Monday, September 24, 2018

Double wedding day drama in Uzalo on SABC1 as a battle of the brides is raging between MaMlambo and MaNgcobo.


Double wedding day drama is coming to Uzalo on SABC1 starting tonight at 20:30 and on Tuesday in a two day battle of the brides raging between MaMlambo and MaNgcobo.

The war of the brides with Nkunzi as the prize will have viewers enthralled as the 2-episode wedding spectacular will push the scandalous love triangle story to a dramatic conclusion.

SABC1 and South Africa's most watched prime time show, Uzalo, produced by Stained Glass Pictures, is turning up the antics for Heritage Day and tomorrow when Nkunzi (Masoja Msiza) will find himself before the altar with not just one but two brides locked in a vicious fight over the man - and one of them with gun in hand.


The wedding day drama will play out over two consecutive nights as Nkunzi gets ready to marry MaMlambo (Gugu Gumede) on Monday 24 September but MaNgcobo (Dawn Thandeka King) is adamant to get her man even if she - dressed in her white gown - has to bring a gun to the wedding that Pastor Mdletshe will officiate.

With more viewers home due due to the national holiday, Uzalo that pulled 9.32 million viewers last month on 15 August on SABC1 for its most watched episode during the month is likely to increase its viewership tonight for the dueling brides spectacle that will include a white wedding as well as a traditional Zulu wedding ceremony in the KwaMashu-set show that is filmed in KwaZulu-Natal.


Over the past season producers have been building up the love triangle between Nkunzi, MaNgcobo and MaMlambo, the onetime friends who are now rivals for Nkunzi's affections.

Nkunzi's tuxedo is by die Durban-based designer Nhlanhla Mvubu of NP Creations with each of the groomsmen's suits for the characters of Sbu, Mxolisi and Qhabanga that were also hand-tailored.

The dresses of the bridesmaids for GC, Thobile, Fikile and Zekhethelo are from House of St. Luke in KwaZulu-Natal.

MaMlambo and Nkunzi will also appear in a traditional Zulu wedding ceremony with their wedding attire that were made from artificial animal hides.


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Splendid ITV Brit dramas picked up for South African viewers with Bodyguard going to Netflix South Africa and Vanity Fair going to M-Net on DStv.


The best of British drama keeps rolling to South African audiences with the terrific new spy drama Bodyguard that got picked up by Netflix while M-Net grabbed the sumptuous Vanity Fair period drama.

The rights to Britain's biggest new TV hit of the year, the spy drama Bodyguard has been snapped up by Netflix that will make Bodyguard available globally on Netflix including on Netflix SA in South Africa from 24 October, except for the United Kingdom, Ireland and China.

The 6-episode Bodyguard shown on the BBC in the United Kingdom is produced by the independent production company World Productions, owned by ITV, and was written by Jed Mercurio, the creator of Line of Duty, who was also the executive producer.

The riveting Bodyguard has kept British viewers on the edge of their seats in the story following the private protection officer David Budd (Richard Madden) from the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch of London’s Metropolitan Police Service who is tasked with protecting the fictional British Home Secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes).

He is opposed to her politics but falls in love with her after, which a racy, sexual relationship ensues while conspiracies swirl around them.


Meanwhile South African viewer will also soon get to see Vanity Fair, a co-production with Amazon, with the miniseries that has been show in the same timeslot in the UK on ITV, as Bodyguard on the BBC.

Vanity Fair however won't be on Amazon Prime Video in South Africa and Africa but on M-Net (DStv 101) that continues to rake in high-quality international drama series made outside of the United States to strengthen the content offering on MultiChoice's most premium channel on DStv.

Like Downton Abbey, Vanity Fair that is scheduled for a November starting date on M-Net, is a beautiful TV set piece based on William Makepeace Thackeray's 1848 novel about the poor but constantly scheming Becky Sharp (Olivia Cooke) looking for love and a life of luxury, astutely climbing the British social ladder.

The colourful 19th century era story is produced by Mammoth Screen, also an independent production company owned by ITV.

The international distribution of both Bodyguard and Vanity Fair is handled by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.

Comcast pulls the rug out from under 21st Century Fox for Sky with the higher bid for the British pay-TV operator.


The American pay-TV operator Comcast has pulled the rug out from under Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox to take over Sky by putting in the higher bid in a so-called blind auction on Saturday in the heated competition between the two for the British pay-TV operator Sky, the United Kingdom's Takeover Panel said on Saturday.

Comcast is now offering £17.28 per share for Sky ($40 billion), compared to Fox’s bid of £15.67 per share - 10% more - meaning that Comcast's bid values Sky at £29.7-billion.

Comcast's higher bid for Sky in the take-over race that it entered in February, makes it very likely that Comcast will become the new owner of Sky in the American pay-TV operator's global expansion, pending shareholder approval.

It's also a massive blow and setback for the Murdock family with Rupert Murdock who has tried to get control of all of Sky for close to the past decade.

Sky that has 31 000 employees and around 23 million subscribers in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.

Sky has a very strong pay-TV offering tied into distribution and content deals with American TV brands like HBO and Showtime, a ramped up production slate of premium local series it sells internationally, licensing agreements for a collection of the best premium sports rights like the English Premier League (EPL) for another 3 years, and a tie-in agreement with the global streaming giant Netflix.

Interestingly South Africa's MultiChoice - that will be spun-off in the first half of 2019 from parent Naspers - has been closely emulating Sky's operations and services offering the past decade across Africa through its DStv, M-Net and SuperSport brands.

While Comcast that owns NBCUniversal has a large NBCUniversal International Networks office in Central London, Comcast has promised to keep Sky's corporate headquarters at its Osterley campus in West-London.

"This is a great day for Comcast," says Brian Roberts, Comcast CEO in a statement.

"Sky is a wonderful company with a great platform, tremendous brand, and accomplished management team. This acquisition will allow us to quickly, efficiently and meaningfully increase our customer base and expand internationally. We couldn't be more excited by the opportunities in front of us."

Jeremy Darroch, Sky group executive in a statement says "This is the beginning of the next exciting chapter for Sky".

"Brian and his team have built a great business and we are looking forward to bringing our two companies together for the benefit of our customers and colleagues. As part of a broader Comcast we believe we will be able to continue to grow and strengthen our position as Europe’s leading direct to consumer media company."

"Today’s outcome is down to the hard work of tens of thousands of people who have built and developed this business together over the last 30 years. Sky has never stood still, and with Comcast our momentum will only increase."

Martin Gilbert, chairperson of the independent committee of Sky, says "We consider the Comcast offer to be an excellent outcome for Sky shareholders, and we are recommending it as it represents materially superior value."

"We are focused on drawing this process to a successful and swift close and therefore urge shareholders to accept the recommended Comcast offer."

"On behalf of the independent committee of Sky, I wish to congratulate everyone at Sky on creating such a successful company that has attracted strategic interest from one of the world’s greatest media companies."

