SABC: THIRD OF OUTSIDE BROADCAST TRUCKS NOT USABLE

Friday, May 30, 2014

New visa rules damaging South Africa's TV and film industry hoping to attract foreign investment and location shoots.


Shocking new visa rules issued by the department of home affairs for foreigners coming to work in South Africa is already damaging South Africa TV and film industry struggling to compete internationally.

The American drama series Homeland for instance which is due to start filming in Cape Town next month already had to reschedule production days at great expense due to sudden visa changes.

"Many of the actors simply cannot leave their current locations and go back to the UK or US and wait for an unspecified period in London - the requirements and process are unclear to officials and applicants alike. The previous process worked well," says Theresa Ryan-van Graan, the head of production at Moonlighting Films SA.

The visa application procedure was changed without any notice or consultation with South Africa's TV and film industry, and is jeopardising future investment in South Africa with foreign companies considering where to do location shoots and film movies, TV series and commercials.

The travel and work schedules of many A-list actors - and skilled experts in other fields - are such that they cannot return to their home countries to submit applications, as this would create additional cost and inconvenience and severely hamper projects, investment and job creation required by the country, says Leon Isaacson, the managing director of Global Migration SA.

Previously the department of home affairs' head office issued a letter of permission after an application was made, which was then attached to an application made at an embassy or port of entry.

This has now changed. All applications made by visa-exempt or visa-restricted applicants, must be made abroad.

"The directive is not clear regarding whether the applicant must make a full application in person at the SA Mission abroad for a visa-exempt applicant, or whether an approval letter will be issued by the Mission in such a case, and presented at the port of entry on arrival," says Leon Isaacson.

"There is also no indication of how long the process will take, and there is conflicting information about the requirements, which creates confusion all-round".

"There needs to be a comprehensive policy review with a working, efficient system which facilitates much-needed investment and growth. Immigration is a critical part of that process and should be responsive and efficient," says Leon Isaacson.

Flying camera drones banned with immediate effect in South Africa by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA).


The use of flying drones with mounted cameras has been banned with immediate effect in South Africa by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA).

This makes it illegal for any TV news operations, productions doing film shoots, people shooting documentaries, TV series using remote flying cameras or ad or film agencies wanting to film scenic promos.

SACAA issued an immediate prohibition on the use of flying camera drones in South Africa, with no further permits which will be issued.

SACAA says the ban of all so-called "unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's)" with cameras in South Africa is due to a lack of regulations guiding its use and that more time is necessary to understand its use, as well as to come up with an outline of how these camera drones could be incorporated into the civil aviation sector.

"There is ongoing global research in this area to overcome this deficiency," says Kabelo Ledwaba, SACAA communications manager.

"South Africa runs the risk of losing production activities to other areas who approve the use of camera drones," says Denis Lillie, the chief executive of the Cape Town Film Commission (CFC).

"The ban will not only affect feature films, but also tourism promotion agencies often looking for aerial shots."

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The worst person in all of prime time television news on South African television is ... Arabile Gumede on NewsNight on eNCA.


The worst person in all of prime time television news on South Africa television is Arabile Gumede on eNCA (DStv 403), the business news anchor during NewsNight - if eNCA values its news product he should be removed and shifted out immediately.

Arabile Gumede's under par presenting was immediately self-evident but TV with Thinus decided to wait a few months to be fair, and to not judge based on what might just have been one or two unfortunately bad broadcasts.

Sadly its now clear that his presenting and delivery skills will not, and did not, improve and that Arabile Gumede is not ready or qualified for prime time news - supposedly an earned and prestige position.

Having looked objectively at countless hours of eNCA, SABC News, ANN7 as well as all the terrestrial TV news broadcasts on the SABC and e.tv during prime time, Arabile Gumede tops the list of the worst person anchoring news coverage on South African television.

(Ironically Francis Herd who Arabile Gumede replaced and who jumped ship to SABC News, has managed to superbly lift the business news coverage on television during prime time on that TV news channel.

With incisive questions and interviews, and clever inserts and topics Francis Herd has shown so far this year on SABC News that sometimes it actually is the anchor who is also the the journalist and who is responsible for how good or bad the content of a segment in a news bulletin is.)

Pull basically any Arabile Gumede recording from the eNCA archives and you'll see how he weakens the front row of eNCA prime time presenters. He simply doesn't fit alongside brilliant prime time workhorses like your Jeremy Maggs, Iman Rapetti, Derek van Dam and James Lennox.

Arabile Gumede's favourite word apparently is "rather"- as in used when he makes mistakes. And because he often makes mistakes, eNCA prime time viewers lather in the "rather" and have for months.

Basically not a single broadcast goes by without Arabile Gumede not making some form of reading mistake on television - usually multiple mistakes.

Surely there can't be script problems every night? Surely the autocue isn't acting up every night? It leads to the conclusion that it is the person who is the problem.

Nobody else across competitor pay-TV news channels ANN7 or SABC News come across as bad anchoring as Arabile Gumede who just seems not quite right and "not quite there" in terms of solid business news presenting.

He often comes across as unsure of himself. He seems nervous. And Arabile Gumede mostly reads like a bad and untrained first year campus radio station news reader.

His inappropriate, and constant, faux sport coverage like double usage hand movements are completely wrong, too much, never-ending, off putting and perplexing. Has nobody told him? Is nobody telling him what to change?

Arabile Gumede's wide and faux extroverted arm and hand movements come across as superficially fake as a Mango airlines' air steward taking passengers through the obligatory emergency exits announcement.

It's bad that Arabile Gumede is on-air during prime time. It's worse that eNCA is making as if there's nothing wrong with him and keeping him in the position.

It is bad that eNCA either doesn't want to replace him, or that this is what eNCA considers to be the best, or its best person, to anchor business news during prime time.

Television and TV news is a visual and an auditory medium. Viewers - even channel loyal ones - will "momentarily" tune to another channel (and sometimes forget to come back) at the slightest whiff of any form of badness, unprofessionalism or irritability factors.

I'm sorry to say that Arabile Gumede tops the list of people in prime time, doing TV news in South Africa, who make me want to flip to another channel.

Unfortunately as a TV critic, I often have to keep watching. Just like the captive audience inside a Mango flight, unable to escape the often-awful emergency exit row in-flight demonstration.

Massive Sky News mistake: 'Oh f-ing hell!' says Sky News' Jon Craig as stunned anchor Lukwesa Burak has to pick up the pieces.



There's massive embarrassment for Sky News (DStv 402) which broadcast the F-word on television worldwide and in South Africa when reporter Jon Craig suddenly said: "Oh f-ing hell!" when Big Ben started ringing behind him.

The incident occurred this week while Sky News and its chief political correspondent Jon Craig was covering the European parliamentary elections.

