Friday, August 17, 2018

7th season of Survivor South Africa: Island of Secrets on M-Net in 2019 promises even more game-changing twists, surprises as entries open.

The entry period has opened for the new 7th season of Survivor South Africa that will be produced and broadcast on M-Net (DStv 101) in 2019 with the season entitled "Island of Secrets" that will see 18 new castaways trying to outwit, outplay and outlast each other on a far-flung, exotic island locale.

M-Net renewed Survivor SA for a 7th season midway through the just-concluded 6th season that saw Tom Schwartz win, after the Philippines set season saw a 71% ratings spike for the competitive Thursday evening timeslot, and with the producers promising even more game-changing twists and surprises for next year.

Nico Panagio will once again be the host of Survivor SA: Island of Secrets that will again be produced by Afrokaans that took over production from the just-concluded 6th season that was set in the Philippines.

Survivor South Africa on M-Net is seen as such a must-watch property that the programme holds the distinction of being the only locally produced South African TV show that has its episodes being uploaded by fans to illegal torrent file-sharing sites after linear broadcast, with the latest season that was again downloaded thousands of times and watched globally far outside of the country's borders.

TVwithThinus asked Kay Ann Williams, the head of local content and independent films for M-Net channels, when during the 6th season the channel decided to renew Survivor SA for another season.

"When we saw our audience's response to it - and I don't just mean ratings, I also mean emotional engagement on social media and online, and obviously there's also the ratings - it was about halfway through when we saw that the combination of those things were extremely for Survivor South Africa and M-Net."

"This Survivor SA season proved to us that local content is really king for the audience. When they see themselves, and people like them - I think there's a part of South Africa that can identify with at one of the castaways. So the 6th season made a huge impact and it was a very easy decision to make."

"This tremendous season came about through Handrie Basson and Le Roux Botha, the series director's vision and I want to say thank you for their passion and absolute obsession with this game."

"Before Survivor SA: Philippines on Thursday evenings there were very strong international content on M-Net, and when Survivor SA came on it grew that timeslot's ratings by 71%," said Kay Ann Williams.

"So the ratings were phenomenal - it was more than what we expected, and as I've said it wasn't just the ratings, it was also the engagement of DStv subscribers and it was because of this local content on M-Net."

"Thank you for giving us excellent local content, thank you for being excellent visionaries," said Kay Ann Williams.

Handrie Basson, Survivor SA executive producer told TVwithThinus that Island of Secrets "is a secret, obviously".

"For the next season we are introducing some interesting, new, compelling elements to the show that will not only surprise the audience but moreover the castaways."

"We want to throw them curve balls - that's what this game is about, it's to keep them on their toes. And with the element of the island of secrets, the main reason behind it is to keep the game fresh - for the M-Net audience's entertainment, but also for the castaways and their game plan."

"With the firsts that unfolded on this Survivor SA: Philippines season on M-Net, it is a wonderful feeling to be able to have that as a first - not only for South Africa, but also for the world's audience," said Handrie Basson.

"Survivor is such a worldwide family, and there are so many countries that we don't even know about who are producing Survivor for their local audiences. We only sort of know of the English speaking franchises that we get to see sometimes."

About one of the castaways who decided to unexpectedly quit during this season, Handrie Basson said "when as castaway leaves unexpectedly, you need to be prepared for it. It can be a medical evacuation, it can be through their own free will, a lot of things can happen. So you build those eventualities into your planning and we plan for months ahead. So we have plan A, plan B, plan C's in place."

"Thank you to M-Net for giving us a platform to live out our passion. And for the faith in us and believing in us, and for seeing our vision and our crazy ideas through," said Handrie Basson.

Entries for Survivor SA: Island of Secrets close on 30 September at and no late entries will be accepted. In a change from previous seasons and moving with the times, contestants who have to be older than 18, must make and submit a video entry this time along with their photo.

A valid South African passport that expires after November 2019 is required.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

BREAKING. Tom Schwartz who lost 16 kg on the island, wins Survivor South Africa: Phillipines as M-Net announces a 7th season called Island of Secrets for 2019.

On Thursday night the adventure camp organiser Tom Schwartz (41) from Port Elizabeth was announced the winner of the 6th season of M-Net's (DStv 101) Survivor South Africa: Phillipines and won R1 million, with the pay-TV channel immediately announcing a 7th season entitled "Island of Secrets" for broadcast in 2019, and opening the call for entries for 18 new contestants.

The season finale of Survivor SA: Philippines was broadcast as a special 2-hour live finale done from the Silverline Studios in Cape Town.

It was the first time a Survivor SA finale took place outside of Johannesburg in the local series' six seasons - first showing days 38 and 39 and the last immunity challenge and jury grilling, before switching to the live, in-studio winner announcement, and a 40-minute reunion show with the contestants.

In a massive improvement and glorious fan-service, Afrokaans that took over production of Survivor South Africa finally for the first time gave DStv subscribers what they wanted and should get: a proper reunion show instead of a few minuted at the end.

Host Nico Panagio asked all of the clean-scrubbed contestants questions and cleverly elicited explainers, feedback and comments from them on various things that happened, and what happened since they've left the island, in front of the in-studio audience.

Nico Panagio ended the show with a teased "big announcement" - that Survivor South Africa will be back for a 7th season in 2019 and that entries are opening immediately.

At the post-show press conference, Tom Schwartz, who lost 16 kg during his 39 days sent on the island, was asked what he wants to do with his R1 million and he said he wants to buy the house he is living in with his family "so that there never comes a time when my family doesn't have one".