21st Century Fox in a statement only says "Sky is a remarkable story and we are proud to have played such a significant role in building the incredible value reflected today in Comcast’s offer".

Friday, September 21, 2018

REVIEW. The first Comic Con Africa 2018 at Kyalami was super enough - but there's a lot of room for improvement.


While Aquaman waited to gain entry, the cosplay visitor before him held out his VIP ticket and a plastic grey gun as the security guard told him that "You're not allowed to bring a gun in".

The muscular superhero who held a (plastic) sword in his other hand, didn't know whether to laugh or what to say. Meanwhile off to the side, the Angel of Death - in sprawling black feather wings adorned with multiple amber eyes - was temporarily denied entry at the gate. If she wasn't going to be let in, there was sure going to be hell to pay.

The inaugural Comic Con Africa 2018 - South Africa and Africa's first - that took place this past Friday to Sunday at the Kyalami race track in Johannesburg was super enough and buzzed with colour, krypton and excitement but there's a lot of room for improvement that Reed Exhibitions need to look at. 

Firstly, the Kyalami Convention Centre is not the best venue for something like this because of the crowds and (hopefully in future more panel discussions) but also due to layout, which ties in with the second problem - the parking, parking logistics and the walking distances.

Comic Con Africa will work better in a bigger, more "blocky", more self-contained venue where people are able to get much closer to the actual gates and doors without having to walk kilometres in costumes and carrying heavy hard drives, computer processors and kids. Even the Harry Potters from House Hufflepuff arrived by leg with broomstick in hand.

The lack of adequate signage, both outside (especially outside) and inside Comic Con Africa 2018 needs to be improved.

For an hour and 15 minutes I stood at the exhibitor/VIP entrance at Comic Con Africa 2018, just observing, as hundreds of people arrived after already having walked very far, only to be told (and not told!) that they need to walk down, and then up to the general entrance gate - with no signs, no directions and no help.

I lost count of the number of "F"-words uttered, visitors remarking on the confusion, and fatigued people who just arrived, egamers carrying heavy computer boxes and families with little kids who were already in a bad mood after they popped out after walking over the bridge and disappointed at the long further walk to get in.

How about loop-run golf carts to help people (and their costumes) to get between the entrance/exit gates and their cars? Luckily it didn't rain, but how are people in costumes and with electronics like computers they must carry, supposed to get inside the building without getting wet?


R50 for a slice of pizza? The exploitation from the very first Comic Con Africa in terms of food price gouging need to stop. If this is sold as a family event, make prices for food affordable for families who visit and who are forced to buy it there.

Guides and helpers inside Comic Con Africa 2018 very not just good but actually very good. Everyone interacted with, and everyone of them observed as they helped people asking things (directions and times for events/panels/activations topped the list) were really helpful, informed, knew what to say - and were extremely, and surprisingly, friendly.

With the horde of people besieging them, you'd think they'd appear overwhelmed or stressed, but all of them were helpful and professional - as were the first aid medical team who were quick to help people with things like when a child swallowed a bee inside a Coca-Cola can.

The cancellation from the few overseas stars promised to attend, right up until the day before was a disappointment and a no-no.

Also most of them were "past prime"instead of Optimus Prime. Having someone like Travis Fimmel from Vikings at Comic Con Africa 2018 doesn't really serve a purpose if the character Ragnar already died almost two years ago. The actor has little to contribute to or tease about the future or progression of the character - which is what visitors, the media and pop culture aficionado's are interested in.

Which bring up the next point. Hopefully Comic Con Africa 2019 will attract better and more high-profile overseas TV stars in science fiction and fantasy who have current zeitgeist currency, as well as high-profile local stars.

More should also be done to add actual real panel discussions. Viacom Africa did a Moosebox and women in animation panels, while Showmax, M-Net Movies, M-Net City, Netflix and SundanceTV with a fear tunnel with (why are they smiling instead of looking scary?) zombies, all did interactive "activations".

What Comic Con Africa visitors are looking for who ended up taking photos posing next to life-size statues of Batman and jumping on a Netflix SA Disenchantment inflatable castle, are real-life stars they know and love and people appearing and talking about their shows and projects.


There should be bigger interaction between Reed Exhibitions on the one hand, and MultiChoice, M-Net, Showmax, Netflix South Africa, Amazon Prime Video and film distributors on the other to actually get stars, and have interesting panels and Q&A sessions about the shows and their projects. This will still hopefully happen as Comic Con Africa develops.

Lastly the PR aspect needs a lot of improvement. Where were the flurry of invitations to the press beforehand to cover specific aspects of Comic Con Africa 2018, the interactive media liaising during, and the reams of press releases about aspects of the event and what came out of the few panels that did take place?

How many media knew that Viacom Africa is launching its Moosebox animated series at Comic Con Africa, or that M-Net Movies is doing a DC Heroes pop-up channel on MultiChoice's DStv in November and "activating" it with an escape room at the event?

Future Comic Con Africas need to be made more accessible, with more communication, and filled with more relevant topline talent.

Reed Exhibitions and the organisers really have to "pre-walk" the planned event around the block - literally - from the neverending entrance traffic jam to the toilets, the food stands, seating and crowd flow, to see how ordinary visitors - not exhibitors, media or VIP guests - are really having to navigate the event, to improve aspects of it.

'Holy Mother of Jesus!' As Turner dumps TCM and replaces it with TNT on DStv and Cell C black, it's 1-minute promo for the 'family' channel chooses to go profane.


While Turner Broadcasting does lip-service that it's new TNT channel for South Africa and Africa is for the family, the new movie channel immediately turned profane, with Turner bosses signing off of a deliberate decision to include a "Holy Mother of Jesus!" in the 1-minute promo video for TNT.

It's not clear why Turner decided to include the blasphemous epithet in its 70 seconds TNT promo that families watching TNT on MultiChoice's DStv or Cell C black, and who might consider tuning to the channel, might find offensive or off-putting.

Turner dumped and replaced TCM, switching it to the TNT channel from today, 21 September.

TCM has been available on MultiChoice for 23 years on DStv, as well as on Cell C's subscription video-on-demand streaming service, Cell C black, since late last year, with TCM that reached 6.7 million viewers across 49 English-speaking African countries.

In a statement Turner International issued on Thursday about TCM switched out for TNT, the company said that TNT is "a young, fresh and entertainment-filled offering for the entire family".

Turner was asked through its South African PR agency, Burson Cohn & Wolfe on Thursday afternoon why, if TNT is for the "entire family" it deliberately decided to include in the short promo the American actor Chris Tucker shouting "Holy Mother of Jesus!" from the film Rush Hour 3.

On Friday afternoon Turner in response to the media enquiry said: "Turner is aware of the concerns raised regarding the new slate for TNT. The channel takes great pride and care in ensuring that all of its programming is reflective and respectful of local cultures, and regulations."