Jon Craig was standing in front of Westminster when Big Ben behind him started tolling and he lost his cool.

A flustered Lukwesa Burak, anchoring the Sky News broadcast, was stunned, but managed to quickly tell viewers: "We do apologise for that. That was a much earlier recording. And our apologies here from Sky News. Moving on ..."

It's not the first time that Sky News' Jon Craig has spewed filth whilst reporting on Sky News, and not the first time the frustrated reporter opened his dirty mouth during reporting with Big Ben behind him:

BBC Worldwide unveils its upcoming slate of 2014 winter programming on its BBC TV channels for South Africa.


BBC Worldwide for Africa unveiled its upcoming slate of 2014 winter programming for South Africa and Africa.

Joel Churcher, BBC Worldwide's new vice president and general manager for Africa, says that BBC Worldwide will open its South African office later this year in Johannesburg and is reaffirming the BBC's commitment to Africa, saying that "South African audiences are guaranteed the highest calibre of British content for years to come".

BBC Worldwide provides BBC Entertainment (DStv 120), BBC Knowledge (DStv 184), BBC Lifestyle (DStv 174) and CBeebies (DStv 306) to MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform and the 24-hour TV news channel BBC World News (DStv 400  /StarSat 400) is available on DStv and StarSat.

The BBC has several programmes linking thematically to the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicking off in June in Brazil.

Kully Kaur-Bains, the head of programming for South Africa at BBC Worldwide says "first class programming takes the centre stage on BBC's channels this winter with high-quality, award-winning content across all genres. South African audiences can look forward to viewing Britain's most talked about shows".


BBC Entertainment (DStv 120)  has new comedy series Moone Boy "coming soon", an autobiographical series with Chris O'Dowd and revolving around an 11 year old boy Martin growing up in the 1980s in Ireland.

Big School starts on 1 July at 19:55 with David Walliams and Catherine Tate, a new comedy in which French teacher Miss Postern joins the school and with Mr Church falling in love.

Ambassadors is "coming soon", a comedy with David Mitchell and Robert Webb about a British embassy. The 6th season of the game show The Cube with presenter Phillip Schofield will start on Sunday 15 June at 20:00.

The 9th season of Live at the Apollo will start in August showcasing big names in comedy in stand-up performances.

The second season of drama series Mr Selfridge starts on Sunday 27 July at 21:00 with Jeremy Piven, based upon the world-renowned store on London's Oxford Street in 1909.

The third season of drama series Death in Paradise starts on Friday 11 July at 20:00 with more mysterious murders to be solved on the Caribbean island of Saint Marie.

The 12th season of the British Strictly Come Dancing will start in October, and the 16 season of The Graham Norton Show will start in November.


BBC Lifestyle (DStv 174) has Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook: Cosmopolitan Cook starting on Tuesday 24 June at 21:00, visiting destinations from Stockholm to the Amalfi Coast.

The 4th season of The Great British Bake Off starts on Tuesday 29 July at 20:00 with Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood judging the next batch of 13 passionate bakers.

Rick Stein's India kicks off on Tuesday 5 August at 21:00 with the chef embarking on a spectacular journey through India to find the perfect curry and discover the origins of dishes, ingredients and spices.

The 9th and final season of America's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition with Ty Pennington will start on Sunday 24 August at 18:00.

Save with Jamie starts on Wednesday 30 July at 20:00 with chef Jamie Oliver returning in a helpful new food series, hoping to inspire viewers to eat better and spend less on weekly food bills.

The first season of Jimmy and Jimmy's Food Fight Club is "coming soon" in which Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty head to Essex to open up a pop-up cafe.

The second season of Chefs: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is will start in July, in which chefs compete against each other to buy food, prepare dishes and sell it to diners in various different restaurants to see who can make the most money.


BBC Knowledge (DStv 184) has a winter season thematically looking at Brazil and exploring South America - from its people to the wildlife - as the 2014 FIFA World Cup takes place there.

Wild Brazil starts on 8 June at 17:00 - named the same as a documentary series starting on Nat Geo Wild also starting in June. It's not clear if its different series.

This Wild Brazil is a BBC/Discovery Channel co-production and explores the lives of animals in South America, showing never-before-filmed behaviour.

Road to Rio starts on 1 June at 16:10 as a 6 part series, a colourful documentary following comedians Mark Watson and Henning When on a soccer themed road trip through South America.

Secrets of South America starts on 18 June at 21:00 as a 3 part series - a series about South America's diverse culture, ranging from beauty pageants, sex in Argentia and the growth of the money and glamour culture on the continent.

Hunt vs Lauda: F1's Greatest Racing Rivals on Thursday 31 July at 21:00 has rare archive footage, fascinating interviews with team managers, journalists, family members and friends about Formula One race driver rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

The Sex Clinic is coming in October, following patients and staff at two of Britain's most overworked clinics and showing how people deal with sexually transmitted diseases.

The Dealership starts on Wednesday 28 May at 21:00. This new 3 part series looks under the bonnet of a used car dealership in Essex.

The Men Who Made Us Thin starts on Monday 30 June at 22:00 with investigative journalist Jacques Peretti looking at the diet industry where business is booming as obesity grows.


CBeebies (DStv 306) has Dinopaws in October about three inquisitive dinosaurs on a quest to explore the world around them.

Marco Rosi joining Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) as new head of kids channels for Africa.

Marco Rosi is joining Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) as the new head of channels of TBS Italy as well as head of kids channels for Africa.

Marco Rosi joined FOX International Channels in 2007. In his new position as head of channels at TBS, he will report directly to Jaime Ondarza, the senior vice president and general manager of Turner Broadcasting System for Italy, Europe and South Africa.

Marco Rosi will be responsible for all editorial and marketing decisions for Turner's kids channels in Africa like Cartoon Network (DStv 301) and Boomerang (DStv 302) available on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform in South Africa and across Africa.

"We are delighted that Marco Rosi is joining us and I am sure he will contribute with his experience and expertise to the consolidation and growth of the channels in Turner Broadcasting System Italy and Africa," says Jaime Ondarza in a press statement announcing the appointment.

Downton Abbey creator wants British period drama on BBC Entertainment to be shown overseas much closer to the UK broadcasting date.


If Downton Abbeys creator Lord Julian Fellowes gets his wish, South African viewers will get to see the highly-addictive British period drama much sooner on BBC Entertainment (DStv 120) instead of a months' long wait.

Lord Julian Fellowes told The Telegraph that he wants overseas audiences to see Downton Abbey much sooner because the plots, intrigue and storylines are spoilt for overseas viewers due to the internet when the audience outside of the United Kingdom - as obsessed with the show - are made to wait for months to see it.