About watching himself on television Tom Schwartz said "Do I really look that fat? And, why am I sitting like that? So watching yourself on TV there's little idiosyncrasies that you find out about yourself  - from Mickey Mouse things to holy hell things."

Here's some of the 6th season live studio finale of Survivor SA: Phillipines in pictures:

BREAKING. On the day of the Survivor SA: Phillipines finale, M-Net pulls contestant, Tevin Naidu from its Bachelor South Africa speed-dating campaign after offensive molestation comments.

On the day of M-Net's (DStv 101) Survivor South Africa: Philippines finale, the channel has dumped the contestant Tevin Naidu (24) from M-Net's The Bachelor South Africa speed-dating marketing campaign after his molestation comments.

The controversy follows after Tevin Naidu, the 6th person voted out of Survivor SA: Phillipines, posted an image of himself standing next to a woman saying "Find yourself someone who looks at you the way I look at her (like a molester who found his next victim)".

After a backlash he deleted the comment and switched his Instagram account to private.

Tevin Naidu, an intern at the King Edward VIII hospital in Durban and a former Mr South Africa India, then said "To everyone affected and offended by my social media post directly or indirectly, I would like to issue a formal apology to all of you. My post was made in jest and unfortunately - it lacked sensitivity, was completely distasteful, and offensive."

"I truly regret having posted what I did and I would like to categorically state that I had no malicious intentions. I can only ask that this unfortunate incident be put down to my lack of better judgement at the time."

"Molestation is clearly not an issue to be mixed with humor and I understand that the lack of judgement and error on my part has offended many people and I am truly sorry for this. I can only pray and hope that my indiscretion in this regard can be forgiven and my apology accepted."

M-Net told TVwithThinus that Tevin Naidu has been removed from its The Bachelor South Africa marketing campaign going forward with immediate effect and that involves speed-dating activations across the country.

M-Net says that the pay-TV channels supplier views his comments in a serious light and that he "will not be involved in the remainder of the campaign".

"M-Net does not condone any type of abuse, or references to it, in any context and viewed Tevin Naidu’s offensive Instagram comment in a serious light. Tevin was part of the initial marketing activities to recruit female contestants for the new dating show The Bachelor South Africa but will not be involved in the remainder of the campaign".

Dominoes continue to fall for 21st Century Group's Women in Media Conference as 1Magic pulls out as media partner, website removes info, and Sandton's convention centre doesn't list it.

The dominoes continue to fall for 21st Century Group's now-dubious International Women in Media Conference 2018 with the event's website that has removed all information, with sources saying M-Net's 1Magic is out as as "official media partner", that Bonang Matheba definitely won't return as organisers claimed, and with the Sandton Convention Centre listing nothing for 5 and 6 September on the dates it's supposed to take place.

Meanwhile on social media 21st Century Group has now mysteriously backtracked and deleted all its tweets and posted statements it made, going back to 8 August last week.

That's when the touted conference derailed after the Hollywood actresses Taraji P. Henson and Halle Berry who were announced as part of the line-up, denied they're involved and slammed the organisers over "fake advertising" and that it's "shameful that 21st Century Group would advertise this way".

Bonang Matheba hastily withdrew and dumped the conference, with Webtickets that halted sales.

Impeccable sources told TVwithThinus that M-Net's 1Magic (DStv 103) channel that was announced as the "official media partner" and that has officially remained silent over it's involvement with 21st Century Group's conference, has now also quietly withdrew.

M-Net's general entertainment division of which 1Magic forms part, will now focus its efforts on the unit's DStv Mzansi Viewers' Choice Awards 2018 set for 24 November at the Sandton Convention Centre.

After Julie Schulte, 21st Century Group sales director, on Friday in response to a media enquiry over Bonang Matheba's withdrawal said that "we have engaged with her management and they have agreed that once we re-open the marketing strategy they will come back onboard because they support the initiative of woman empowerment", a source very closely connected to team Matheba told TVwithThinus that the star will definitely not be back.

Meanwhile 21st Century Group's website for the conference at has deleted all information without any explanation, now simply stating "website being updated. Please be patient".

After organisers claimed that the International Women in Media Conference 2018 would take place at the Sandton Convention Centre on 5 and 6 September and Unathi Mhlope, 21st Century Group head of marketing and communications, again confirmed it in a statement on Friday, the convention centre's public events calendar for these dates continues to list nothing related to the event.

It's not yet clear whether other local personalities likes Amanda du Pont, Connie FergusonCarte Blanche’s Claire Mawisa, Salamina Mosese and Thabile Ngwato are still involved with the announced conference.

21st Century Group said that "a legal lawsuit" has been lodged against Superstar Agency and the Hollywood PR firm 42West that it called "Henson's management firm" to "be able to verify who has misled 21st Century Group in confirming that the booking was made".

42West told TVwithThinus that "There is absolutely no truth to any of the claims regarding 42West attributed to 21st Century Group. To begin with, 42West is not a management firm and we have certainly never managed Halle Berry or Taraji P. Henson."

"Moreover, we have never signed any contracts on behalf of Halle Berry or Taraji P. Henson. Finally, to our knowledge, no legal action has been filed against 42West with regard to this matter."

Private company MultiChoice directly responsible for saving jobs at SA's public broadcaster as the SABC and Naspers' pay-TV arm sign a new contract to keep SABC News on the air.