"Therefore, the TNT programming team is carefully listening to its African fans and aims to ensure the channel keeps offering a diverse, fresh selection of movies combined with beloved American blockbuster references such as Rush Hour 3, which is one of the channel's best performing movies for the past 2 years."

"Most importantly, all our programming comes with appropriate age restrictions, prompts for viewer discretion and other appropriate precautionary measures."

The inclusion of specifically "Holy Mother of Jesus!" in the promo video is odd since Turner has only 70 seconds to bring across the look and feel of its TNT brand on DStv and Cell C black.

Turner decided to indicate through the promo that TNT is actually apparently not that family-friendly. The TNT promo has the potential to offend some of the possible audience Turner and TNT is trying to reach before they have even made a decision to possibly watch TNT or not.

It also raises questions as to how well or not Turner International is actually attuned or care about South African or African audiences, since including a blatantly blasphemous line in a generic channel promo is surely something that a company that knows South Africa and Africa's TV market should know is a no-no.

As an international company that wants to do business in Africa and South Africa and wants to gain traction with customers and viewers, Turner International with the TNT shows a shocking lack of sensitivity to who the audience actually is.

Fired, controversial former SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng loses his CCMA case for reinstatement.


The fired, controversial former SABC chief operating officer (COO) and famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng won't get his job back at the South African public broadcaster after he lost his case for reinstatement at the Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

Hlaudi Motsoeneng took the SABC to the CCMA after he was fired in April 2017 for bringing the South African public broadcaster into disrepute, but his case was dismissed on Thursday.

The SABC in a statement says it welcomes the CCMA's dismissal of Hlaudi Motsoeneng's case.

"This is testimony of the effectiveness of the strategies that the SABC is embarking on to restore the credibility and integrity of the corporation," says Neo Momodu, SABC spokesperson in a statement.

"The SABC remains committed to enforcing sound governance procedures aimed at re-establishing a culture of accountability in the public broadcaster."

Thursday, September 20, 2018

South Africa's broadcasting regulator, Icasa, moving its head office from 29 October from Sandton to Pretoria after 20 years.


South Africa's broadcasting regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) is moving its head office from Sandton to Pretoria from 29 October.

Icasa has been headquartered in Pin Mill Farm in 164 Katherine Street, Sandton for close to 20 years, but will now switch to 350 Witch-Hazel Avenue, Eco Point Office Park, Eco Park in Centurion from29 October, the regulator announced on Thursday.

"We have been operating from 164 Katherine Street in Sandton for almost two decades. It is time that we move to another location to improve ICASA accessibility to stakeholders. Our new premises will provide a conducive working environment for our people and enable us to serve," said Rubben Mohlaloga, the convicted fraudster and Icasa chairperson.

"The relocation will, in no foreseen way, affect the services to licensees and general stakeholders as well as consumers of electronic communications, broadcasting and postal services. We are working hard and tirelessly to ensure a smooth transition and look forward to continued engagement during our upcoming and currently underway regulatory processes," said Rubben Mohlaloga who was convicted of fraud in January 2018 and after 9 months is still the Icasa chairperson.

Labour court finds Mzwanele Manyi breached labour laws when he abruptly fired Afro Worldview staffers; orders workers to be reinstated at the shuttered TV channel that DStv dumped last month.


The Johannesburg Labour Court on Thursday ruled that Mzwanele Manyi breached the Labour Relations Act when he fired the staffers at the now shuttered and controversial Afro Worldview TV channel and ordered workers to be reinstated.

MultiChoice finally dumped the controversial Afro Worldview at midnight on 20 August with Mzwanele Manyi who abruptly told workers on 19 August not to come to work anymore.

The Communications Workers Union (CWU) took Mzwanele Manyi to labour court that on Thursday ruled that Afro Worldview must reinstate staffers since they were not properly dismissed.

The court ruled that Afro Worldview and Infinity Media Networks "failed to engage in a retrenchment consultation process" and that workers who were fired with immediate effect must be reinstated.

Mzwanele Manyi and Infinity Media Networks breached sections 189 of the Labour Relations Act by failing to conduct retrenchment consultation.

Tasso Anestidis, lawyer for the fired Afro Worldview staffers says "We are elated with the court order and the judgement. It is a great order and we are looking to enforce it. Depending on what he does, we will act accordingly because we have relief. We are happy that all our hard work paid off".

The order does not apply to the second respondent in the case, Afrotone Media Holdings.

After 23 years on MultiChoice's DStv Turner Broadcasting switches the old TCM for the action-film channel TNT in South Africa and Africa.


Turner is dumping and replacing one of the last remaining original channels that DStv started with, with the old American films channel TCM from Turner Broadcasting that is being switched to the TNT channel from tomorrow, 21 September.

TCM has been available on MultiChoice for 23 years on DStv channel 137, as well as on Cell C's subscription video-on-demand streaming service, Cell C black, since late last year.

Tomorrow TCM, on DStv and Cell C black, that reaches 6.7 million monthly viewers across 49 English-speaking African countries, will switch to the blue-circled TNT.

TNT's programming is built on an action-driven, pulse-raising slate, mixed with some romantic films and comedies.

Despite a TCM brand fresh earlier this year and the addition of more recent films the past two years on the channel, DStv subscribers still saw TCM as old and outdated, prompting the final switch-out of the channel.

TCM - short for Turner Classic Movies - was one of the few original channels in 1995 that MultiChoice launched DStv with 23 years ago.

TNT that in the United States also carries drama and reality series, will be a film channel for South Africa and Africa and be a more contemporary film channel from Turner to be competition for channels like Studio Universal, SundanceTV, and M-Net's set of self-packed M-Net Movies channels.

"The TCM brand has had a strong classic association which doesn’t reflect the actual brand proposition, or deliver the right message, to our African audiences," says Guillermo Farré, head of general entertainment for Turner in Southern Europe & Africa, about TCM's demise and replacement with TNT.

"Even though we have listened to our viewers and worked hard towards modernizing the image of the channel, there was still a strong association of the TMC brand to 'classic Hollywood silver screen productions'. We therefore decided to switch TCM to TNT to fully reflect the new brand identity and perspective in line with our American blockbuster programming strategy," says Guillermo Farré.

Turner says TNT will offer a "young, fresh and entertainment-filled offering for the entire family" with "creative and relevant programming specially tailored for African fans".

TCM up until now was slightly male skewed with a growing number of viewers in the 25 to 49 age demo, particularly amongst black African viewers.

TNT will show films ranging from The Illusionist, The Green Mile, Crank, Robin Hood and Hellboy 2 to Doom, Tango and Cash and Gladiator.

Turner issued no September schedule for the mid-month TNT replacement.


Below is Turner's first teaser trailer promo for TNT.

While Turner says that TNT will be an "entertainment-filled offering for the entire family" Turner chose to deliberately include profanity like "Holy mother of Jesus!" in its official promo, something that will definitely be off-putting and be seen as blasphemous by certain families who are DStv or Cell C black subscribers who might choose to rather steer clear of TNT.