BBC Worldwide shows Downton Abbey on BBC Entertainment but there a huge lag time before South African viewers get to see a new series of the Carnival Films produced show. 

A fifth season will start in the UK later this year, but won't be seen in South Africa until at least 2015. The "Christmas special" which is always the final episode is for instance never shown at, during or close to Christmas in South Africa.

"The difficulty that we have is that people are discussing the series as it happens online," said Lord Julian Fellowes, calling it "madness".

He wants Downton Abbey to be shown at the same time overseas and in America for instance as new episodes are shown in the UK, saying that the BBC did it in November last year for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary when the episode was shown worldwide simultaneously in 75 countries.

"The BBC have shown it can be done because they did it with Doctor Who so all this talk that it's impossible is wrong".

"I don't mean exactly the same time so people have to stay up all night but instead the same day in order for everyone to have a chance to watch it".

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

BREAKING. Chelsea Lately on E! Entertainment is over; Chelsea Handler done with E! and ending her late night talk show on 26 August.


Chelsea Handler is done with E! Entertainment (DStv 124) and the late night talk show Chelsea Lately will end on 26 August in America.

Chelsea Handler's disdain of E! Entertainment surfaced in March when she blasted E! Entertainment saying E! Entertainment is "a sad, sad place to live" and that "they don't know what they're doing. They have no ideas. It's a failure".

"Chelsea brought a distinct voice to late night with her acerbic wit and fearless commentary and we look forward to providing fans with a memorable send-off that lives up to that tradition," says Suzanne Kolb, E! president in a statement announcing that Chelsea Lately is over.

"We are grateful to the Chelsea Lately team for making this show so special for seven years".

Chelsea Lately will tellingly end production months before the contract ends in December this year - a telling indication of just how much the relation between Chelsea Handler and E! Entertainment soured.

"It was a fantastic seven years," says Chelsea Handler in the press statement. "I will always look back at my time on E! as most people look back at their time in college. I'm glad I went".

Hello Ross on E! Entertainment also just abruptly ended its second season, with no explanation, and also before it was supposed to - Hello Ross is of course being produced by the same production company as the one doing Chelsea Lately.

BREAKING. 'Adored' SuperSport presenter and analyst Isaac 'Shakes' Kungwane dead at 43.


Shock, as the SuperSport presenter and analyst Isaac Ramaitsane "Shakes" Kungwane died today - he was only 43.

The highly regarded soccer analyst on SuperSport who was born in 1973 in Alexandra and who struggled with weight issues through the years since the early 90s (he simply loved his pap and hamburgers), passed away earlier today after he was admitted to hospital.

Shakes Kungwane was in the hospital's intensive care unit since Monday, and has been back and forth, in and out of hospital several times just this year.

The cause of death is still unknown.

The former midfielder who've played for Kaizer Chiefs, Jomo Cosmos, Pretoria City and Manning Raiders leaves behind his wife Precious, three children, Kabelo, Neo and Thato - and shocked SuperSport colleagues and friends.

"It is with great sadness that SuperSport confirms the death of the former soccer star turned television presenter Isaac Ramaitsane 'Shakes' Kungwane," says SuperSport of the former Kaizer Chief soccer star who adored himself to viewers with his funny and often peculiar soccer observations.

"We are all stunned and saddened by the awful news," says Alvin Naicker, SuperSport's head of production.

"Shakes brought vitality, knowledge and understanding to his role at SuperSport. He was adored by everyone. This is a sad day for soccer lovers who will recall Shakes for his wizardry on the ball".

"SuperSport extends sympathies to his family".

BREAKING. MultiChoice releases entire new 2nd season of House of Cards on DStv Catch Up 2 weeks before episodes are shown on M-Net.


You're reading it here first. 

MultiChoice will be making the entire brand-new second season of the Netflix drama series House of Cards available on its DStv Catch Up service and this time before its being shown on pay-TV broadcaster M-Net - a first ever for South Africa television and a groundbreaking move for MultiChoice.

Not just the second season of House of Cards will become available to DStv subscribers, but also the whole first season's 13 episodes which was already shown on M-Net, will be made available to DStv subscribers.

The new second season's 13 episodes of House of Cards will become available to DStv subscribers from 13 June - a full two weeks before the first episode of the second season is set to start on 27 June on M-Net.

Earlier this year in March MultiChoice made previous seasons of the HBO series Game of Thrones available to DStv subscribers on its DStv Catch Up service before the start of the 4th season.

Now however MultiChoice - in a groundbreaking new move for the satellite pay-TV platform - is going one step further, releasing and making TV episodes of a regular TV series available for on demand viewing before it will be shown on M-Net on a linear broadcasting schedule.

The first season's 13 episodes of House of Cards will become available from 30 May on DStv. The second season's 13 episodes of House of Cards will become available on 13 June.

Once M-Net starts broadcasting the second season from 27 June, four episodes of House of Cards will once again be stacked on DStv Catch Up.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Oprah: 'The crazy stays in this room!' in an episode of Oprah Behind the Scenes on TLC Entertainment on DStv you HAVE to see.


An utterly shocked Oprah Winfrey's eyes go wide as she tells her panicked Harpo staff: "The crazy stays in this room!"

Whatever you do, you don't want to miss tonight's episode of Oprah Behind the Scenes at 19:05 on TLC Entertainment (DStv 172) when the talk show host and her staff deals with something which has never happened before in the history of the Oprah Winfrey Show in this fascinating fly-on-the-wall reality show which was filmed during the 25th and final season of the talk show.

It's February 2011 and viewers will see Oprah Winfrey and bahind-the-scenes chaos at Harpo never seen before when the fat-now-thin Jennifer Hudson creates massive tension when she secretly slips out and can't get back in time for the episode.

With a massive blizzard heading to Chicago, the producers decide to fly in all of the guests in advance to the city and prepare to do three shows per day over two days.

How it usually works is that a guest flies in, a rehearsal is done if there is going to be a musical performance the evening before the next day's show, they go back to their hotel room, they rest up, they come back for a sound check in the morning, and then the show happens.

Jennifer Hudson jets into Chicago just before the blizzard, goes to Harpo Studios and does a rehearsal. Then she turns around and says "see ya all in the morning" because she has to go do "my homework", meaning practising for the show.

On Friday morning at 06:00, three hours before the Oprah episode is suppose to happen, a senior production assistant discovers that Jennifer Hudson is in Dallas. She then calls the episode's producer Leslie Grisanti.

"Jennifer is going to be a little late," Jennifer Hudson's publicist suddenly informs them - who didn't tell the Oprah producers anything about it earlier.

"J Hud flew to Texas last night. There's no way that Jennifer Hudson is going to make the 9am taping. There's no way."