The SABC says MultiChoice is directly responsible for preventing job losses at the beleaguered South African public broadcaster, after Naspers' pay-TV arm signed a new commercial agreement to continue the controversial channel carriage agreement to keep SABC News (DStv 404) and the library rerun-channel SABC Encore (DStv 156) on the air.

Neither the SABC nor MultiChoice were willing to say what the details of the contract are nor what MultiChoice will be paying the SABC as South Africa's public broadcaster, choosing to keep the terms and financial numbers of the public-commercial deal secret.

Neither MultiChoice nor the SABC specified the duration of the new contract.

It's also not clear whether the new deal includes payment by MultiChoice for the SABC's SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 channels - something that the SABC is now demanding and that MultiChoice is adamant that it won't do.

South Africa's broadcasting regulations demand under so-called "must-carry" rules, that the public broadcaster's terrestrial TV channels must be carried on satellite pay-TV services to ensure wider access and public availability, but that these services in turn don't have to pay for these channels.

Madoda Mxakwe, SABC CEO, refused to give an answer to the question as to why the embattled and cash-strapped SABC doesn't want to be more transparent about the highly-controversial deal.

Under the deal the SABC as a public broadcaster uses its own resources to exclusively supply MultiChoice's DStv with the SABC News channel and the SABC Encore channel.

On Tuesday afternoon the SABC and MultiChoice in a joint statement announced that a new commercial channel carriage agreement was signed between the private company and the public broadcaster.

This means that the SABC News  channel will continue since the SABC that has technically been insolvent for over a year is unable to run SABC News as a public TV channel without the influx of millions of rands from the Naspers-owned company.

MultiChoice and the SABC said that the SABC News and SABC Encore channels will continue to be broadcast on DStv and that the "SABC and MultiChoice believe that this agreement will give their relationship a new start".

The SABC specified that "the SABC archives, which the SABC uses to produce SABC Encore, remains the wholly-owned property of the SABC".

This is because the old 5-year deal was heavily criticised with controversy still swirling about how it came to be and why the SABC as a public broadcaster is doing deals with a private pay-TV company.

Claims have also been made that the SABC and MultiChoice have been colluding in terms of undue influence over the standards to be used in the country's digital terrestrial television (DTT) dispensation.

The new channel carriage contract, an extension of the existing one with added new stipulations, comes just days before the SABC News contract would have expired.

In the statement Madoda Mxakwe, SABC CEO, said "the SABC welcomes the new agreement with MultiChoice which will bring certainty to our viewers and our staff. The board and management of the SABC are satisfied that the agreement meets both the commercial and governance needs of the SABC. The SABC looks forward to delivering high-quality channels into the future."

Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice South Africa CEO, said "we are pleased to be able to continue to carry these channels on DStv. We have a long-standing relationship with the SABC and are happy that we have reached a mutually beneficial agreement. We look forward to continue working with the SABC to deliver great entertainment to our customers".

In an interview on SABC News, Madoda Mxakwe was asked why the SABC isn't willing to be open and transparent about the contract when there's been so much brand and reputational damage that had been inflicted on the SABC and MultiChoice.

Madoda Mxakwe declined to answer the actual question and said that through the MultiChoice contract extension, the private company is directly responsible for preventing job losses at the public broadcaster.

"It provides for us as the SABC the necessary certainty and stability, particularly to all of the SABC News staff who were quite anxious, quite understandably, as well as to the viewers who did not know what would happen at the end of this month".

Madoda Mxakwe said "this for us as the SABC, provides some of the required finances from a working capital point of view, but also from a revenue-generating point of view. But in terms of jobs I do think that it is important to highlight that from a news staff point of view, this agreement does provide the certainty that is required".

3 274 hours. That's how long it would take to watch everything on Netflix, according to a British scientist.

3 274 hours. Or roughly 8 months of your life non-stop if you want to watch everything new there is to see on the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service, according to the research of a British scientist.

Britain's The Daily Mail reports on new research from a scientist, Kinnari Naik of the University of Leicester, who worked out how long it would take for someone to watch everything new that's available on Netflix in the United Kingdom.

Leaving just a little time to continue to live like a semi-decent human being - eat, sleep, wash and using the bathroom - it would take someone 13 hours, 50 minutes and 40 seconds per day, for 236.5 days to watch everything on Netflix.

Of course this would be for a jobless adult since there's no time to actually work.

Worked into the allocation is sleep for 7 hours per day, but only seven 5-minute visits to the potty, three 30-minute meals per day, and 15 minutes per day to wash yourself.

Oh, and this calculation for watching, is not to watch everything that's available on Netflix. This is just for everything new that Netflix made available during 2017. It will take 236.5 days out of a 365-day year to just watch what Netflix released last year.

The rest of the roughly 129 days you have left in your year will be all that's left for the gargantuan remainder of the other Netflix content.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Mzansi Magic announces nominees for the DStv Mzansi Viewers' Choice Awards 2018, Bonang Matheba back as host for the awards show's second edition set for 24 November.

M-Net's Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) on Tuesday afternoon at Summer Place in Hyde Park announced the nominees for the second DStv Mzansi Viewers’ Choice Awards 2018 with Bonang Matheba as the master of ceremonies and who will also return on 24 November as the host of the special live broadcast award show on the channel done from the Sandton Convention Centre.

Mzansi Magic and Bonang Matheba both got rave reviews from TV critics as well as viewers for the excellent spectacle and high production values of the inaugural DStv Mzansi Viewers’ Choice Awards that took place in 2017, with the channel that decided to repeat it and also add a Favourite Personality of the Year category for 2018.