While TNT Africa is or African audiences, it doesn't seem as if Turner's marketing team for TNT knows Africa or audience sensitivities.


SABC abruptly cancels Frankly Speaking on SABC3 and SABC News, former spin doctor and presenter JJ Tabane gone and also fired from Power FM.


The SABC has abruptly and quietly cancelled Frankly Speaking with the former spin doctor JJ Tabane broadcast on SABC3 and SABC News (DStv 404), with JJ Tabane that was also fired by the MSG Africa owned radio station Power FM where he was the Power Perspective presenter.

While the SABC issued no statement nor programming advisory, JJ Tabane at the top of this past Sunday's episode of Frankly Speaking announced that his interview with Gwede Mantashe, ANC chairperson and mining resources minister, will be "the final episode of Frankly Speaking with me Onkgopotse JJ Tabane".

At the tail-end of the show he again said "that was the final episode of Frankly Speaking. I hope you found it useful."

Frankly Speaking was added to SABC3 and SABC News from 11 February this year, with the SABC that made no announcement prior to this Sunday's abrupt final episode that the programme is cancelled or why.

During the testimony of the ongoing state capture inquiry, Phumla Williams, the as acting head of the GCIS, spoke about the horrific things she endured under the disgraced former communications minister, Faith Muthambi.

JJ Tabane as a spin doctor helped Faith Muthambi as part of one of her advisory panels.

In a tweet JJ Tabane said "Sorry to Phumla Williams for having been complicit in your oppression by Faith Muthambi. I am ashamed of any role I had in it. Ready to appear before Zondo to testify."

A fight then ensued with Chris Vick, who took JJ Tabane to task, saying "But you used to work for Faith Muthambi when she was communications minister, bro. Didn’t you set up that huge advisory panel for her (the one I resigned from) and write those ridiculous opinion pieces in her name? Weren’t you advising her?"

Power FM that first suspended JJ Tabane, announced that he was fired from Power FM with immediate effect, on Monday, a day after his final Frankly Speaking episode on the SABC's SABC News.

"JJ Tabane committed serious material breaches of the provisions of our independent contractor agreement rendering it impossible to continue a contractual relationship with him," said Bob Mabena, Power FM's station manager on Monday.

"As a trust-anchored platform that disseminates and facilitates critical national conversations, POWER 98.7 strives to ensure that such conversations are conducted authentically, truthfully and credibly".

As Sky in Britain teams up with Netflix from November, how long until MultiChoice strikes a deal with Netflix SA to be made available to DStv subscribers?


As pay-TV operator Sky in the United Kingdom announced that it will be teaming up with Netflix from November for its new subscription package, it raises questions as to when Naspers' MultiChoice's might reach out and team up for a deal to make Netflix South Africa's offering available on DStv.

MultiChoice and M-Net over the past decade have closely mirrored Sky's service, innovations and self-packaged Sky channels plan for South Africa and Africa, raising the possibility that similar to what Sky in the UK and Comcast in the United States are now doing by linking up with Netflix, the global streaming giant's service could maybe be added for South African DStv subscribers as well.

Sky announced that Netflix is coming to its Sky Q and new subscription package "Ultimate On Demand" from November.

As part of a new seamless package, Sky subscribers will be able to get all of Sky's original productions, American series like HBO’s Game of Thrones and Showtime’s Billions, alongside Netflix’s original dramas, films, comedies and documentaries, like The Crown, Stranger Things, The Kissing Booth, Making a Murderer and Queer Eye.

Sky in a statement says "this integration means it'll be easier than ever to find what you love and discover hidden gems".

"We want Sky Q to be the number one destination for TV fans. Partnering with Netflix means we will have all the best TV in one great value pack, making it even easier for you to watch all of your favourite shows," says Stephen van Rooyen, Sky UK CEO.

Chris Whiteley, Netflix UK director for business development, says "Innovation is at the core of Netflix. We are delighted to partner with Sky to offer fans a new and exciting way to access the best of entertainment from around the world."

Payment for the new Netflix pack will be added to customers' monthly Sky bills, making it easier than ever to sign up and removing the need for separate payments for each service.

South African pay-TV customers are now wondering when this innovation might be given to them, with MultiChoice that currently only bundles Naspers' subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) Showmax for free to DStv Premium subscribers. 

DStv Premium subscribers as a percentage of MultiChoice's overall subscriber base keeps falling as people no longer see DStv Premium as offering enough value to make the monthly price worthwhile.

According to MultiChoice the free Showmax offer will expire on 31 March 2019 after which DStv subscribers will have to cancel it or pay an additional fee. Showmax, together with DStv Now, is currently being run under the Connected Video unit.

In May 2018 TVwithThinus asked Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice South Africa CEO why the pay-TV operator is not giving DStv subscribers access to Netflix in the way Showmax is made available, and in the way Britain and America's leading pay-TV services are now doing.

Calvo Mawela said MultiChoice is currently treating Netflix South Africa as "pure competition", and that although it hasn't yet engaged with Netflix over a possible partnership, that it is studying what's happening and is open to possible opportunities.

"We are following and making observations around what's happening in the rest of the world in terms of traditional pay-TV operators and how they engage with Netflix," Calvo Mawela said.

"We also recognise the kind of partnership they've done with Sky and as a business we are open to anything that will make commercial sense to us."

"However, we have not gone and engaged with Netflix at this stage. All we are saying at this present moment is we are competing with Netflix, hence we launched Showmax for us to capture that market."

"Once we get a full understanding of how the Netflix partnership works in the rest of the world with traditional pay-TV, we will be able to make a call as to whether it's good for us to partner or whether it's not good for us to partner."

"At the moment we treat Netflix as pure competition," said Calvo Mawela. "And we are trying to build Showmax to be able to compete with Netflix."

Naspers is set to spin-off MultiChoice in the first half of 2019 as its own MultiChoice Group company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

While streaming services like Showmax, Netflix SA and Amazon Prime Video are growing fast in South Africa it's from a very small base.

While MultiChoice had 13.5 million DStv and GOtv subscribers by the end of March 2018, latest research from New York's Pivotal Research Group projects that Netflix will have just 500 000 subscribers by 2020 in South Africa and across the rest of Africa combined.

Lifetime on DStv adds local makeover love finder show, Love at Second Swipe, from 25 October with Pabi Moloi.


A+E Networks' Lifetime (DStv 131) is adding a new local makeover love finder show, Love at Second Swipe, from 25 October at 20:00.

Love at Second Swipe, a South African adaptation of TLC's Love at First Swipe, has Pabi Moloi as the presenter with a team including a style expert, makeup guru, hairdresser and a life coach to give people a makeover in an attempt to help them find love with their new look.