Meanwhile 375 audience members are showing up, its 06:35 and executive producer Sheri Selata doesn't know and hasn't told Oprah yet.

Producers start scrambling, with Leslie Grisanti going to tell Oprah and others to try and put an emergency plan into action for the massive people set to arrive since three shows are set to be recorded at 09:00, 13:00 and 16:00 which will all be late.

Harpo Studios will unable to handle all the people and the whole production machine is threatening to seize up.

"J Hud flew to Texas last night," Sheri Selata tells Oprah when the producers huddle in an office.

"Excuse me. Excuse me. What the hell is going on?" asks a shocked Oprah.

"She jumped on a private plane and flew to a private event for Jamie Foxx in Dallas. They had a show on last night that is why they didn't tell anybody. She was supposed to fly back last night right after the event. The flight got cancelled because of weather. We worked on this date since January. We've done exactly what they've asked," says Sheri Selata.

Then Oprah's team gets word that J Hud is on a private plane, her hair and make-up team is with her and doing it on the plane.

"We already had an unusual day on our hands because of the blizzard. And now we have another huge problem," said Sheri Selata.

That's when Oprah's leadership qualities start to shine through.

"God this is bad. This is the thing. Lets keep this frenetic crazy-ass energy in this room and not spread it to others".

Then they discover Jennifer Hudson is flying "commercial" and not on a private jet.

Oprah decides to be honest and do her own crisis communication.

She goes to tell the waiting audience in the holding room that Jennifer Hudson is not there and what she did and that this hasn't happened in 25 years.

She apologises profusely. She is honest and tells them the show will be delayed for hours. She asks the if they will be okay. The studio audience loves her. Oprah says Harpo is going to give them food. Oprah says "thank you". Everybody cheers.


J Hud arrives hours late. "I wanted to be able to look Jennifer Hudson in the eye and say: ' What happened here?' So I went backstage without cameras because I didn't want to be about me trying to scold her or have a TV moment. I just wanted to hear from her lips  to my ears what had happened. She was very apologetic and said she won't do this again," says Oprah.

Oprah then goes out and tells the audience: "We had a lot of drama. Everybody said should we cancel this show? I said I never cancel because I think about you guys [the studio audience]."

"Jennifer being late backed up the whole day and put a lot of pressure unnecessarily on a lot of people," says Oprah.

Watch tonight's dramatic episode and what happens when J Hud's "people" tells Oprah "people" that Oprah is not allowed to ask Jennifer about her weight and how much weight she's lost with Weight-Watchers.

And then there's issues when Susan Lucci doesn't want to fly in for an All My Children reunion episode because she's scared of the weather.

Monday, May 26, 2014

RV Rampage on the Travel Channel starts tonight at 21:00; travelogue series sets a brisk reality competition pace through New Zealand.


A breath taking journey through the land of the Hobbits, New Zealand, kicks off tonight at 21:00 with the start of the scenic travel competition show, RV Rampage on Travel Channel (DStv 179) - and one of the teams competing comes from South Africa.

RV Rampage starts tonight on the Travel Channel and there's a new episode every weekday in this 10 episode series - so make sure you set that DStv Explora or DStv PVR and catch them all.

Imagine a bit of The Amazing Race, a bit of grueling physical Survivor challenges and then a car commercial of people driving through amazing landscapes, and then you have RV Rampage, with presenters Amanda Byram and Henry Cole.

With a backdrop of New Zealand's breath taking landscapes, stunning scenery and its incredible coastline, five international teams of two people battle it out in often hilarious and harder than what it looks challenges, to be crowned the ultimate adventurer.

The teams, in different colours, journey from Auckland on the North Island all the way to Queenstown on the South.

The RV Rampage teams do Tourist Challenges – designed to immerse them in the culture and lifestyle of New Zealand - as well as Rampage Challenges – designed to prove them physically, mentally and for them to conquer their fears. 

They also have to eat, sleep and live in the pockets of the very people they are competing against as the five pairs share three motor homes for the duration of the trip - there's no escaping each other.

Part travelogue, part adventure competition, part reality show, RV Rampage meanders through the very beautiful New Zealand landscape with a brisk pace, interesting challenges and with infotainment that makes you feel smarter without feeling like homework.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

SHOCKER. Faith Muthambi becomes South Africa's new minister of communications; is the 6th communication minister in 5 years.


In a shocker for South Africa's struggling media and communications industry battling with massive and weighty issues simply not being addressed by government, president Jacob Zuma has announced Faith Muthambi as the new minister of communications, as the department of communications is being split of into a new ministry of telecommunications and postal services.

Yunus Carrim who just started making headway heading up the communications ministry is now out - replaced by Faith Muthambi who has no broadcasting experience.

Faith Muthambi did sit as a member of parliament's portfolio committee on communications, but has no formal communications, media, broadcasting or broadcasting management experience or qualifications.

She has a controversial past (and lists "reading" as one of her personal interest): Faith Muthambi is the former controversial municipal manager at the Makhado municipality.

There she was suspended for certain allegations, stayed at home with full pay, got a performance bonus of more than R80 000, left under a cloud after she resigned, and was redeployed by her political party to parliament in May 2009.

Faith Muthambi becomes the 6th minister of communications in South Africa in five years - dealing yet another setback to a directionless communications and telecommunications industry which needs clear and concise directives, decisions and leadership, but hasn't gotten any.

Faith Muthambi replaces Yunus Carrim, who in succession replaced Dina Pule, Roy Padayachie, Siphiwe Nyanda, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and Ivy-Matsepe Casaburri since 2009.

Jacob Zuma's ANC-led government decided to spin off telecommunications and the South African Post Office from the communications portfolio.

The department of communications will now concern itself with the SABC, the broadcasting regulator Icasa and pressing issues like digital terrestrial television (DTT) migration.

Faith Muthambi lands herself in a massive issue: that of conditional access (CA) or set-top box (STB) control and whether it should or should not be included in the STB's for DTT in South Africa.

The other massive issue Faith Muthambi will struggle to deal with is the beleaguered South African public broadcaster.

The SABC has been plagued by mismanagement, corruption, in-fighting and political bias, and the corporation is currently without a CEO and an acting chief operating officer who is matricless, lied about it, and who has been implicated in abuse of power, mismanagement, corruption and who - according to the Public Protector's report - "should never have been appointed at the SABC".

Saturday, May 24, 2014

BBC News 'punching below its weight in the digital world' report finds; 'BBC has to shift its focus from putting traditional broadcasting first'.


BBC News is "punching well below its weight in the digital world" and describes BBC News' web presence as "lacking character" compared to other web and news sites, according to a new report BBC News commissioned from Sir Howard Stringer, a non-executive BBC director.

South African viewers get BBC World News (DStv 400 / StarSat 400) as a 24-hour TV news channel on MultiChoice's DStv and On Digital Media's StarSat services.

