 20 most watched programmes for the month.

SABC's loss is Gold Diggers on's gain
As the SABC pushed millions of viewers away, just as was predicted would happen in December 2016, they flocked to

It caused a massive viewership surge for shows with ex-Generations viewers causing a ratings spike for the rival broadcaster's shows like Gold Diggers that was propelled to record ratings.

Gold Diggers at 20:00 - usually Generations' timeslot on SABC1 - ballooned to a record 3.3 million viewers in January for its most watched episode.

Gold Diggers even surpassed the perennial number two, the popular soap Rhythm City that had to settle for third place with 3.09 million viewers - the first time ever that that's happened.

The announcement of the 2016 matric results in January 2017 did well for SABC1, pulling 3.73 million viewers.

On SABC2 the Afrikaans soap, 7de Laan - in January broadcast at 19:00 - saw a massive surge due to the AFCON 2017 schedule changes.

The soap's viewership jumped to a whopping 2.7 million viewers for its most watched episode on 20 January, a huge jump from its slumped ratings of 1.65 million viewers a month before.

The SABC just moved 7de Laan on 6 February to the early timeslot of 18:00 where ratings will very likely fall again due to the smaller at-home audience available before prime time.

On SABC2 Muvhango, still the channel's most watched show, crept up in January from 6.2 million to 6.8 million viewers, and the Keeping Score telenovela bounced up from 2.49 million to 3.17 million viewers.

Home, sweet (Top Billing) home
The reversioned 19 January episode of Top Billing on SABC3, still in reruns, repackaged to look at the best luxury mansions of 2016 propelled the show to the most watched programme on SABC3 in the month, grabbing 1.72 million viewers, followed by Isidingo in second place with 1.37 million viewers.

Despite the SABC's 80% local content decree for SABC3, viewers refuse to watch it.

Besides Top Billing, Isidingo, Sharp Shooter and the English TV news bulletin that can be classified as local "series television", all the other entertainment and film programming making the top 20 most watched list on SABC3 during January 2017 was foreign content.

On during January, besides soap Scandal in top spot (3.94 million viewers), Gold Diggers and Rhythm City claiming the top 3 spots, 12 out of the top 20 most watched pieces of programming were American films,with the American WWE Wrestling Raw and WWE Wrestling Smackdown claiming another two places.

Mzansi Bioskop channel is a rising DStv darling
On pay-TV Mzansi Magic's (DStv 161) Isibaya, embroiled in a real-life cow-stealing scandal, remained at the front of the herd as the most watched show on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform with 1.23 million viewers, followed by Our Perfect Wedding (1.18 million) and Saints and Sinners (888 459).

The top 12 out of the top 30 most watched programming on DStv during January were all Mzansi Magic shows.

Three English Premier League matches managed to pop to the top during January with SuperSport 3 (DStv 203) managing to lure enough viewers to claim three top 30 spots during the month.

It happened on 15 January (426 033 viewers, 13th place), as well as on 21 January with 308 123 viewers (20th place) at 19:30 and 307 164 (23rd place) a bit earlier on the same day at 17:00.

The ascendancy of the Mzansi Bioskop (DStv 164) channel, packaged by M-Net for MultiChoice should be noted. The channel is growing in popularity and rising fast as the second most watched pay-TV channel on DStv in South Africa.

Aimed at the growing lower to mid-working class consumer market clearly in love with their DStv, Mzansi Bioskop is on the up and up.

Local films Luthando (28th place), Luthando 2 (18th place), Luthando 3 (16th place) Mr Lava Lava (17th place), iNumber Number (24th place) and The Price of Njabulo (29th place) all grabbed places on the top 30 list of most watched programming on DStv during January.

DAILY TV NEWS ROUND-UP. Today's interesting TV stories to read from TVwithThinus - 15 February 2017.

Here's the latest news about TV that I read, and that you should too:

■ The champagne is flowing (again) at the SABC.
The cash-strapped and loss-making SABC is again popping - and paying for - expensive Veuve Clicquot and Night Nectar Krone.