The 6 hour long episodes are produced by Hi Mom, and will feature two participants per episode, getting style tips, online dating advice and an external makeover with an emotional reveal moment.

"These are personal stories, these are real human beings experiencing the anguish of wanting to love and be loved and not knowing how to navigate that and we're going to capture those moments," says Pabi Moloi in a statement.

"It excites me to demystify what online dating is and to help people discover the true connection with themselves before they make a match with somebody else."


Dr. Zenia Barnard, the Love at Second Swipe "life coach" says it won't be a "superficial exercise".

"We delve into their emotional challenges and what has possibly been holding them back and what they can let go of. You can put as much makeup on and change your hair but if the emotional shift isn’t happening then that person isn't going to find ultimate happiness and love."

Shaldon Kopman, the show's stylist, says "a lot of people don’t understand how to dress themselves or how to style themselves. So in the show my role is to makeover the participants from a style perspective so that they can feel good and comfortable in their space and go out there and conquer."

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

SABC tells staffers the public broadcaster is undeterred and 'remains on course' with its retrenchment process to downsize its ballooning wage bill.


The SABC has told staffers at the beleaguered South African public broadcaster that it is undeterred and "remains on course" with its retrenchment process to downsize its ballooning wage bill.

On Tuesday Jonathan Thekiso, the SABC's head of human resources, in an internal SABC memo to staffers at the cash-strapped broadcaster, told staffers the SABC's board and top executives remain committed on following the retrenchment plan that was started.

"In line with our commitment of ensuring transparency, please note that this process remains on course, as approved by the board," Jonathan Thekiso told SABC personnel.

"Since we announced that the SABC contemplates implementing section 189 of the Labour Relations Act, there have been many confusing messages emanating from various stakeholders on this process," Jonathan Thekiso told SABC staffers, and noted that the SABC will "keep all employees fully informed of any developments in this matter".

There's been a chorus of criticism over the SABC's plan to fire hundreds of workers.

Nomvula Mokonyane, South Africa's minister of communications, on Monday slammed the SABC top executives for their turn-around plan to fire hundreds of staffers, saying she and the ministry of communications are opposed to the SABC's retrenchment plan that includes shutting down provincial offices and reducing provincial SABC staffers.

The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) that also weighed in this week and likewise slammed the SABC's "cruelty", saying SABC staffers are "once again,at the receiving end of leadership abuse and negligence" at the broadcaster.

Madoda Mxakwe, SABC CEO has warned staffers about the South African public broadcaster's "dire financial state" after the SABC started the process of job cuts and retrenchments to downsize the SABC's staff numbers.

A week after the SABC chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini played coy, didn't want to talk about SABC staff firings and wasn't willing to be upfront about the SABC that has been looking at drastically shedding another 800 jobs, Madoda Mxakwe finally told SABC staffers following a meeting on Thursday with trade unions, that the SABC's wage bill is unsustainable.

The SABC posted a loss of R622 million for the 2017/2018 financial year with the country's Auditor-General (AG), Kimi Makwetu, saying he can't determine whether the cash-strapped South African public broadcaster remains a going concern.

Longtime staffers and producers who have been with SABC News since the channel's start-up five years ago already got axed at the end of August although despite the SABC renewed its controversial multi-million rand channel carriage carriage with Naspers' MultiChoice to continue carrying the news channel on DStv for the next few years.

Around 3 000 of the SABC's staff headcount are permanent employees, while the rest are fixed-term and freelance workers.

A staggering amount of the SABC's expenditure goes to just paying staffers, although just 60% are directly involved in programming. The SABC is supposed to spend the bulk of its money on creating and broadcasting content.

The SABC says one of the SABC's biggest cost drivers is the salary bill and that although it is a R7.2 billion revenue generating company, it's saddled with a massive annual salary bill of R3.1 billion.

Disney Africa to celebrate Mickey Mouse's 90th birthday in November in South Africa with exhibition of statues customised by local artists, Mickey's 90th Spectacular TV special on M-Net.


The Walt Disney Company SA will celebrate the 90th birthday of Mickey Mouse on 18 November in South Africa with a nationwide exhibition of 10 localised Mickey Mouse statuettes by local artists, as well the American TV special, Mickey's 90th Spectacular, that will be broadcast on M-Net (DStv 101).

18 November marks 90 years since the first appearance of Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie in November 1928 with a series of worldwide celebrations that will also include South Africa to mark the 9 decades of the Mouse House's most iconic character.

Disney will broadcast special programming Mickey Mouse's birthday on 18 November across its set of Disney channels on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform and in the days leading up to it on the Disney Channel (DStv 303), Disney XD (DStv 304) and Disney Junior (DStv 309).

Disney currently has the Mickey Mouse cartoon series on the Disney Channel and Mickey and the Roadster Racers on Disney Junior.

The 20-hour American TV special, Mickey's 90th Spectacular that will be broadcast in the United States on 4 November, will also be shown later this year on M-Net (DStv 101) with the special to celebrate the character's 90-year history that will be filled with star-studded musical performances, tributes and never-before-seen short films.

In a local design project, Disney Africa asked 10 South African artists to apply their own inspiration and artistic interpretation to 182 centimetre high Mickey Mouse statues.

These 10 statuettes, once revealed to the public as part of Disney Africa's "Mickey the True Original South African Exhibition, will form part of a nationwide exhibition that will be at Sandton City centre court (28 September - 14 October) in Johannesburg, the Gateway Theatre of Shopping's Expo explore court (19 October - 11 October) in Durban, and the Canal Walk's centre court (16 - 26 November) in Cape Town.

In Edgars Disney will have a new special collection of fashion, accessories and footwear for families, inspired by Mickey Mouse.

"Binding generations together more than any other animated character, Mickey Mouse is the true original who reminds people of all ages of the benefits of laughter, optimism and hope," says Christine Service, the senior vice president and country manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa.

"With his universal appeal and ability to emotionally connect with generations all over the world, no other character quite occupies a similar space in the hearts and minds of a global fan base and we are thrilled to be sharing these local festivities."

Disney says South African fans can share their Mickey Mouse moments on social media during November with the hashtag #Mickey90Africa.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Nomvula Mokonyane, minister of communications, slams SABC board's insistence of firing staffers 'as the only solution', opposes the SABC's retrenchment plan that includes shutting down provincial offices and reducing provincial staffers.


Nomvula Mokonyane, South Africa's current minister of communications, on Monday slammed the cash-strapped and struggling SABC top executive for its turn-around plan and the SABC's top brass plan to fire hundreds of staffers, saying she and the ministry of communications are opposed to the SABC's retrenchment plan that includes shutting down provincial offices and reducing provincial SABC staffers.

Nomvula Mokonyane, South Africa's 10th minister of communications in 10 years, said she is strongly opposed to possible retrenchment of SABC staffers, and that she had "expressed her dissatisfaction with the preferred methods of implementation of the turn-around plan submitted by the SABC board for to the minister for concurrence".