The Guardian reports that BBC News' online audience is not significant enough, while sites like Buzzfeed has developed a bigger audience in 8 years than what BBC News and BBC Worldwide manages internationally.

"Given Buzzfeed, for example, was only founded in 2006, this raises the question of why the BBC's global digital reach is not more significant," says the report.

"This is not about dumbing down. It is about having an acute understanding of the audience and making news relevant to them ... while never deviating from the core journalistic values of the BBC".

"The BBC needs to think about how it can add character and personality," says the report and advises that BBC journalists should be encouraged "to respond to the shifting needs and tastes of a specific audience. To be as effective as possible in serving audiences online, journalists must have the freedom to tailor their output to appeal to them".

"The BBC cannot offer an opinion of its own due to its rules on impartiality but could "explore curating opinion online" by having an international op-ed page" on its website suggests the report.

"The BBC's global reputation helps it get significant interviews. There is no reason why a BBC international opinion service should not have the same draw for international figures".

"Fundamentally the BBC has to shift its focus from putting traditional broadcasting first to putting mobile first. By 2022 the BBC should be mobile first in every country," says the report.

Teen superhero comedy series, Mighty Med on Disney XD, renewed for a second season.


The teen superhero comedy series, Mighty Med on Disney XD (DStv 304) has been renewed for a second season.

Disney announced in a press statement that Disney XD has ordered a second season of Mighty Med which will start production in July.

"The show's clever take on the popular superhero genre has made this show a hit with Disney XD viewers," says Adam Bonnett, the executive vice president of original programming for Disney Channels Worldwide.

Mighty Med which earlier this year started its first season on Disney XD in South Africa, revolves around the after-school adventures of teenage best friends Kaz and Oliver, who land dream jobs at a secret hospital for superheroes, sci-fi and fantasy characters.

Without powers of their own, these two seemingly ordinary boys realize that the power of friendship gives them the ability to become heroes themselves and save the people who save people. Mighty Med is produced by It's A Laugh Productions.

Laszlo Bene appointed as the head of the Television School at AFDA's Durban campus.

Laszlo Bene has been appointed as the head of the Television School at AFDA's Durban campus.

The producer and director who has worked in Hollywood as well as in South Africa's TV industry, returned to South Africa in 2006.

He worked on the educational kids series Takalani Sesame on SABC1 as well as the Afrikaans game show Dis Rugy! on kykNET (DStv 144).

Laszlo Bene has been a guest lecturer at the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance (AFDA) since 2010 at AFDA's Cape Town and Johannesburg campusses.

"I am excited to head up the television school of AFDA in Durban," says Laszlo Bene.

"I believe this newest AFDA campus has the potential to not only produce future television professionals in the KwaZulu-Natal area but through this has a chance to grow the local industry as well".

Anneke Villet appointed as new commissioning editor for kykNET.

Anneke Villet has been appointed as the new commissioning editor for kykNET (DStv 144).

kykNET is the Afrikaans language subset of TV channels packaged and provided by pay-TV broadcaster M-Net to MultiChoice's satellite pay-TV platform.

Friday, May 23, 2014

BREAKING. An American to host the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards; Marlon Wayans the official host of the MAMA's on 7 June.


Viacom International Media Networks International Africa (VIMN Africa) has oddly chosen an American, not someone living in Africa, as the official host of the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA's) taking place in Durban on 7 June, with the American comedian Marlon Wayans who will visit South Africa to preside over the awards show.

The MTV Africa Music Awards is returning to MTV Base after a three year absence and is set to take place at the International Convention Centre in Durban on 7 June.

VIMN Africa didn't immediately respond to a media enquiry seeking comment as to why an American host was selected for an award show aimed at celebrating African music and pan-African talent.

"Marlon Wayans is a hugely popular entertainment figure known and loved by African audiences from The Wayans Brothers and his various movie roles. His irreverent humour and infectious energy will definitely make him a great host for the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards," says Alex Okosi, the senior vice president and managing director of VIMN Africa.

The 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards will be shown live on MTV Base (DStv 322) and MTV (DStv 130) on 7 June at 21:00, as well as on tape delay on BET (StarSat 190). A one hour special, MTV World Stage will also be broadcast.

The 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards will include performances by R&B star Miguel, hi-hop artist French Montana, Nigerian artists Davido, Flavour and Tiwa Savage, as well as South Africa's Mafikizolo, Uhuru, Oskido and Professor.

BREAKING. M-Net grabs must-see new reality show, I Wanna Marry Harry, shown on M-Net only 7 days after United States.


You're reading it here first. 

I can break the news and exclusively reveal that M-Net has just grabbed yet another wanna-watch, can't-look-away brand new TV show, I Wanna Marry Harry, which M-Net (DStv 101) is rushing to South African viewers.

I Wanna Marry Harry is a brand-new reality show in which daft American girls vie for the hand of "Prince Harry" - without realising that the remarkable lookalike it's not the real Prince Harry. M-Net is rolling out episodes just 7 days after its shown in the United States.

I Wanna Marry Harry on Mondays at 18:30 is yet another M-Net acquisition which the South African pay-TV broadcaster secured with episodes broadcast in the country incredibly close to the American broadcast dates.

I Wanna Marry Harry is produced by Zig Zag Productions and Ryan Seacrest Productions. Twelve girls compete for their chance to marry "Prince Harry" while living at an English mansion.

"Prince Harry" however is actually Matthew Hicks from Exeter and not the real Prince of Wales, who had to undergo lessons in royal etiquette, horseback riding and remembering the real Prince Harry's birthday, and really works cleaning up oil spills for an environmental consulting firm.

Each week "Harry" picks one lucky lady to take on an extravagant adventure, while another's dream of becoming a princess is dashed. As he narrows his choice the inevitable moment awaits when he will have to reveal that's he's more pauper than prince. Will the lucky girl still love him?

"M-Net has always been linked with the words 'magic', 'best' and 'first' and these days we can add the word 'speed' to our attributes," Lani Lombard, the M-Net's head of publicity and special projects tells TV with Thinus.

"Having I Wanna Marry Harry on M-Net (DStv 101) so soon after clinching the broadcast deal, and a mere week after its debut in the United States, is an incredible feat".

"It's also another feather in the cap for our M-Net Acquisitions team who have one mission only: to bring the best television content to our shores".

SABC2's Muvhango cast not striking; 'working relationship with the SABC has never been better,' says public broadcaster's Venda soap.


SABC2's Venda soap Muvhango, Word of Mouth Productions, the cast and the SABC are jointly rubbishing tabloid trash reports that the Muvhango cast was striking.

While reputable media didn't touch the fake story, tabloids foamed at the mouth to "report" the fabrication.