The Gqom sensation, Destruction Boyz, and their smash hit, Omunye, lead the nominees list with an impressive three nods for Song of the Year, Favourite Rising Star and Favourite Music Artist/Group.

Nipping close at the heels with two nominations each are Prince Kaybee and Kagiso Rabada.

Prince Kaybee is nominated in the Song of the Year and Favourite DJ categories, while Rabada appears in the Favourite Sports Personality of the Year and Favourite Personality of the Year lists.

Rabada will have to beat stiff competition from media darling Bonang Matheba, crowd favourite Papa Penny Ahee, Mzansi sweetheart Nomzamo Mbatha and the flamboyant reality TV star Somizi Mhlongo.

"The DStv Mzansi Viewers' Choice Awards launched in 2017 to great fanfare," said Reneilwe Sema, director of local entertainment channels at M-Net.

"The calibre of nominees, is testament to the quality shows and magnitude of the talent South Africa has to offer. With the viewers voting for the favourites in every category - this is anyone’s race."

"The DStv Mzansi Viewers' Choice Awards is a way for us to give our viewers a platform to choose their favourite entertainers, who have become a significant part of their daily lives. Another important aspect of the awards is that they recognise both seasoned and new professionals, therefore contributing to the growth of Mzansi talent."

Last year, fan favourite Thembisa Mdoda walked away with the prize as Mzansi’s ultimate favourite personality, a hotly contested category that had fans furiously casting a combined one million votes across categories.

This year there is the addition of a new category, Favourite Personality of the Year, which will be awarded to a personality that has gone above and beyond to have an impact in our society.

There’s also a hardworking and dedicated community leader who will be bestowed the Life Changer award. This is a person who has worked tirelessly and passionately for the betterment of their community to create positive change.

South Africans can vote in 11 categories and the nominee with the most votes out of all the categories will be named the ultimate viewers' choice.

Below is the full list of categories and nominees:


B.           THOMAS MLAMBO
E.            ANELE MDODA

A.           SKHUMBA
B.           FELIX HLOPHE
C.           TUMI MORAKE
E.            MPHO POPPS

A.           SMASH AFRIKA
B.           LUVO MANYONGA
D.           LANGA MAVUSO
E.            LUNGI NGIDI

A.           ANELE MDODA
C.           DUDU ‘LADY D’ KHOZA
D.           DJ FRESH

D.           MASOJA MSIZA
E.            KHULU SKENJANA

A.           THEMBSIE MATU
B.           RAMI CHUENE
C.           LINDA SEBEZO

A.           LADY ZAMAR
B.           SHEKHINAH
D.           KHUZANI
E.            AKA

A.           MS COSMO
B.           DJ MAPHORISA
C.           PRINCE KAYBEE
D.           DJ TIRA
E.            BLACK COFFEE

A.           KAGISO RABADA
B.           PERCY TAU
E.            SIYA KOLISI

A.           PAPA PENNY AHEE
E.            KAGISO RABADA



Monday, August 13, 2018

Another prime time line-up rejig on CNN International from 10 September as Christiane Amanpour goes an hour and Julia Chatterley's business show, First Move, makes its debut.

CNN is overhauling its programming line-up for CNN International (DStv 401) in South Africa as well as the rest of the African continent and the Middle East, that will kick in from 10 September when Christiane Amanpour's reformatted hour-long show makes its debut.

The latest CNN schedule shuffle however still has no dedicated African news programme during prime time for African viewers in the way that other global news channels like BBC World News (DStv 400 / StarSat 256 / Openview 112 / Cell C black 501) has the daily Focus on Africa at 19:30, or CGTN (DStv 409 / StarSat 266 ) has the daily Africa Live at 19:00, covering Africa during prime time.

CNN that has agreed to a simulcast of Christiane Amanpour's current affairs programme in the United States on the PBS channel, decided to use the programme's expansion to an hour long show in America and the addition of contributors, to rejig and rebuild the programming schedule of CNN International around it.

From 10 September when the half hour Amanpour changes its name to Amanpour & Company in the United States, the hour long show will now start on weekdays at 19:00 on CNN International - an hour earlier.

As TVwithThinus previously reported, Amanpour & Company will add the four journalists Walter Isaacson, Michel Martin, Alicia Menendez and Hari Sreenivasan as contributors, and will feature wide-ranging, in-depth conversations with global thought leaders and cultural influencers on the issues and trends impacting the world each day, from politics, business and technology to arts, science and sports".

This will be followed by Hala Gorani Tonight that from 10 September will move to an earlier timeslot of 20:00 instead of 21:00 on weekdays on CNN International.

Richard Quest's Quest Means Business is also moving an hour earlier from 10 September and will now run at 21:00 instead of 22:00 on weekdays, continuing with its often-irreverent analysis and interviews of the day's global and American business news.

The news channel from Turner Broadcasting that often abruptly interrupted scheduled shows on CNN International with The Lead with Jake Tapper is now giving the show a fixed timeslot on CNN International from 10 September and will be shown at 22:00.

The Lead with Jake Tapper will do commentary and analysis of the day's headlines from the United States, a show that doesn't really so much resonate with African viewers.

CNN Today, co-anchored by Amara Walker and Michael Holmes, is also moving an hour earlier and instead of midnight, will now start at 23:00 on CNN International from 10 September - still covering the day's global headlines from around the world.