"While the minister appreciates the precarious financial position of the public broadcaster and the urgent need to contain costs, the minister has lamented the fact that despite numerous meetings with the SABC board on the need for a comprehensive approach to turnaround of the public broadcaster, the board has insisted on retrenchment as the foremost and only solution".

Nomvula Mokonyane's statement on Monday echoed a chorus of criticism directed as the SABC board and the broadcaster's top management, with the South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) that also weighed in earlier during the day and likewise slammed the SABC's "cruelty", saying SABC staffers are "once again,at the receiving end of leadership abuse and negligence" at the broadcaster.

Madoda Mxakwe, SABC CEO has warned staffers about the South African public broadcaster's "dire financial state" after the SABC started the process of job cuts and retrenchments to downsize the SABC's staff numbers.

A week after the SABC chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini played coy, didn't want to talk about SABC staff firings and wasn't willing to be upfront about the SABC that has been looking at drastically shedding another 800 jobs, Madoda Mxakwe finally told SABC staffers following a meeting on Thursday with trade unions, that the SABC's wage bill is unsustainable.

The SABC posted a loss of R622 million for the 2017/2018 financial year with the country's Auditor-General (AG), Kimi Makwetu, saying he can't determine whether the cash-strapped South African public broadcaster remains a going concern.

Longtime staffers and producers who have been with SABC News since the channel's start-up five years ago already got axed at the end of August although despite the SABC renewed its controversial multi-million rand channel carriage carriage with Naspers' MultiChoice to continue carrying the news channel on DStv for the next few years.

Around 3 000 of the SABC's staff headcount are permanent employees, while the rest are fixed-term and freelance workers.

A staggering amount of the SABC's expenditure goes to just paying staffers, although just 60% are directly involved in programming. The SABC is supposed to spend the bulk of its money on creating and broadcasting content.

The SABC says one of the SABC's biggest cost drivers is the salary bill and that although it is a R7.2 billion revenue generating company, it's saddled with a massive annual salary bill of R3.1 billion.

On Monday Nomvula Mokonyane said "any retrenchment exercise must be a last resort and an integral part of a holistic, well-formulated and broadly canvassed turn-around plan aimed at steering the SABC towards future financial sustainability".

Nomvula Mokonyane says she has raised concerns about the "odd approach by the SABC board which ignores the advice and support" of the department of communications and that is "inconsistent with the principles of good corporate governance, mutual interest and public good".

"Throughout her numerous engagement with the SABC, Nomvula Mokonyane had insisted on the process being objective and open to technical support by the shareholder and the National Treasury, hence she established a turn-around task-team comprising the department of communications and National Treasury to work with the SABC in this regard."

Nomvula Mokonyane slammed the SABC's turn-around plan on Monday saying that it lacks "details regarding how much the said retrenchments will save the company both in the short-, medium- and long-term".

"The proposal to close certain offices and reducing staff does not demonstrate the service delivery impact analysis of the said restructuring and scaling down of employees per division, province and occupational category".

According to Nomvula Mokonyane the SABC's turn-around plan is "silent on revenue enhancement initiatives, including an improvement plan for the collection of TV licences and the possible disposal of non-core and under-utilised immovable assets and properties, which is crucial for the financial sustainability of the SABC."

"The SABC is a national asset and as a public broadcaster its well-being is not the exclusive domain of the board and its management but that of all stakeholders with an interest in its sustainability."

South African National Editors Forum slams previous SABC management for cruelty over plan to fire staffers after reckless mismanagement: 'Workers, once again, are at the receiving end of leadership abuse and negligence'.


The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) has slammed the previous SABC management for its cruelty, saying its wrong for the South African public broadcaster to start firing staffers in order to downsize its massive salary bill before other cost-cutting options and that SABC staffers are "once again, at the receiving end of leadership abuse and negligence".

Sanef says "part of the dire financial situation the SABC finds itself in is due to the reckless management of the SABC epitomised by [former] COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng".

"This included his mismanagement of human resources. Also, Sanef notes the lack of oversight from parliament and the regulator during this dark period. Going forward it is critical that the capacity of htese governance and oversight structures are strengthened."

"Sanef notes that the cruelty of the situation is that workers, once again, are at the receiving end of leadership abuse and negligence. Sanef believes that only if all other cost-cutting options have been explored, should the SABC contemplate retrenchments."

Madoda Mxakwe, SABC CEO has warned staffers about the South African public broadcaster's "dire financial state" after the SABC started the process of job cuts and retrenchments to downsize the SABC's staff numbers.

A week after the SABC chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini played coy, didn't want to talk about SABC staff firings and wasn't willing to be upfront about the SABC that has been looking at drastically shedding another 800 jobs, Madoda Mxakwe finally told SABC staffers following a meeting on Thursday with trade unions, that the SABC's wage bill is unsustainable.

The SABC posted a loss of R622 million for the 2017/2018 financial year with the country's Auditor-General (AG), Kimi Makwetu, saying he can't determine whether the cash-strapped South African public broadcaster remains a going concern.

Longtime staffers and producers who have been with SABC News since the channel's start-up five years ago already got axed at the end of August although despite the SABC renewed its controversial multi-million rand channel carriage carriage with Naspers' MultiChoice to continue carrying the news channel on DStv for the next few years.

Around 3 000 of the SABC's staff headcount are permanent employees, while the rest are fixed-term and freelance workers.

A staggering amount of the SABC's expenditure goes to just paying staffers, although just 60% are directly involved in programming. The SABC is supposed to spend the bulk of its money on creating and broadcasting content.

The SABC says one of the SABC's biggest cost drivers is the salary bill and that although it is a R7.2 billion revenue generating company, it's saddled with a massive annual salary bill of R3.1 billion.

Sanef says that it "believes that the labour law must be closely followed with transparency and commitment to negotiate fairly with organised labour."

Sanef says "what is critical is that the SABC's public mandate is in no way compromised".

"SABC leadership needs to ensure that the SABC's news-gathering and content generation and management capacity is not cut. Sanef believes this capacity is essential for the SABC to play its key information, education and entertainment role."

"Further, we believe that the SABC's content capacity is core to ensuring its turn-around and long-term financial sustainability."

"Sanef calls on on the regulator, Icasa, to ensure that it monitors the SABC's adherence to its charter, licence conditions and local content regulations. The SABC's ability to deliver on its mandate must not be compromised.Non-core support staff and administration units should be cut if anything is to be cut."

BREAKING. Naspers to spin off and list its video entertainment business MultiChoice on the JSE as the MultiChoice Group including MultiChoice SA, MultiChoice Africa and Showmax in Africa during first half of 2019.


Naspers, as expected, announced late on Monday that it plans to spin off and list its video entertainment business, MultiChoice on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) during the first half of 2019, comprising of MultiChoice South Africa, MultiChoice Africa, Irdeto and its Showmax streaming service in Africa.