It prompted the SABC, the production company and the actors to unite against the slanderous accusations.

"We were surprised as the Muvhango cast around the media reports that there was a strike looming. I can confidently state there is no strike; it is business as usual," says Sindi Dlathu, the Muvhango cast representative who portrays the role of Thandaza.

Earlier this year SABC2 finally added a Friday Muvhango episode on weekdays at 21:00, with the 15 year old soap now running five days a week, a year after the SABC made the announcement that Muvhango will add another episode per week.

The production, the actors and the SABC is making it clear that at no point was there a strike or one intended at Muvhango. "There is a good relationship," says producers Duma Ndlovu and Mmamitse Thibedi.

"This year has been amazing for Muvhango as a brand," says Duma Ndlovu. "The team, being the cast and producers, are focused on working on bigger and better stories. We appreciate the SABC for increasing the broadcasting of the programme from 4 days to 5 and our working relationship with the SABC has never been better".

The SABC's famously matricless acting chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng who met with the Muvhango cast, says the soap "is one of the SABC's biggest properties".

"We are dedicated to improving the lives of workers and as the SABC we have given production houses three year contracts and we are encouraging these production houses to provide their full-time actors with 3 year contracts," says Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

BREAKING. Brand-new logo for the Disney Channel set to be introduced on MultiChoice's DStv.


The Disney Channel (DStv 303) seen in South Africa on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform is set to unveil a brand-new logo - the first new logo in almost 12 years, which will be introduced in America on Friday, as well as the other 42 Disney Channels worldwide, including South Africa, this year.

Disney tells TV with Thinus a specific date for a logo change for the Disney Channel on DStv is not yet known, but will happen sometime during the winter.

"The new branding was an international collaboration between Disney Channel global and European teams and is crafted so our teams everywhere can customize it to create local stories, in familiar settings, featuring culturally identifiable storytelling," says Richard Loomis, the senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Disney Channels Worldwide.

"The dynamic new logo is a combination of two classic Disney icons – the distinct signature stroke of company founder Walt Disney and the three-circle shape evocative of Mickey Mouse," says Disney.

"Our viewers have great affinity for two heritage elements that have long created a 'story' during our daily programming schedule - the four note music mnemonic and the beloved 'wand ID' in which our stars form our Disney Mouse ears with a wand. We are looking forward to introducing these elements in an exciting new package".

Disney's TV channels are available in 166 countries, like Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior seen on DStv in South Africa and the rest of Africa.

BREAKING. Maria Menounos signs to join E! Entertainment; will do red carpet coverage and her own new show, Untold with Maria Menounos.


Maria Menounos has signed a multiyear contract with E! Entertainment (DStv 124) to do live red carpet coverage for the TV channel, and will also be doing her own show, Untold with Maria Menounos.

Her contract comes a day after longtime E! News anchor Giuliana Rancic extended her contract by a further two years and news that Giuliana Rancic recommitted herself to E!, not wanting to appear "pushed out" when Maria Menounos joins - which she now did.

"As we continue to expand E!'s dynamic news programming lineup, we're so excited to have Maria join the E! team to help drive the growth and expansion of E! as the global entertainment news leader," says Cyndi McClellan, E! president of network strategy and E! News in a statement.

"With her undeniable charisma and deep industry relationships, Maria has a huge fan following as one of the premiere entertainment news personalities in Hollywood today. While conceiving Untold, we always thought Maria was the ideal host because of her varied experiences not only in entertainment, but also in global reporting".

"We're thrilled to bring her talents to the network and to collaborate with her as we create and develop exciting new programming together".

Maria Menounos will join E!'s red carpet coverage team and will also be doing other specials.

Untold with Maria Menounos will cover celebrity trends.

"The series will cover an array of topics including Gen Y Royals, the rise of heroin in Hollywood, the popularity of electronic dance music and the rise of some reality stars from their humble beginnings. Each episode will be comprised of three extensive individual stories, as well as additional segments such as celebrity sound-off and pop culture minute," says E!.

"To be able to host, report and produce for an entire network, one that spans globally no less, is thrilling," says Maria Menounos in the statement.

"I'm equally excited to join a team of hosts and producers that are amongst the finest in our industry".

Nat Geo Wild adds breathtaking Wild Brazil from June; will roll out in 5 hour long episodes from 3 June at 18:00.


With the 2014 FIFA World Cup happening in June in Brazil, Nat Geo Wild (DStv 182) has added the breathtaking Wild Brazil that will start on 3 June at 18:00.

Wild Brazil will have 5 hour long episode playing out with National Geographic Channels describing it as a "landmark blue chip series".

"Brazil is a land of gigantic proportions. It is energetic, flamboyant, fun and overwhelmingly beautiful. Within its mountains, seas and rain forests and millions of miles of rivers are many of our planet's last wild frontiers".

"In each episode Wild Brazil takes the viewer on a journey to meet carefully selected, charismatic and little-known animal species and will, for the first time, chronicle and introduce Brazil as a utopia of diverse wildlife, extreme habitats and stunning landscapes".

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

SuperSport adding several new dedicated magazine shows during June for the 2014 FIFA World Cup for DStv subscribers.


At a reportedly lavish launch SuperSport yesterday evening announced its coverage plans for the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil at a Samba-styled media event at the the Beverly Hills Hotel in uMhlanga in Durban.

The SuperSport 3 HD (DStv 203) and SuperSport 4 HD (DStv 204) channels on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform will be used to broadcast all of the matches live from the tournament in Brazil during June.

SuperSport also announced some of the presenters and analysts like Manchester United star Ryan Giggs.

SuperSport also plans several dedicated magazine shows around the 2014 FIFA World Cup - Ola Brazil, Master Plan, Fan Fest and Insights - that will be covering the soccer action, the stars, provide additional analysis and involve fans.

Here's the information I've been able to parse on what SuperSport magazines shows there will be from June, what it will entail in terms of presenters, content and focus, and from where it will be done:

Ola Brazil
A lifestyle magazine show packaged in Brazil. It will be broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays in June at 13:00 (South African time) during the World Cup Live slot.
Links for the show will be shot at various locations, for instance the Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro.
Ola Brazil will be anchored by Carol Tshabalala and will be 26 minutes in duration. It will repeat at 16:00.


Master Plan
In-depth analysis from a coaching perspective.
This show will be done live from the Randburg Studio 6 every Sunday at 14:00 (South African time).
The aim of the show is to give viewers a technical understanding of the game of play, and will be anchored by John Dykes.
Guests will include Jay Jay Okucha, Ernst Middendorp, Andre Arendse, Stuart Baxter, Gavin Hunt and Shaun Bartlett.
Master Plan will make use of advanced touchscreen technology, augmented reality and tactical camera angles.