State of America, the weekday talk show about Donald Trump's day that was recently dumped from the schedule and replaced by a nightly repeat of CNN Talk with Max Foster, will return as a weekly show on Fridays from 14 September, again anchored by the preppy Kate Bolduan, and now closing out the week at 23:00 on CNN International.

CNN International says CNN World Sport will break into programming with bulletins across the schedule".

The Africa-focused programming strands, Marketplace Africa, African Voices and Inside Africa remain on the schedule and will continue to be part of CNN International's schedule across the week, with news from across the African continent that will continue to feature in CNN International's main shows as and when it happens.

During the day on CNN International, CNN Talk with Max Foster will remain in its usual midday timeslot of 13:00.

In the afternoon on CNN International there will also be two changes. As previously reported, Bloomberg Television's Julia Chatterley is joining CNN International and her new business news show, First Move with Julia Chatterley, will now be seen at 15:00 in the afternoon.

Julia Chatterley will report from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and will cover the latest market moves in the United States and around the world.

Julia Chatterley will also appear in the recently introduced Quest Express with Richard Quest that remains in its 18:00 timeslot, but is apparently changing its programme title to The Express.

"With new shows and expanded programming, these changes will benefit our audiences enormously," says Mike McCarthy, the senior vice president and general manager of CNN International.

"Across business, current affairs, politics, culture and sport, CNN International viewers will get the complete picture, from around the world, in one place."

CNN International programme/timeslot changes from 10 September:
Now                                                                          10 September
15:00 CNN Money with Maggie Lake                     15:00 First Move with Julia Chatterley
16:00 International Desk
17:00 Connect the World with Becky Anderson
18:00 Quest Express                                                   18:00 The Express
19:00 Wolf                                                                     19:00 Amanpour
20:00 Amanpour / CNN Talk                                   20:00 Hala Gorani Tonight
21:00 Hala Gorani Tonight                                        21:00 Quest Means Business
22:00 Quest Means Business                                    22:00 The Lead with Jake Tapper
23:00 Amanpour (repeat)                                          23:00 CNN Today's eNews unveils the new grey-and-red set inside its revamped Hyde Park studio for its TV news bulletins.'s eNews bulletin on Monday night revealed the revamped set of its news studio from where it will continue to do its daily TV news bulletins inside its Hyde Park headquarters.

The news studio is housed in the same building as eMedia Investment's eNCA (DStv 403) TV news channel.

The eNews studio revamp follows the unveiling of eNCA's "white-wash walls" revamp in mid-July a month after eNCA's 10th birthday.

"Good evening, and welcome to our new eNews studios," said Sally Burdett, eNews anchor, as she opened Monday night's TV news bulletin on at 20:00. issued no advisory or press release to the media ahead of time or afterwards about the studio revamp.

The new eNews studios with predominant grey and red tones and four wall monitors, is evocative of a sports show set and has one larger TV screen with a circular white base "bar table" with a transparent top, from where the main news is read by a standing news anchor.

The right hand side wall has a rectangular and segmented grid approach with red relief.

Two horizontal red lines criss-cross the right hand side wall and is reminiscent of the corridors of the set of the USS Enterprise 1701-D on the Paramount lot in Los Angeles whenever there was a red alert in the mid-1980's show Star Trek: The Next Generation.

BREAKING. SABC3 once again mangles the debut broadcast of a new Survivor season for the 3rd consecutive time, cuts out the entire immunity challenge of Cambodia Second Chance and plays music videos to fill empty playout time.

The SABC that is far beyond a second chance when it comes to getting the playout of Survivor right, once again shocked when SABC3 on Monday night butchered the debut of the new season of Survivor Cambodia - Second Chance by completely cutting out the first episode's challenge leaving viewers confused.

The SABC is again silent - like July last year when the same thing happened - after the South African public broadcaster yet again botched the start of a new season of the American reality show Survivor distributed by CBS Studios International.

SABC3 originally scheduled Survivor Cambodia - Second Chance, the 31st season of the long-running series, to start in May at the same time as the debut of Survivor South Africa: Philippines on M-Net (DStv 101).

Then SABC3 for unexplained reasons suddenly pulled the show from the line-up and decided to reschedule it to start this week that will see the finale of Survivor SA: Philippines on Thursday night happening as a live broadcast from Silverline Studios in Cape Town.

On Monday night as viewers tuned in for Survivor Cambodia - Second Chance, SABC3 specifically set aside an hour an a half between 19:30 and 21:00 for the longer than usual debut episode of the season.

That followed after SABC3 botched the debut of the previous 30th season, Survivor: Worlds Apart in July 19 when during that start, the public broadcaster only managed to show the first half hour and then cut to commercials and filler.  

Before that for the 29th season, SABC3 also messed up the the start of Survivor: San Juan Del Sur in April 2017 when the broadcast playout imploded with unexplained technical problems that caused chaos for the entire rest of the night's SABC3 schedule that collapsed in succession due to the episode no-show.

Last year the SABC was specifically asked what steps, if any, the public broadcaster took and will be taking going forward specifically with Survivor to prevent a repeat occurrence of playout problems with the show, but the SABC didn't respond.

Monday night viewers saw the start of Survivor Cambodia - Second Chance but SABC3 then inexplicably edited and cut out the episode's entire "immunity challenge", only to then continue with the tribal council.

That was followed by music video fillers on SABC3 to kill the time when the episode ran short, leaving viewers clueless as to what happened in the middle of the first episode.