Naspers made noise earlier this year signaling its plans to get rid of MultiChoice and its pay-TV division in the form of a separate stock market listing since it no longer offer as much value and more importantly as much growth potential as Naspers' main investment focus that is its internet business component.

By spinning out and essentially "unbundling" its video entertainment division, MultiChoice - that is profitable - helps to reduce the overall size of Naspers.

"This marks a significant step for the Naspers Group as we continue our evolution into a global consumer internet company," says Bob van Dijk, Naspers CEO, in a statement.

Imtiaz Patel, Naspers video entertainment CEO, says "Listing and unbundling MultiChoice Group is intended to create a leading entertainment business listed on the JSE that is profitable and cash generative. We offer an unmatched selection of local and original content, as well as a world-class sports offering."

"Our leadership team is diverse, experienced and well-positioned to take the company forward. I am particularly pleased that this transaction will further enhance the value for Phuthuma Nathi shareholders."

"There are significant growth opportunities for MultiChoice Group in Africa. The combination of MultiChoice’s reach, Showmax and DStv Now's cutting-edge internet television service, alongside Irdeto’s 360 security suite will provide a unique offering."

Naspers says its video entertainment business is one of the fastest growing pay-TV operators globally and thatits multi-platform business reaches 13.5 million households across Africa.

"In the last financial year, the business added 1.5 million subscribers, and generated revenue of R47.1 billion and trading profit of R6.1 billion. It employs more than 9 000 people in Africa and indirectly creates economic prosperity for over 20 000 more who are employed by its various partners and suppliers across the continent."

Naspers says the MultiChoice Group is expected to be unbundled "with limited leverage", "providing it with the necessary financial flexibility to pursue growth opportunities in African video entertainment".

"The business is also positioning itself for the future by offering online streaming services, including Showmax and DStv Now".

Naspers will retain its primary listing on the JSE as well as its interests in Media24. MultiChoice Group is anticipated to list on the JSE and simultaneously unbundle in the first half of 2019, subject to the approval of the requisite regulatory authorities.

Phumzile Zonke appointed as new SABC1 channel head, replacing retired Clara Nzima.


Phumzile Zonke has been appointed as the new SABC1 channel head to steer the South African public broadcaster's most watched TV channel and the most watched TV channel in the country.

Phumzile Zonke whose appointed is effective since 1 September 2018 replaces Clara Nzima who retired last month after 35 years at the SABCSane Zondi, SABC1's head of programming was acting SABC1 channel head until Phumzile Zonke was appointed. 

Phumzile Zonke was appointed a SABC1 continuity presenter in 2003 and in 2007 became a presenter on the SABC Eastern Cape radio station Imhlobo Wenene FM where he hosted a weekend entertainment show on Fridays and Saturdays until 2017.

Phumzile Zonke held various positions, including on-air promo producer and director, specialist on-air producer, acting network: on-air presentation manager for SABC1, and SABC TV network on-air manager since 2015.

He has a master of business administration (MBA), BA degree in media, communications and culture, a certificate in copywriting, an advanced diploma in travel and tourism studies; and is currently studying towards a masters of philosophy in international business (MPHIL in IB).

"Being appointed to the new role is an exciting opportunity that comes with great responsibility. It is an honour and a privilege that I don’t take for granted," says Phumzile Zonke about his appointment.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge and I'm ready to serve the public and contribute meaningfully to the journey of making sure that SABC1 remains at the top and continue to dominate the market through quality content and exciting youthful programming."

"Phumzile is passionate about broadcasting. He has shown exceptional talent and has proven to be a dynamic and highly capable all-round broadcasting executive," says David Makubyane, the SABC's general manager for TV channels, in a statement about Phumzile Zonke's appointment.

"I have no doubt that he will take SABC1 to even greater heights, strategically positioning it within the media and entertainment industry to win over more loyal viewers to the channel. We are proud of what Phumzile has achieved and we look forward to his contribution in his new role as head of SABC1".

In his role as SABC1 channel head the SABC says Phumzile Zonke will have to "ensure that SABC1 retains its market leader position and continue to deliver a compelling public broadcast service that attracts a major share of audiences and revenue."

"The SABC management wishes Phumzile well in his new role and hopes that his wealth of broadcasting knowledge and diverse skills will add great value to the business and entrench further the values of the SABC1 brand."

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Deranged Mark Zinde who brutally bludgeoned his mom and former SABC board member, Hope Zinde, to death, is sent to a mental institution for life.


The deranged Mark Zinde who brutally bludgeoned his mother and former SABC board member, Hope Zinde, to death, has been sent to a mental institution on Friday.

The court on Friday declared the killer and violent recluse Mark Zinde mentally ill and ordered him committed to a mental institution where he will be detained for life or until he's deemed fit to be let loose outside again after psychiatric evaluation.

Three psychiatrists from Weskoppies Hospital declared the schizophrenic Mark Zinde a danger to himself and to others and told the court he belongs in a mental institution where he should be under supervision constantly.

Mark Zinde who will be kept at a prison hospital until there's space at a mental institution, also suffers from narcissistic and other personality disorders.

Gauteng High Court Judge Bert Bam found that Mark Zinde murdered his mother, Hope Zinde (50) in June 2016  at their lux Pecan Wood Estate home after which he dumped her dead body in the boot of the car.

Mark Zinde later also tried to murder his father, Dr Lebohang Manoto., when he was released into his care, and also attacked his stepmother.

Mark Zinde can only be released at some point in the future if a judge in terms of South Africa's Mental Health Act, agrees to his release.

The SABC opposes paying artists residuals as the South African public broadcaster fights back and opposes the proposed Performers' Protection Amendment Bill to ensure artists are paid repeat fees.


The SABC opposes paying artists residuals as the South African public broadcaster is fighting back, and opposes the proposed Performers' Protection Amendment Bill to ensure artists are paid repeat fees.

The SABC that has been lax, had done little more than lip-service over years when it comes to ensuring the payment of royalties to musicians and residuals to actors and writers, and that owes hundreds of millions of rand in outstanding payments to music royalties collection agencies as well as to actors for repeat fees, doesn't want to support South African artists when it comes to payment of residuals.

The SABC in its submission in parliament on Friday, said there is no legislation forcing the South African public broadcaster to pay residuals. The SABC also doesn't want such a law and is opposing the Performers' Protection Amendment Bill that proposes such rights for artists that are long overdue in the country.

The SABC told parliament it doesn't make enough money to ensure the payment of residual fees for South African artists.

Mathapelo Matsaneng advising the SABC on intellectual property, told parliament: "Why are we going to be forced, as the SABC, to pay continued royalties for the next coming 25 years?"

Joanmariae Fubbs, committee chairperson in parliament, said Madoda Mxakwe, SABC CEO should appear and make further submissions.

"We’re inviting the CEO and that he must come, or I will summon him."