Fan Fest
This will be a viewer participation show for fans. Fan Fest will be broadcast live on Saturdays at 14:00 (South African time) as part of We Are Brazil.
Fans will be able to engage with this show through Skype, Facebook and Twitter and Fan Fest will also make use of a love studio audience.
There will be in-studio competitions with prizes for best contestant.
This hour long show will be anchored by Kamza Mbatha and Nandi Mngoma.


Insights
This show will be a preview of upcoming matches with expert analysis from Andy Townsend and Sunday Oliseh. Insights will be broadcast from Brazil.

M-Net appoints Leo Smit as new brand manager for kykNET.


Leo Smit has been appointed as kykNET's (DStv 144) new brand manager, the next chapter in his media biz career of 13 years.

Leo Smit started his career in Los Angeles, working on independent feature films before returning to South Africa in 2002.

In 2003 he joined Clearwater where he gained experience in on-air imaging and promotion.

Leo Smit's worked on live event production for Miss South Africa, the Kora All-Africa Music Awards as well as the Sho't Left Challenj.

In 2006 he returned to Clearwater as producer on the M-Net marketing account and in 2010 joined Monarchy in producing projects for M-Net Movies, as well as the title sequence for the M-Net soap The Wild.

In 2010 he worked as a commercials producer for Wicked Pixels, and will now be brand manager for M-Net's Afrikaans language TV channels supplied to MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform.

Adam Freeman appointed as the first managing director of Bloomberg Media for the EMEA region.

Adam Freeman has been appointed as the first managing director of Bloomberg Media for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

Adam Freeman will be responsible for leading Bloomberg's multi-platform media operation in this region across television for Bloomberg Television, as well as live events, the internet, digital video and print.

He will be responsible for ensuring that Bloomberg's consumer media content, distribution and licensing deals are tailored to serve each individual market.

Adam Freeman will be based at Bloomberg's European headquarters in London.

Samsung South Africa and Vox Telecom offer 1TB bandwidth for a year to customers who buy a new Samsung Smart TV.

Customers in South Africa who now buy a Samsung Smart TV and who have an ADSL line can now get 1TB free for a year from Vox Telecom in a new deal.

Buyers of a Samsung Smart TV in South Africa will still be responsible for getting or having an ADSL line, and for paying ADSL line rental.

The deal is only valid for new Samsung Smart TV sets bought after 12 May through participating retailers in South Africa.

The 1TB is unthrottled and unshaped and will allow viewers to surf the internet without having to buy additional bandwidth for the Samsung Smart TV set.

"Our ability to offer a high quality, unrivalled internet experience is one of the many reasons Samsung chose to partner with us," says Gary Sweidan, the executive heads of products and marketing of Vox Telecom, in a statement.

"It was important for us to supply a data service solution that would enhance the consumer's viewing experience and we, together with Samsung, believe that our fat pipe ADSL product was the perfect match," says Gary Sweidan.

Pay-TV in sub-Sahara Africa set to hit revenue of $3.6 billion in 2014; region will have have 13.1 million pay-TV subscribers by the end of the year.


Pay-TV revenue across sub-Saharan Africa is expected to reach a whopping $3.6 billion in 2014, according to a new report from Digital TV Research.

The Digital TV Middle East & Africa Databook report is for the Africa and the Middle East (MEA) region and projects pay-TV revenue for this region to reach a massive $8 million this year - up from $4.84 billion in 2010.

Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to have 13.1 million pay-TV subscribers by the end of 2014 - more than double the total in 2010.

Strikingly, 113 million homes (or 46% of all households in this region) will not have a TV set yet by the end of 2014.

Digital television penetration in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to reach 57,1%.

Interestingly, free-to-air satellite TV - the type of service offered for instance by Platco Digital's OpenView HD (OVHD) which is part of the Sabido Investment Limited stable in South Africa - is set to become the most popular TV platform in Africa.

In the MEA region there is projected to be 89.3 million digital TV households by the end of 2014 - up from the 32.4 million since 2010.

Satellite pay-TV will be the top contributor to pay-TV revenue in the Africa and Middle East region, with its share of total revenue rising from 77.5% in 2010 to 78.8% in 2014.

According to the report, the use of IPTV in Africa and the Middle East is rising rapidly.

The new flagship business show, Ian King Live, set to start on Sky News on Monday 2 June at 20:30.


The new Ian King Live on Sky News (DStv 402) replacing Jeff Randall Live will start on 2 June at 20:30 (South African time) Sky News has announced.

Sky News' new flagship business show which started running a promo for it in May will broadcast live Mondays to Thursdays at 20:30 from the Sky News City studio in The Gherkin.

Ian King Live will be presented by the new business presenter, Ian King.

Ian King Live will help viewers of Sky News understand how the major corporate decisions affect their lives.

"The business agenda is one that affects each and every one of us, and Ian King Live will really help people understand why the decisions that get made every day in the business world, have an impact on the lives they lead," says John Ryley, the head of Sky News in a statement.

"Ian's reputation as a journalist is second to none, and I know his show will become a must view programme in our schedule".

BREAKING. A 'thrilled' Giuliana Rancic extends her contract with E! Entertainment for two more years until April 2016


Giuliana Rancic has extended her contract with E! Entertainment (DStv 124) for two more years, until April 2016.

The announcement follows on the heels of Giuliana Rancic who apparently wanted to scale back her role at E! to focus on motherhood but then had a change of heart following news that Maria Menounos is likely joining E! Entertainment soon.

Giuliana Rancic who planned to cut down her screen time on E! before news regarding Maria Menounos became public, apparently doesn't want to have it seem as if she was "pushed out", and rethought her decision.

As part of her extended contract with E! Entertainment, Giuliana Rancic will continue anchoring E! News as well as being managing editor of the daily entertainment news show.

"Giuliana Rancic has been an important part of the E! family for twelve years now and we are thrilled to extend her overall deal with the network," says Cyndi McClellan, the president for network strategy and E! News at E! Entertainment in a statement.

"Giuliana Rancic brings not only a wealth of experience to the air, but also a fun, relatable and candid energy that makes her a fan favorite amongst E! viewers and incredibly popular across the entertainment community".

"I'm thrilled and blessed to be able to pursue all of my passions while continuing on at E!, my home away from home," says Giuliana Rancic in the statement. "I feel like the luckiest girl in the world!"

Giuliana Rancic joined E! Entertainment in 2002 as a correspondent for E! News and has been anchor and managing editor for the programme since January 2005.

She is also E! Entertainment's reigning queen of red carpet television coverage, anchoring E!'s Live from the Red Carpet, anchors the interviews series Beyond Candid with Giuliana, is a panelist on Fashion Police and appears with her husband Bill Rancic in their reality show, Giuliana & Bill.