- The SABC1 event where it happened was filled with hiccups; media were milling about not knowing what to do for hours. Despite the SABC's champagne culture, no reports from media of what SABC executives actually saidTVwithThinus has a report.

■ Parliament slams acting SABC CEO James Aguma and SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago.
Parliament says there seems to be no good faith from James Aguma and Kaizer Kganyago - "they treat this committee with contempt". Parliament asked "Why should James Aguma and Kaizer Kganyago make such terrible decisions on behalf of the SABC?"

■ Science fiction series The Expanse isn't just great TV - it's transforming TV.
Like Game of Thrones on M-Net Edge and A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix based on books and having the author involved and part of the writing team, The Expanse is now part of growing the trend of making television based on books better by consulting the original writer.

 ■ First look at the second season of the BBC's Top Gear has viewers divided.
After yet another shake-up of the presenters of the British magazine car show, viewers are wondering if Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris and Rory Reid will work and gel this time.

■ "Please tell me that is not your penis".
New Zealand TV soap Shortland Street ended with this cliffhanger at the end of Friday's episode.

■ Zambia's government keeps saying ZNBC hasn't been bought by the Chinese.
While China's StarTimes took 60% shareholding in the digital terrestrial television (DTT) venture of Zambia's state-run broadcaster. Zambian government spin tsar foams at the mouth and blames the media for lies about the private take-over deal of the country's national broadcaster.

■ Indian films can again be shown in Pakistan on private pay-TV channels.
After a Pakistan court overturns a ban.

■ Canadian film and TV producers are worried ...
that government regulations about local Canadian content and productions could be eased, leading to an influx of more American talent into Canada's series and films.

■ Venezuela blocks out and censors a Hugo Chavez TV series.
Biographical show blacked out across the country because Venezuela can't "risk losing years of indoctrination of the people by allowing them to watch the show".

■ Deborah Turness is out as president of NBC News
Replaced by Noah Oppenheim. Deborah Turness will be placed in charge of creating the new NBC News International news channel out of euronews as a new rival for CNN International (DStv 401). euronews is going to be renamed euronews NBC.
euronews NBC has a long way to go before it can be and compete with CNN International and BBC World News.

■ Efe Obioma quits after 3 years as GOtv Nigeria's PR manager.
Where will the MultiChoice marketing executive resurface?

■ Lovely long read: The Apprentice at the Donald Trump White House - "whose up, whose down?"
South African viewers can't see Saturday Night Live (SNL) that used to be on Comedy Central (DStv 122) but that neither Comedy Central in Africa or CNBC Africa (DStv 410) are interested in showing.

With it's best (meaning funniest) season in years - and SNL ratings also the highest in years thanks to Alec Baldwin and Melissa McCarthy - Donald Trump is very upset with the portrayal of Stephen K. Bannon as the Grim Reaper.

Donald Trump's White House staffers are constantly secretly buzzing about "who is up and who is down" and the unflattering portrayals on Saturday Night Live.

■ John Oliver (jokingly) blames Oprah for Donald Trump.
Because he thought he was powerful, he became powerful, just like when Oprah told people lectured people on the book The Secret.

■ See the BBC's Planet Earth II in glorious 4K ...
... if you're in America. In South Africa the best you can see the natural history series on BBC Earth (DStv 184) is maximum 1080i.

■ Britshow looking for naked TV contestants.
In the Naked Attraction dating game show, contestants appear naked full frontal and people are picked by potential lovers based on their naked bodies.

■ Netflix is making its own Game of Thrones.
The new animated series is based on the Castlevania game show.

■ Facebook is coming to TV.
Will launch a stand-alone app soon for Apple TV, Samsung's Smart TV and Amazon Fire TV.

■ Wendy Williams on BET (DStv 129) says she doesn't care if celebrities like her.
Keeps bringing heat to daytime TV with her no-prisoners approach to celebrity culture commentary.

Parliament investigating SABC, slams 'no good faith' SABC acting CEO James Aguma and SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago: 'Why do they make such terrible decisions?'