Jobless former Afro Worldview workers go to Labour Court, accusing Mzwanele Manyi of flouting procedure; demand notice and severance pay.


Furious fired workers at Mzwanele Manyi's shuttered Afro Worldview channel that was canned from MultiChoice's DStv on Friday filed an urgent application in the Labour Court in Johannesburg, accusing Mzwanele Manyi of not following proper procedure when they were suddenly told not to return to work.

MultiChoice dumped the controversial Afro Worldview (rebranded after Mzwanele Manyi took over the formerly Gupta-owned ANN7 in a "vendor licensing" buy-out) in late-August, after it announced in January that ANN7 will be shut down since MultiChoice decided not to renewed the contract of the controversial channel.

Hundreds of workers now left without jobs are saying that Mzwanele Manyi should have given them more notice.

The workers' legal representative Tasso Anestidis says Mzwanele Manyi knew in January that MultiChoice would be dumping Afro Worlview and that his company should have complied with labour regulations stating that there be 60 days consultative processes before workers are asked to vacate a workplace premises.

Workers now want a declaratory order to compel Mzwanele Manyi's company to pay them what’s legally due to them.

"We want a declaratory order that proper lawful procedures will be followed. All the employees must receive severance pay, at the very least notice pay."

Customers furious at MultiChoice over software update technical glitch that has left DStv subscribers without a signal.


Paying customers are furious at MultiChoice over a faulty software update that has left DStv subscribers without a DStv signal.

MultiChoice that isn't willing to say how may DStv subscribers have been affected by the software update fault, says a faulty software update on DStv Explora and HD single view DStv decoders caused the signal loss problem.

"Some customers who live in a complex or village where the DStv signal is distributed from a central point through a single cable, and who have a specific decoder model, the DStv HD 4U decoder, could experience an E48 error on their decoder. This error means the decoder is searching for a signal," says MultiChoice in a statement.

"We're assisting customers on a case-by-case basis to clear this error via our contact centre, our service centres and agencies. We encourage any of our customers who experience this problem, to get in touch with us – either via phone or by going to their nearest DStv service centre or agency," says MultiChoice.

Meanwhile DStv subscribers are furious with MultiChoice over the software update mistake, the long time it takes to get through to the call centre, and threatening to cancel their DStv subscriptions.

M-Net and MultiChoice doing a M-Net Movies DC Heroes pop-up channel for 9 days from 9 November.


M-Net and MultiChoice is doing a M-Net Movies DC Heroes pop-up channel that will run on DStv from 9 to 18 November showing several DC Comics related films.

At the first Comic Con Africa 2018 at Kyalami, M-Net's M-Net Movies division ran an activation, displaying a "M-Net Movies DC Heroes" banner that TVwithThinus noticed on Friday.

TVwithThinus immediately asked M-Net who confirmed the planned DC Heroes pop-up channel.

MultiChoice and M-Net Movies' DC Heroes channel will show 30 superhero films, along with 7 animation films between 9 and 18 November.

"Super hero fans are in for an amazing time as M-Net Movies showcases the DC Universe by bringing you the M-Net Movies DC Heroes pop-up channel on channel 109," said M-Net Movies. "Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and many more iconic characters will be exploding onto the small screens in November."

The M-Net Movies DC Heroes pop-up channel follows after the M-Net Movies Marvel Studios pop-up channel that ran on DStv in April 2018 for 10 days for DStv Premium subscribers.

At Comic Con Africa 2018 M-Net Movies ran a "DC Heroes" escape room with visitors who had to enter the secret room and find and solve clues and trivia in order to escape and win prizes like movie premiere tickets and DStv Explora decoders.


Music royalties collecting agency Sampra files R64 million lawsuit against the SABC over its non-payment of money due to artists.

The South African Music Performance Rights Association (Sampra) has filed a R64 million lawsuit against the embattled South African public broadcaster over the SABC's non-payment of royalties owed to musicians.

The collecting agency filed court papers in the South Gauteng High Court on Tuesday, demanding that the SABC pays the outstanding millions due to musicians for playing their music.

"We served them with summons on Wednesday for failing to pay for the license fees due to us for our artists," says Tiyani Maluleke, Sampra spokesperson.

"The SABC uses over 90% of music belonging to our members but they have never paid any cent towards the licence fees to us for our members for over 10 years while other broadcasters have been paying."

Sampra is trying to collect royalties on behalf of both local and international acts it represents, including artists like the rappers Common, Notorious BIG, Cassper Nyovest, AKA, Kwesta and DJ Euphonic.

"The SABC can confirm that it has been served with combined summons by Sampra. We are unable to comment any further on this matter," says Neo Momodu, SABC spokesperson.

SABC's local soap Isidingo on SABC3 distances itself from 'racist' talent agent who told extras 'to go and take an Aids test' and to 'go sleep in your little caves where you come from. Maybe you can ask Mandela if he can resurrect you'.


The SABC's local weekday soap Isidingo has distanced itself from the "racist" talent agent Mary Ann Miller who told potential extras in a series of messages in a Whatsapp group "to go sleep in your little caves where you come. Maybe you can ask Mandela if he can resurrect you".

Mary Ann Miller fought with actress Gugu Xofsa in a Whatsapp group entitled "The revolution starts now".

Mary Ann Miller claimed that the Pomegranate Media produced show was allegedly looking for 17 extras and those "who comment on the group and are actually c*nts" won't get work on the show through her.

"We at Isidingo distance ourselves from her racist remarks that she has made," says Isidingo in a statement, denying that the show has ever worked with Mary Ann Miller.

"We have never worked with this said individual as she has never provided extras for our show. We do not condone any form of racism."

In the string of Whatsapp messages and voice notes, Mary Ann Miller said "English is a universal language, the sooner you realise that the better because without us, you won't have jobs," and "Remember your forefathers and our forefathers. We are not responsible for what happened to you, and you are not responsible for what happened to me. So, you want to stick by my side, fit in or f**k off."

"Those are my very good words because I'm only willing to help people that are rational and straight in their mind. Don't come with history and all the sh*t. It's not my problem. If it's your problem, go and take an Aids test or something, either than that stick by my back and you'll get work."

"You are black and it means that your skin is black. I am white because my skin is white. Why do we have to fight about this all the time? You guys clearly did not get work, that is why you are frustrated on another group or something."

"If you have acting ability, you will be in an acting agent. Either than that you are just useless piece of people who sit on the street. So, go and find somewhere to belong and then we can talk."


"Don't send messages anymore, go and f**k off and go sleep in your little caves where you come. Maybe you can ask Mandela if he can resurrect you. Here we are trying to get work and we do work and everything, so you guys can go and sleep now, alright."

Neo Momodu, SABC spokesperson, said the South African public broadcaster is investigating the matter.

"As the public broadcaster, we condemn and are against actions and comments which go against the spirit of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and social cohesion. We distance ourselves from such comments and we'll investigate, as far as it relates to our suppliers and people that we do business with."