On social media the SABC failed to interact with viewers wondering what's going on. The SABC was asked in a media enquiry Monday night what happened and why the episode was edited and cut in this way. If or when there's a response from the SABC it will be added here.

David Makubyane, general manager for TV channels, now standing in as acting SABC3 channel head after Aisha Mohamed quit last month, said at the end of July that SABC3, struggling in the ratings, wants viewers to come back and is working to repair its reputation as a channel destination for quality content.

"We want someone to say 'I can tune to SABC3 and get the latest local and international content at the quality that you can get on any other platform in South Africa," said David Makubyane.

Confused, angry SABC3 viewers respond
On Monday night perplexed and angry SABC3 viewers immediately vented on social media about SABC3's latest Survivor mess.

"Where are the SABC3 headquarters, we just want to talk about the Survivor episode they butchered," said Lungelo Gigaba.

"SABC3 throwing the Survivor challenge again. Who at the studio is getting voted out tonight? The tribe has spoken," remarked Shan Radcliffe.

"Did SABC3 just cut crucial parts of the first Survivor episode without blinking an eye? The immunity challenge wasn't aired, despite the timeslot now being 1h30mins long to have more time for ads. Why pay a TV licence?" asked Clinton du Preez.

"SABC3 what happened to Survivor today? Didn't see the challenge and straight to tribal council?" asked Xavier Dabrowski.

"SABC3 ... what's happening you guys didn't show the challenge, yet straight after the ad break you show tribal ... I'm confused," said Dulan Williams.

"SABC3 most useless channel. Cutting Survivor AGAIN!!!!! Where's the challenge??? SABC3 you stuff up with every new Survivor season. Jirrrr. BCCSA should do something about you!!!!" remarked Juanita.

SABC3's mangled Survivor history
SABC3 has an ongoing, embarrassing history with mangling Survivor and alienating viewers.

As advertisers and the sponsor demanded money back, the final control worker was immediately sent home, and later disciplined; and the issue was even addressed in parliament where the mistake was lamented as indicative of the worrying state of the public broadcaster. 

In December 2010 SABC3 abruptly delayed the start of Survivor Gabon. Weekly South African entertainment magazines that ran exit interviews worked according to SABC3's planned schedule and already put Christmas and New Year issues to bed.

The result was that multiple magazine covers gave away who was getting voted out before SABC3 showed the episode because the broadcast schedule no longer synced up with magazines' on sale distribution dates.

In Aprl 2012 SABC3 played a wrong promo during the 19th season showing a contestant already sitting in the tribal council jury although he was still very much part of the competing group of the show - giving away that he is getting voted out.

MultiChoice Tanzania caves under pressure from Tanzania's telecoms regulator after suspension threat, abruptly yanks all available free-to-all TV channels on DStv Tanzania from its pay-TV services.

Naspers' pay-TV arm MultiChoice on Sunday abruptly caved under pressure from the Tanzanian telecoms regulator and pulled all of the free-to-air TV channels it had been carrying on DStv Tanzania and GOtv - except for one - off its platform.

Tanzanian viewers who were watching Clouds TV, Channel Ten, TVE, Imaan TV and Star TV on DStv in the country can no longer do so.

MultiChoice's shock-move comes a week after Tanzania's telecommunications regulator warned that it plans to suspend MultiChoice Tanzania's pay-TV licence in the East African country over DStv Tanzania's refusal to drop its carriage of the free-to-air (FTA) TV channels available on DStv and GOtv.

In July Tanzania's Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) oddly also ordered the suspension of rival StarTimes Media Tanzania and it's satellite pay-TV service in the country - but for the opposite reason: saying that China's StarTimes also failed to keep to its licence.

MultiChoice initially said that it was concerned that the regulator planned to suspend its services over a case that was pending before Tanzania's Fair Competition Tribunal and that "while we remain open to constructive engagement, we are concerned that the notice has been issued even though the carriage of FTA services by pay-TV operators is currently pending before the Fair Competition Tribunal," MultiChoice Tanzania said.

MultiChoice Tanzania has now however caved under pressure and abruptly yanked all of the free-to-air TV channels it carried on DStv Tanzania, except for TBC1, without warning on Sunday.

MultiChoice Tanzania in a statement says that "in implementing the order from TCRA and the minister for works, transport and communication, MultiChoice Tanzania Ltd. has immediately suspended all of the free-to-air channels, except for TBC1, from its DStv decoders".

American president Donald Trump lashes out at 'vicious but not smart' Omarosa Manigault Newman.

In Monday's episode of the biggest unscripted reality show of our age, the Donald Trump's White House Survivor, the America president unleashed his latest tirade aimed at the most favourite reality TV villain of all time, Omarosa Manigault Newman, calling her "vicious but not smart".

The once-time Apprentice boss unleashed his latest Twitter-venom on Omarosa Manigault Newman after her latest tell-all book, Unhinged about her former White House boss, following her firing last year.

In tweets, Donald Trump slammed Omarosa, who worked as a former White House aide, saying "wacky Omarosa, who got fired 3 times on the Apprentice, now got fired for the last time".

"She never made it, never will. She begged me for a job, tears in her eyes. I said OK. People in the White House hated her. She was vicious, but not smart."

"I would rarely see her but heard really bad things. Nasty to people and would constantly miss meetings and word. When Gen. Kelly came on board he told me she was a loser and nothing but problems. I told him to try working it out, if possible, because she only said GREAT things about me - until she got fired!"