River Monsters with Jeremy Wade on Animal Planet renewed for a 7th season.


River Monsters on Animal Planet (DStv 183) has been renewed for a 7th season.

River Monsters has been Animal Planet's best performing series in the history of the TV channel.

"Jeremy Wade will be back with his scary underwater creatures," says Animal Planet in a statement.

The biologist and extreme angler Jeremy Wade is currently filming from an undisclosed location in Asia, with the 7th season that will start in 2015.

River Monsters is a co-production between Icon Films and Animal Planet.

Giuliana Rancic doesn't want to appear 'pushed out' at E! Entertainment; recommits with Maria Menounos likely joining.


She's the reigning queen of television red carpet coverage and Giuliana Rancic of E! Entertainment (DStv 124) is reportedly recommitting to E! Entertainment - not wanting to be perceived as being pushed out when the ambitious entertainment reporter Maria Menounos joins E! Entertainment very soon.

Giuliana Rancic who planned to scale back her responsibilities at E! to focus on her 2 year old son Duke, apparently decided to not do so anymore after word started circulating that Maria Menounos will be joining E! Entertainment soon, according to The New York Daily News.

E! Entertainment had no comment.

Giuliana Rancic reportedly doesn't want it to look like her diminished appearance on E! Entertainment - which was planned independently of Maria Menounos joining - is because of Maria Menounos showing up as a new entertainment reporter and anchor.

Giuliana Rancic anchors E! News, is a panelist on Fashion Police, appears in her reality show Giuliana & Bill and does red carpet coverage at awards shows during Hollywood's awards season.

According to quoted insiders, Giuliama Rancic who is the face of E! Entertainment doesn't want to appear "pushed out of a network she helped to make a success".

BREAKING. Sharknado 2 coming to Studio Universal on 31 July at 04:00 and 20:00 as part of a global roll-out of the shark-schlock movie.


Sharknado 2, the follow up to the its-so-bad-its-so-great schlockfest film of last year, is coming to South African viewers on Studio Universal (DStv 112) on 31 July at 04:00.

Sharnado 2: The Second One's quick showing in South Africa forms part of a massive global roll-out of the movie which viewers in 86 countries will get to see at the same time.

DStv subscribers in South Africa will get the chance to tune in to watch Sharknado 2 again at 20:00 on the same day with Ian Ziering and Tara Reid who both reprise their roles as Fin and April battling flying and falling sharks in a trashtastic schmaltz movie you can't believe but can't look away from.

South Africa joins viewers in Australia, Asia, France, Germany, Iberia, the United Kingdom and Latin America who will get to see Sharknado 2 at the same time.

The time stars like Kelly Osbourne, Andy Dick, Mark McGrath, Kari Wuhrer and Vivica A. Fox are making cameos (which means: they all get killed off. Viciously.).

In Sharknado 2: The Second One, a freak weather system turns its deadly fury on New York City, unleashing a "sharknado" of epic, gigantic proportions on the hapless population, which leads to a feeding frenzy in the Big Apple.

MobileTV taps old SABC archive shows; acquire rights to Shaka Zulu, Yizo-Yizo, Generations, Isidingo and 7de Laan for cellphones.


MobileTV, one of the successful applicants for a new pay-TV licence in South Africa, has signed a deal with the South African public broadcaster for the broadcasting rights to some of its library titles.

MobileTV gets the rights to broadcast on South African cellphones some of the SABC's library content which it will introduce in phases, and which includes reruns of dramas Shaka Zulu and Yizo-Yizo.

MobileTV also acquired soaps Generations, Isidingo and 7de Laan, but its not clear whether it will be older episodes and seasons, or current episodes.

"The SABC's impressive catalogue has been creatively re-purposed, repackaged and realigned on a single channel, enhanced by the familiarity and popularity of the content on offer," says Mothobi Mutloatse, the chairperson of MobileTV.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

'Being bulletin editor was like being on a roller coaster'. Mark Verbaan details the insanity when e.tv started its TV news division in new book.

"The chest pains were becoming more frequent and I would have to leave my desk to go and lie flat on my back in the rear of the building until they passed".

So writes Mark Verbaan - very revealingly - in his new book, The Memoirs of Ben Trovato.

In his new book, he details with interesting insight the understaffed, overworked and exhausting start of the South African broadcaster e.tv's eNews division and its first foray into doing daily television news.

e.tv started its first TV news bulletin service on 17 January 1999, with San Reddy (pictured) and Jane Dutton as the news anchors, who did the news bulletin from e.tv's studios in Cape Town.

Mark Verbaan was bulletin editor at the time and writes in The Memoirs of Ben Trovato, out now, also about how eNews was set up under exhaustive conditions and "how there wasn't even a proper newsroom".

e.tv and eNews staff were hired and brought in, had no permanent accomodation and e.tv paid for hotel accomodation.

"Builders were still tearing the guts out of the place when we went on air for the first time. There was also no equipment when I arrived. Neither was their enough staff".

"Six months in I couldn't take it anymore," writes Mark Verbaan. "I was working 12 hours a day, seven days a week, to get the bulletin on air. The responsibility, let alone the pressure, was savage."

"Badly written stories were rewritten by me. Snappy intros were written by me. I wrote the foreign stories. I decided what was in, what was out. The pressure doubled when the 7pm bulletin went from 30 minutes to an hour".

"I need help," I said, clutching my heart. The chest pains were becoming more frequent and I would have to leave my desk to go and lie flat on my back in the rear of the building until they passed."

"Being bulletin editor was like being on a roller coaster, only a lot more extreme," writes Mark Verbaan.

He details in The Memoirs of Ben Trovato, published by Macmillan, how "reporters begged me for more time for their stories. The edit suited jammed up. People were in tears. Scenes of indescribable panic unfolded around me. I had to keep my finger on half a dozen things simultaneously".

"Tapes would be thrown from the edit suite to someone who dropped them over the balcony to be caught by someone else and rushed into the galley."

"The only way this can carry on," I told anyone who would listen, "is if another one of me is appointed"...

Mark Verbaan goes on to share eye-popping details of his time working at e.tv and the start of e.tv's television news which makes The Memoirs of Ben Trovato fun to read for anyone who's ever worked in television or TV news:

"my entire head reeked of sex and alcohol",

"A couple of senior staff members were outraged..."

"If you mention television to an attractive young woman in Cape Town, you're almost certainly guaranteed her undivided attention".

TV with Thinus asked e.tv whether the South African TV broadcaster has any comment or statement regarding the things said about e.tv and its eNews beginnings in the new book.

e.tv says that it's a memoir piece about the difficult times of a start-up newsroom and that e.tv doesn't have any comment.