Monday, April 28, 2014

BREAKING. eNCA goes off the air on DStv; cause of the blackout of 24-hour TV news channel is unknown.

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eNCA (DStv 403) is off the air; the 24-hour TV channel from Sabido Investment Limited went dark and experienced a blackout on Monday morning on MultiChoice's DStv pay-TV platform.

The reason of the blackout is unknown; eNCA didn't say why the news channel disappeared, and and eNCA didn't immediately respond to a media enquiry made asking about the channel. No press release was issued.

eNCA's screen is completely black and blank, with only an eNCA channel logo displayed in the bottom left corner of DStv subscribers' TV screens.

eNCA is the most watched in South Africa of all of the available 24-hour TV news channels, local and international channels included.

The loss on Monday morning of eNCA marks the second major broadcasting interruption of the eNews service, co-incidentally again on a Monday.

On Monday 24 October 2011 the eNews Channel - the former name of eNCA- froze and cut out on DStv leaving viewers and DStv subscribers clueless as to what happened to the channel.

The loss of eNCA on Monday morning also marks the second major TV channel loss and interruption incident occuring on MultiChoice's operated satellite pay-TV system this month.

Earlier in April DStv subscribers lost SABC1, SABC2, SABC3 and SABC News (DStv 404) due to a "complete failure of MultiChoice head-end equipment" with the back-up which failed too.

eNCA came back on at 10:32 on Monday for about one minute, after being off air for 20 minutes, and then went back to black - this time with no eNCA channel logo displayed.

At 10:37 eNCA went to blue screen, displaying the static "Cape Town Studio 201 NewsDay/UEFA".

At 10:38 eNCA started displaying the static message: "NOTE: APOLOGIES ALL. We're experiencing technical difficulties which we are working to solve".

At 10:42 the on-screen note apologising and telling DStv subscribers that the channel is having technical difficulties disappeared, showing just a static eNCA channel logo. The note reappeared from 10:47.

At 11:08 eNCA started with a repeat of Judge for Yourself after trying for several times to start the episode and viewers hearing the theme song playing several times unsuccessfully over another sound track with no visual.

eNCA gave no live anchor made apology when the news channel resumed, nor explained what happened and Judge for Yourself played out with no bumpers, promos or commercials - indicative of the ongoing systemic problems behind the scenes at the channel.

At 11:25 eNCA tells TV with Thinus that a power surge knocked eNCA's news system at its Hyde Park headquarters causing the channel blackout. eNCA said it hoped to be back on-air with live news programming and reporting by noon on Monday.

At 11:56 eNCA NewsDay anchor Andrew Barnes welcomes DStv subscribers and viewers back to the channel saying "Good to be back on-air after some gremlins have been weeded from the system".