Monday, November 3, 2014

After the lies, after the shocking schedule changes, SABC moves Afrikaans TV news bulletin back to SABC2 at 19:00, Sesotho news back to 19:30.

After telling blatant lies about it - saying that it's not moving, then saying that it's moving back after the World Cup, then saying that it's not moving permanently, and then cutting off millions of viewers unable to get the signal by moving/keeping it to SABC3 - the SABC has moved the Afrikaans TV news bulletin back from this evening to SABC2 at 19:00.

The SABC called me "a a self-proclaimed Cape Town based TV critic" - this from people at the SABC who've known me for years - and slammed my reporting as apparently "questionable" and said that the SABC perceived it "as a move to cause confusion and to some extent instigate racial and linguistic divisions".

Instead of stopping with the lies and finding out internally what the public broadcaster is actually doing - I do after all have the SABC TV executives on record in recorded audio making the announcements, which is what my exactly correct reporting was based on - the SABC's suddenly decided to slam me and tried to my independent reporting and credibility under suspicion.

I report facts, so precisely what I reported is going to happen, is what happened: the Afrikaans TV news bulletin on the SABC moved from SABC2 to SABC3 permanently, and the other TV news bulletins like the Sesotho news bulletin on SABC2 moved timeslots, to exactly where I said they would.

Now the Nuus om 7 on SABC2 is back at 19:00 on SABC2.

That after it was moved during the soccer World Cup from SABC2 to SABC3, while the SABC lied and said it was temporary (although it wasn't), broke its fake promise that it would be moving back immediately to SABC2 after the World Cup, and then kept it permanently on SABC3 and revealed that it was the plan all along from early in 2014.

Following an outcry from viewers after I reported on the issue, the Afrikaans TV news has now moved back from this evening, Monday 3 November to SABC2.

The Sesotho/Setswana news bulletin on SABC2 also moves back to its original timeslot - an hour earlier from 20:30 to 19:30.

In an understatement statement the SABC says that "shifting of news programming is a result of the SABC listening to its audience's feedback".

[It's not clear why the SABC "listened to" and got "feedback" from its audience only after the shocking change. Why didn't it get feedback before it wanted to do the change?]

This morning on SABC2's Morning Live with Leanne Manas, Jimi Matthews, the acting head SABC News at the SABC kept lying, or being disingenuous, or simply being uninformed, telling Leanne Manas that "this is really the first opportunity we've had to reorganise the schedule" after the soccer World Cup.

That is uninformed bogus talk or blatant lies. The SABC's now suspended TV head Leo Manne, SABC2's acting programme manager Jacqui Hlongwane, and SABC3's channel head Aishia Mohamed are all on recorded record saying in June that July is the first opportunity for the SABC TV channels to change their schedules and saying that the Afrikaans TV news on SABC2 is moving permanently.

SABC slides - both in slideshow presentation form and hard copy and given to journalists and advertisers in June - as well as a video promo - all clearly showed and said that the Afrikaans TV news Nuus om 7 is moving permanently.

Jimi Matthews said on Morning Live the Afrikaans TV news is brought back "to its rightful place on SABC2 at seven o' clock".

It's completely hilarious to watch Jimi Matthews trying to justify how bad it is if there is a news bulletin, then entertainment, then news and that the move now "back" of Afrikaans TV news, followed by Sesotho TV news, is to that there can be "uninterrupted entertainment" on the SABC's TV schedule after that.

Watch how he says this kind of programming has a "negative disruption on viewing patterns".

Yet that bad programming and scheduling is exactly what the SABC did with SABC3 when it moved the Afrikaans news there - having the English news, then Isidingo, then the Afrikaans news.

Sadly Jimi Matthews were not asked these questions on Morning Live; the answers would have been interesting:

- Why did the SABC move the Afrikaans TV news bulletin to SABC3 which is the TV channel with the smallest terrestrial footprint of the SABC if it knew it would make it impossible for millions of viewers to watch it? Or did the SABC not know this is what the result would be?

- Why did the SABC in on-air promos tell viewers the move would be temporary? Why did the SABC News then suddenly announce on the day it would supposedly be no longer temporary that it is now permanent?

- Why did the SABC say it's not true that the news bulletins are moving, after SABC TV executives told journalists and advertisers in Johannesburg, Durban and then Cape Town that it is moving permanently?

- The SABC says it isn't marginalising Afrikaans. What word would the SABC use or like to use to describe it when people who had access to the only Afrikaans TV news bulletin on all of the SABC's terrestrial channels is moved by the SABC so that in the entire Northern Cape, only the people living in Alexander Bay could still see it?

- The SABC says it isn't marginalising Afrikaans. What would the SABC want to call it when it says it is moving all Afrikaans drama to SABC3, the channel with the smallest broadcasting footprint of all the SABC's channels, permanently? (A move which hasn't been reversed by the way.)