Parliament's ad hoc committee investigating the SABC on Tuesday singled out and slammed the SABC's acting CEO, James Aguma and SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago, accusing them of acting in bad faith and asking why "they go and make such terrible decisions on behalf of the SABC?"

The committee members continuing their special investigation into the chaos at the SABC, slammed the SABC for its "reckless" decision to try and appeal against the Western Cape High Court ruling that found that the controversial and famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng is not allowed to hold any position at the public broadcaster and that James Aguma is personally liable for his part of the application to appeal.

After the SABC's application was turned down, SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the SABC is "disappointed". Kaizer Kganyago also said Hlaudi Motsoeneng's abrupt implementation of local content quotas at the SABC will remain in place.

"When people take reckless decisions, those people should actually pay out of their own pockets," said ANC member of parliament Jabu Mhlangu.

"There is no SABC board currently at the SABC. One naturally assumes the decision to challenge the court ruling has been taken by the board as no-one else is authorised," said Jabu Mhlangu.

"We should ask James Aguma and in particular Kaizer Kganyago that they should explain why, when there is an inquiry in process, they go and make such terrible decisions on behalf of the SABC," said EFF MP Fana Mokoena.

"Are they doing it with the permission of the minister [of communications Faith Muthambi]? If not, they must explain both to her and to parliament so we have an understanding of what we are dealing with".

"There are issues of contracts happening fraudulently in the SABC," said ANC MP Patrick Chauke.

"It's contemptuous. They do not consider parliament as a body to respect," said DA MP Phumzile van Damme.

Narend Singh, IFP MP said there's no good faith from SABC executives referring to Kaizer Kganyago saying that the SABC's local content quotas stand. "They need to be reminded that those matters fall within the purview of the recommendations we are to make to parliament".

The committee will meet again next week.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Viewers slam "nasty" SABC in a flood of complaints over SABC2's shock decision to abruptly cull 7de Laan Sunday omnibus repeats.

Public pressure is building on the SABC with a growing viewer backlash over SABC2 channel head Gerhard Pretorius' decision to abruptly can the weekend omnibus repeat of its weekday soap 7de Laan after also moving it to a too early weekday timeslot of 18:00.

The SABC is facing a torrent of complaints from upset and shocked viewers, with hundreds of angry and vocal SABC2 viewers who have flooded the public broadcaster with comments since yesterday when the SABC said it axed the weekend omnibus  and that those who have the luxury of the internet can watch episodes on YouTube.

The earlier timeslot and the shocking weekend repeat cancellation of the local soap produced by Danie Odendaal Productions puts 7de Laan out of reach for tens of millions of viewers who are not home in time to watch it during the week, don't have access to the internet and expensive data, and depend on the public broadcaster to actually show content on television.

Millions of SABC2 viewers over the past 17 years have seen the 7de Laan Sunday omnibus repeat as their opportunity to watch and catch up on the show that been abruptly taken away from them on Sunday without any prior warning.

The SABC still broadcast omnibus repeats of other soaps over weekend like Generations and Isidingo.

The SABC failed to tell viewers beforehand that the Sunday omnibus is being cancelled. Confused and angry SABC2 viewers didn't understand where the weekend repeat of the past week's 5 episodes went and why SABC2 isn't communicating properly and explaining what's going on.

That was until Monday when SABC2 admitted yesterday the omnibus is cancelled.

SABC2 said viewers can watch repeats of 7de Laan daily on SABC2 at 13:00 and at 13:30 on SABC3. That's a lie since there is no repeat on SABC3 at 13:30 showing local news at that time.

The SABC said that viewers who "have the luxury of WiFi or data, can watch the repeats at your convenience on our YouTube" and that the SABC "apologise for any inconvenience".

7de Laan's ratings have plunge the past 7 months following two bad timeslot changes and is now set to shed even more viewers who are warning the SABC that they won't pay their SABC TV licences and are also no longer watching or able to watch the soap.