"While I know it's "not presidential" to take on a lowlife like Omarosa, and while I would rather not be doing so, this is a modern day form of communication and I know the Fake News Media will be working overtime to make even Wacky Omarosa look legitimate as possible. Sorry!"

Clara Nzima retires as SABC1 channel head, exits the South African public broadcaster after 35 years as top exec in charge of country's biggest TV channel.

Clara Nzima who has retired is out as SABC1 channel head, replaced by Sane Zondi as acting channel head of the South African public broadcaster's biggest TV channel and the country's most-watched channel.

There was no official public announcement from the SABC about the exit from the veteran TV executive but the broadcaster confirmed Clara Nzima's departure in response to a media enquiry.

Sane Zondi is SABC1's head of programming and will be the top exec in charge of SABC1 in an acting capacity until a permanent replacement and appointment is made. 

Sister channel SABC3 is likewise again without a permanent channel head following the exit of Aisha Mohamed last month, with David Makubyane, general manager for TV channels, standing in as acting SABC3 channel head for the time being.

Clara Nzima retired on 31 July after 35 years with the South African Broadcasting Corporation that she joined back in 1983 as a black woman during the apartheid heydey of the so-called "His Master's Voice" when the SABC more functioning as a state rather than a public broadcaster, was a National Party propaganda mouthpiece.

Clara Nzima started out as a production secretary and rose through the ranks over three decades and untold management and production turbulence within the SABC, to become commissioning editor, programme manager and eventually channel head.

She was SABC1 programme manager for 2 decades - from 1996 to 2016 - after which she became SABC1 channel head in September 2016 after she was acting channel head since February 2016.

Besides writing scripts for youth dramas like Zikhethele and Mina Nawe, Clara Nzima was the first commissioning editor on ratings juggernaut Generations that revolutionised SABC1's schedule, and in later years was responsible for SABC1's overall programming strategy as the public broadcaster's youth-focused channel.

Clara Nzima was part of the team who produced the country and the SABC's first Zulu clay animation show, and represented the SABC over many years at film festivals and TV and film markets around the world.

Ran South Africa's most-watched TV channel
In a Channel Africa radio in late-2016, Clara Nzima explained that "coming into television was somewhat by chance".

"I was just out of university looking for a job," she said "and the SABC was just one of the places I applied to and fortunately I got called in. In my application - not knowing television at all because at that time it was very new." TV started in SA in 1976.

"I got in as a production secretary. At that time the SABC still had a training institution internally, so we went for training for 6 months, and from there I went on to do youth and children's programmes which was quite fun, and also challenging."

As SABC1 channel head Clara Nzima said "it's quite an involved role because you're responsible for the running of the whole channel, whereas previously my experience was just the content side."

"Over many years since I got to management level - even as a commissioning editor in the channel - I've always insisted on having an assistant because for me succession planning is very important. I've even had an assistant as programming manager. And I think with all my assistants I've had one male - most were women."

"Development of women for me is very critical - not just within the SABC but with the productions that we deal with, even with the crew and writers - even with the stories: How do we portray women?"

Gender challenges in old SABC
About falling pregnant in the "old" SABC that was very male-dominated, Clara Nzima explained that "we were given such a hard time for taking maternity leave. We were refused maternity leave and we were told you take 6 weeks and you come back, or you're fired".

"That women these days can take 6 months is a victory. So we've come a long way within the SABC."

"The other thing that was quite refreshing in my journey with the SABC was when we had Prof Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri as a SABC chairwoman. She brought that female touch to the SABC."

"We're all born with potential. In life we will get obstacles. But what's important is what you do with those challenges. I think nothing is insurmountable. If you have the resolve to do something, it's within you," said Clara Nzima.

M-Net's Carte Blanche to celebrate 30th anniversary with a special 90-minute 'look back' live studio broadcast on 26 August with memorable moments, showing how truth does bring change.

The planned, special live studio broadcast on Sunday 26 August of M-Net's (DStv 101) long-running weekly investigative magazine show, Carte Blanche to celebrate its 30th anniversary on South African television will include a look back at its memorable moments, highlights and groundbreaking investigations over the past three decades - showing how truth does bring change.

The Combined Artistic Productions show with its signature theme song and currently with presenters Derek Watts, Devi Sankaree Govender, Claire Mawisa, John Webb and Macfarlane Moleli, remains a Sunday night 19:00 TV staple with a mix of investigative and consumer journalism stories, profile interviews and agenda-setting exposes based on a similar format as America's 60 Minutes.

As a South African TV institution, the special 30th birthday episode of Carte Blanche on 26 August will be an extended 90-minute broadcast from 19:00 until 20:30, and will include a look at some of the show's historical moments and the groundbreaking TV journalism investigations that the show brought to viewers over three decades under its slogan of "the right to see it all".

Devi Sankaree Govender who has been with Carte Blanche for the past 16 years, told Jacaranda FM in an interview that the special 30th anniversary episode will look back at some of the best stories over the years, "stories that have affected the country, stories that brought about change".

"We're looking at the investigative stories, the catching crooks stories, the happy stories, the adventure stories - marking 30 years, and 30 years of the fact that truth does bring change."

In an interview with 702 Devi Sankaree Govender said "Carte Blanche has been the greatest privilege of my life because I've had access to people and situations that ordinarily I wouldn't have access to".

"A big part of transformation for me, is transparency. And the only way you're going to get that, is if you're not afraid to ask the really tough questions. People don't like to be put on the spot," said Devi Sankaree Govender.