SABC2's decision to can the 7de Laan omnibus is especially harsh and comes across as completely tone-deaf as it happened in the week where a lot more viewers than usual were looking forward to the 7de Laan omnibus that suddenly never happened.

Because of the very late-night broadcast on Thursday when the episode was pushed hours later on SABC2 due to president Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address, a large chunk of the audience didn't see it and thought they would on Sunday.

Viewers' reactions towards SABC2 over dumping the omnibus are brutal and they are now blasting the South African public broadcaster and SABC2 for the latest trash handling of 7de Laan's scheduling.

With an avalanche of criticism since Monday, viewers are also saying they won't vote for 7de Laan in the Most Popular TV Soap category in the upcoming 2017 South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas), with the shock-move now also impacting viewer attitudes for the competition.

"Why vote for something I won't watch? 6pm not home, 1pm am not home also. Worse,you cancel Sunday omnibus," said Kgotso Mphephuka.

"This isn't fair. What about its fans?" asked Sy'mon Oupa Malapane who slammed the SABC as "stupid, selfish and pathetic".

"This is totally unacceptable and viewers' input should be more valuable, since TV is meant for them," says Kereng Mmusi.

Viewers also want to know why SABC2 is dropping the omnibus just to make space for old rebroadcast of stale movies.

"Drop the 4pm family movie slot! Watching 7de Laan together is also considered family time. Another pointless change that the SABC has made without thinking about the opinion of viewers," says Nasreen Franks.

"A whole channel with junk," said Lizette Vermaak of SABC2.

"This is nonsense ! Some of us work and watch 7de Laan Sundays only. They even took off Pretty Little Liars. What crap. SABC sucks," says Rasheeda Karolia.

"SABC2 has no respect for their viewers. How could you stop airing the 7de Laan omnibus," says Elsie Rambau.

"SABC that's nasty. Think of your viewers on a Sunday and bring it back," says Tracy-Ann Combrinck. "You have punished viewers twice now changing timeslots and no omnibus".

"You don’t give a s#$t what your viewers want," said Riette Steyn. "Let us know" you say. And we do. And the outcome? Nothing."

"Not good enough SABC2," said Sharron Phillips. "Viewers should be asked what they want. Isn't it about keeping the viewers happy so that they will watch your channel?"

"Stop informing us about this nonsense and give us back our omnibus," demanded Ayanda Mabuza. 

"Going from freak-in bad to worse," said Benedick Brand. "How do you not do simple research amongst your viewers to ask their opinions? Or is 7de Laan not the main horse anymore and now you don't care what you do with it? Maybe kykNET should grab it and maximise a product with huge potential and following."

Chantel Coetzee said: "How inconsiderate to move the show from 7pm to 6pm when most working individuals are not home yet and when you want to catch up on a Sunday by watching the repeats its also gone! People work at 1:30 during the day! They messing up the fan base here ... or is this done intentionally?"

"So a working person is screwed now!," said Warren Adams. "If you work late, you miss an episode because they moved it to 6pm. Now they remove the omnibus and you're further screwed and who is at home during those repeat times? Horrible, SABC is just going down the tubes."

Leeflina Botes says "not everyone is at home daily or has internet to watch it during the day and online. Sundays is the only time to catch up as the schedule during the week has also changed so I always miss it. I think by doing this many people will lose interest. What SABC is now doing is not fair".

"Utterly, utterly disappointed in the SABC," said Cleo Christoforos. "Obviously no consideration was made at all with regards to this decision. To make changes for utter rubbish."

"Remove the You Belong. Because actually we don't," remarked Carole Delcie, with Jo Ridley that echoed the sentiment saying "You must drop the 'You belong' motto. It's a lie".

"I no longer watch 7de Laan during the week with hope to catch the omnibus. This is totally unfair. Why can't SABC 2 cancel other shows for a change?" asked Gugu Hlongwane.