"When you're sitting across from somebody during an interview, it's just about you and that person. It's not about clever, fancy questions with big words. It's about keeping it real, asking questions that matter, but more importantly, finding some kind of direction."

"I'm a sucker for 'I'm sorry'. Very few of the people I interview actually say 'I'm sorry'. If you're sorry, then let's see how we are going to fix this together," she said.

South Africa's most-watched TV show, Uzalo, allegedly also affected by the beleaguered SABC's cash-crunch with whispers that it soon might have to let staff go.

South Africa's most-watched show, Uzalo, is allegedly also affected by the beleaguered SABC's cash-crunch and inability to pay TV producers, with whispers in the TV biz circulating that the production might possibly have to start letting some staffers go within weeks if it doesn't get paid.

Last week journalists heard from a longtime producer not working on the show but with connections and in touch with staffers there, who claimed that Uzalo is also struggling due to the South African public broadcaster's failure to pay local production companies and service providers what they're owed.

The person told journalists that if Uzalo apparently doesn't get money from the SABC within two weeks from now, that it will have to look at letting people go. "It's so sad because they're such sweet people and don't want to lose their contract and they're still a relatively new production company, trying to hard to create good work for the SABC."

The SABC owes South African producers millions of rand putting South Africa's TV and film production industry once again at risk with shows struggling to pay their casts and crews.

Uzalo remains the biggest show on South Africa television. The KwaMashu-set weekday drama series produced by Stained Glass TV, is the most-watched show in the country and on SABC1, luring 9.16 million viewers (26.2 AR) during July for its most watched episode.

Stained Glass TV is the company that the SABC reached out to during its emergency at the end of June to possibly take over production of the broadcaster's other KwaZulu-Natal produced drama series, Uselwa, after that show imploded and abruptly shut down when producers failed to pay the cast and crew.

There's been no public announcement from the SABC yet regarding the shuttered Uselwa and whether Stained Glass TV did indeed take over managing that show.

TVwithThinus asked the SABC in a media enquiry last week about Uzalo to get clarity on whether it's correct that the show has not been paid by the broadcaster. The SABC was asked for comment about this, and when the show will be paid if it hasn't been paid. The SABC didn't respond.

Dreamcatcher Multimedia that reps Uzalo and communicates on behalf of the drama series was also asked last week in media enquiries to get specifically the production company's response about the claim that Uzalo hasn't been paid and that it might soon lead to job losses. Uzalo's PR manager, Marang Setshwaelo didn't respond with any comment.

UPDATE Monday 13 August 2018, 15:00: In a statement from from Uzalo through Dreamcatcher, the production says "as per our client/supplier policy, it is Stained Glass policy not to disclose details of commercial arrangements with clients. As such, we would direct you to the SABC official spokespeople should you require further detail on the current position".

UPDATE Monday 13 August 2018, 15:30: In a statement Kaizer Kganyago, SABC spokesperson, says "the SABC is directly engaging with its partners and service providers, therefore we will not be drawn into discussing this matter in the public space".

Hollywood PR firm, 42West, denies claims from 21st Century Group that it's involved with its Women in Media Conference 2018: 'We've never managed Halle Berry or Taraji P. Henson', no legal action filed against agency.

The reputable Hollywood PR firm, 42West, denies claims from the 21st Century Group, organisers of the International Women in Media Conference 2018, that it was ever involved in the now-dubious event and says it never managed Halle Berry or Taraji P. Henson as 21st Century Group claims.

The event that was announced to take place on 5 and 6 September in the Sandton Convention Centre, derailed on Wednesday last week after stars like Taraji P. Henson and Halle Berry who were announced as being part of it, said they won't attend and are not involved with it, and slammed the organisers over "fake advertising", saying it's "shameful that 21st Century Group would advertise this way".

Bonang Matheba has also bailed on the event and Webtickets told TVwithThinus that it has halted all sales.

Taraji P. Henson, who visited South Africa previously as part of a publicity blitz in mid-2016 for Fox Networks Group UK & Africa’s FOX (DStv 125 / StarSat 131 / Cell C black 201) channel, said that she is working on Empire, isn't part of the conference, and that she wants her name and likeness removed from it.

The 21st Century Group in a statement said it is suing and starting a "legal lawsuit" against  42West, a well-known PR firm in the United States, and something called "Superstar Agency".

TVwithThinus made a media enquiry to 42West who responded with a statement saying 21st Century Group is lying, that 42West never managed Halle Berry or Taraji P. Henson, isn't a management firm but a PR agency and isn't aware of legal action filed against it as 21st Century Group claimed.

"There is absolutely no truth to any of the claims regarding 42West attributed to 21st Century Group," says a 42West spokesperson in a statement.

"To begin with, 42West is not a management firm and we have certainly never managed Halle Berry or Taraji P. Henson."

"Moreover, we have never signed any contracts on behalf of Halle Berry or Taraji P. Henson. Finally, to our knowledge, no legal action has been filed against 42West with regard to this matter."

It's not clear whether 1Magic(DStv 103), one of the M-Net channels supplied to MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform, remains the official media partner because M-Net has so far refused to publicly distance itself from the organisers and the event or to affirm its ongoing involvement.

It's also not yet clear whether other announced talent like the Carte Blanche presenter Claire Mawisa, the Mzansi Magic producer and actress Connie Ferguson, Amanda du Pont, actress Salamina Mosese and Thabile Ngwato are still involved.