"Excuse me ? Watch repeats on weekdays and on YouTube? What about the people that work? How are they going to watch the repeats ?" asked Sashnee Pillay. "Don't give us YouTube as an option because not everyone has access to free Wi-Fi! To be honest SABC, nobody cares about the music show and movie timeslot."

"You only announcing now? Huh, after everyone was disappointed. You should have announced before that crap played," said Masivuye Tetyana.

Anna Sekhonyana probably said it best: "You SABC people are sick in the head".

DAILY TV NEWS ROUND-UP. Today's interesting TV stories to read from TVwithThinus - 14 February 2017.

Here's the latest news about TV that I read, and that you should too:

■ A reality show from Donald Trump's White House?
How TV conventions and TV reality production manipulations have infiltrated daily life.

■ American pay-TV has become more like Comedy Central's (DStv 122) The Daily Show in covering Donald Trump.
Except for FOX News (StarSat 261) that has become the uncritical Trump TV.

■ Australia's ABC looks set to load up on reality television.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation's new head of "non-scripted" programming coming over from Foxtel loves her reality TV.

■ Woman breastfeeds a baby pig on live TV in Peru.
Wanted to show how much flooding has affected her farm.

■ Puffing away: More than a 5th of all TV programming in India shows smoking.
Tobacco use depicted in 22% of TV programmes, 77% of which were broadcast when children may be watching.

■ Trash fight with each other on television in Egypt.
Panelists debating Shiite books on Egyptian TV start throwing each other with stuff while the cameras roll.

■ Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is back with a spectacular take-down of Donald Trump
And an even more spectacular cowboy-inspired TV commercial plan to enter Donald Trump's "info-stream. The 4th season of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver will start showing on M-Net Edge (DStv 102) on Saturday 18 February 22:10.

■ MUST READ: Pay-TV becoming the big loser in the consumer entertainment industry.
The Economist on how subscription television in America's formula of constantly adding TV channels and charging more, no longer appeals. There may be more things to watch than ever before, but there's only so much content people can take.
Pay-TV channels that grew fat on subscriptions are forced to invest in content.

■ What Australia's TV channels are doing in 2017 and where they're heading to in terms of programming.
Oz TV bosses talk about how free-to-air channels compete and can compete, loading up on reality TV, what it's lost to pay-TV and why its important to make TV where viewers "have to watch that night in order to watch the conversation the next day".

■ Kenya's KBC dragged to court over digital terrestrial television (DTT) contract awarded to StarTimes.
Lawsuit alleges that DTT contract between the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) and StarTimes is riddled with kickbacks to senior government officials.

■ Meanwhile a veil is pulled over the contract details of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) that is kept secret because StarTimes demands it.

■ How advances in TV set technology is changing trends.
The new developments and trends that will shape the TV making biz in 2017.

■ The head of Gambia's state broadcaster fired.
Malick Jones, only appointed in December, has been fired with immediate effect as the purge of dictator Yahya Jammeh's former loyalists continue.

■ Algerian TV journalist released.
Hassan Bouras got a suspended jail sentence. Was arrested simply for doing an interview for Al Magharibia, a private pay-TV channel in Algeria, with residents accusing judicial and security officials taking bribes and involved in corruption.

■ Suicide rates rising under Bengali TV actors and film makers.
Why are the people working in this area under so much stress?

■ Television in Russia is on the decline as the most popular medium.
State-run television in Russia is losing its grip on consumers in the internet age.

■ Is fan TV just looking for attention?
Learn more about TV channels giving sport supporters a chance to vent - but are they just looking for notoriety?

■ Cameroon's public state broadcaster promises to launch 2 new TV channels in 2017.
Cameroon's Cameroon Radio & Television (CRTV) says it will launch a dedicated sports channel and a 24-hour TV news channel this year. The news channel was already supposed to start in the beginning of 2016.

■ Kenya TV reporter Roncliff Odit survives a car accident.
Hit a pot hole while driving to Mombasa.

■ The new Klingons as they will look in Star Trek: Discovery ... or not?
Actor posts a photo from the Toronto set saying its the new "Klingon crew', and then the photo gets pulled.
■ And hopefully they don't wear red shirts: Star Trek: Discovery adds 3 actors as Starfleet officers.

■ The shallow, implausible women flooding China's TV dramas.
Blame cheap Chinese TV producers using amateur instead of professional writers.

■ The BBC planning a new show to rival The Great British Bake Off.
The BBC wants a new baking show after losing it to Channel 4.

■ White House reality TV star Omarosa allegedly threatens and bullies a journalist.
Allegedly physically intimidated a reporter and made verbal threats, saying Donald Trump has collected "dossiers" of negative information on several journalists.

■ Apple Music unveils its first 2 TV series.
Unscripted series Carpool Kareoke and Planet of the Apps will roll out on the service later this year.

Monday, February 13, 2017

BREAKING. SABC2 dumps 7de Laan omnibus on Sundays; says the Afrikaans soap's weekend repeats are removed to 'revitalise the Sunday afternoon schedule'.

The SABC has decided to dump the weekend omnibus of its flagsip Afrikaans weekday soap 7de Laan on SABC2 with the SABC no longer giving its viewers who can't watch it during the week the chance to watch and catch up over the weekend.

The shock move comes after the SABC moved 7de Laan for the second time within months on SABC2 to a much earlier timeslot of 18:00 when a large part of its working class audience is not yet home from work.

The SABC's debilitating timeslot changes saw 7de Laan's ratings plunge since July 2016, with the latest timeslot change to 18:00 from 6 February that will likely further erode viewership of the Danie Odendaal Productions soap.

Interestingly a lot of viewers only watch the weekend 7de Laan omnibus, as well as a large number of viewers watching the omnibus again, lifting SABC2's otherwise mostly flat Sunday afternoon viewership.

SABC2's channel head Gerhard Pretorius took the decision to dump the 7de Laan omnibus on Sunday afternoons after 17 years, with SABC2 saying it has "taken the decision to call off the omnibus of it's flagship soapie 7de Laan" due to "the channel's endeavour to revitalise the Sunday afternoon schedule by introducing a new music show Soul'd Out Sessions and a family movie slot at 16:00".

The SABC says viewers can watch repeats of 7de Laan daily on SABC2 at 13:00 and at 13:30 on SABC3. The problem is that working viewers not able to watch it at 18:00 on weekdays, are definitely not able to watch it during the midday.

The public broadcaster says that for its viewers who "have the luxury of WiFi or data, [you] can watch the repeats at your convenience on our YouTube" and that the SABC "apologise for any inconvenience".

Hilariously, the SABC lies in its announcement, since there is no repeat of 7de Laan on SABC3 at 13:30.

The SABC's belated announcement comes after it didn't show the 7de Laan omnibus on SABC2 yesterday. Instead of announcing and informing viewers and the media beforehand what would be happening schedule wise, the SABC pushed out the public communication notification a day after SABC2 left viewers bewildered and confused on Sunday waiting for a show that never aired.

Last week the SABC's new TV boss Nomsa Philiso warned TV producers to "deliver" and that their shows will be cancelled if they don't.

Meanwhile TV producers feel they can't "deliver" ratings and buzz if their shows are given bad SABC timeslots and if the SABC doesn't maximise the opportunities to make the most of its expensive local content.

Last week during an on-air interview on SABC2, Gerhard Pretorius said the channel wants to lure back Afrikaans viewers it lost and admitted to scheduling and programming mistakes made by the channel over the past few years.

Gerhard Pretorius said SABC2 viewers find it difficult to find timeslot and spaces where they actually belong on the channel, a riff of the channel's slogan of "where we belong".

Gerhard Pretorius said "things have moved to different slots; to cater for when audiences are available." Oddly, Sunday afternoon is when the audience is available to watch 7de Laan who can't watch it during the week where SABC2 is showing it at 18:00.

"We listen to our audiences," said Gerhard Pretorius. "And obviously there's sort of going to be a big response to what we're doing now."

He said viewers should let SABC2 know what it thinks of the latest scheduling moves. "Tell us, do you like it? Don't you like it?"

DAILY TV NEWS ROUND-UP. Today's interesting TV stories to read from TVwithThinus - 13 February 2017.

Here's the latest news about TV that I read, and that you should too:

■ Zimbabwe government going to try and revamp Zimbabwe Television (ZTV), slams DStv.
Similar to South Africa's SABC, the Zimbabwe government is desperate to lure back viewers lost to MultiChoice's DStv.
Zimbabwe slams slams DStv for "programmes in conflict with our values and culture" and wants to launch 5 new TV channels as part of digital terrestrial television (DTT) migration to try and win back viewers.

■ Naspers' ShowMax launching in Poland.
The South African subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service will launch in Poland on 15 February costing 5 euro (R70.90) per month. ShowMax's little publicised development hub is of course based in the neighbouring Czech Republic.

■ GOtv Zambia to court to force ZNBC to restore its channels on its pay-TV service.
GOtv Zambia (with MultiChoice Africa as shareholder) wants Zambia's national broadcaster ZNBC to put back its channels and to stop interfering with its digital terrestrial television (DTT) services.

■ For context: It's part of a much bigger fight as rival China's StarTimes - a private foreign company - shockingly bought a 60% share in ZNBC's and its digital migration joint venture. This of course caused ZNBC wanting to dump MultiChoice Africa and GOtv Zambia.

The growing Zambian TV scandal has become so bad that Zambia's government is forced to say "ZNBC has not been sold to StarTimes" although it clearly looks that way.

■ Australian TV news anchor terrorised by a stalker sending death threats.
Peter Hitchener bombarded with death and abuse threats from a crazed stalker.

■ From now on all BBC TV shows will "track their carbon footprint".
BBC says its an attempt to "make TV productions more sustainable". Springwatch is reducing carbon emissions by using waste vegetable oil, while Dragon's Den uses low-energy lighting to keep the temperature of the lights on the contestants down.

■ TV's surprising staying power.
A must-read Economist long-read on the ongoing evolution of television and how "TV is now the best it has ever been".

■ Two abducted and severely abused Al Jazeera (DStv 406 / StarSat 257) staffers released in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The two Congolese were freed 5 days after they were kidnapped when the kidnappers took the two local staffers hostage but left the 3 foreign journalists - a Brit, an Italian and a Kenyan alone.

■ Pakistan TV crew member shot dead.

■ TV set of the diner of the new youth drama Archie on M-Net (DStv 101) diner is so realistic
that an 18-wheeler truck driver stopped at Pop Tate's Chock'lit Shoppe, thinking it was real and open.

■ Russia Today (DStv 407) is expanding; set to launch a French version in France.
RT's French operation is set to expand dramatically with the launch of RT en Français, that will joins RT's existing channels in English, Spanish and Arabic.

■ Why CNN International (DStv 401) now foist White House press briefings on viewers.
Almost every time there's a White House press briefing by the obnoxious Sean Spicer CNN International dumps its scheduled programming to show it although international viewers don't care and are not given actual news - here's why: it lifts viewership in "daytime" in America.

■ Netflix dominates Saturdays in America.
Research suggest people binge-watch most over weekends.

■ American Idol is planning a possible come-back.
But will jump from FOX to NBC.

■ Hong Kong's TV broadcasting industry is in shambles.
The South China Morning Post on the TV biz "slowly committing hara-kiri" and how it's better TV content that might save it.

■ When did TV get so meta?
Vulture on how almost every TV series has now gotten self-referential and self-aware through in-show references.

■ A woman secretly video-recorded on cellphone in restroom on NBCUniversal's Universal Studios lot in Los Angeles.

■ It's time to restore the SABC's image.
Never in the history of the SABC has the image of the public broadcaster been so soiled as by Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

■ Ghana government officials allegedly stole DStv decoders
right out of the president's office.

■ New HBO drama Big Little Lies coming to M-Net (DStv 101) from 22 February
leaves TV's "male anti-hero era" behind.