Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sony's hack attack in 2014 in America impacting e.tv in 2015 in South Africa - here's just one example.

You won't find episode synopses on the electronic programme guides (EPGs) of MultiChoice's DStv, On Digital Media's StarSat or Platco Digital's OpenView HD, printed in the TV tabloids or newspaper TV listings of February's upcoming episodes of The Young and the Restless - and it's not part of a fiendish plot by Victor Newman to get back at Nikki.

Episode synopses for weekdays soaps are usually issued a month to a month and a half in advance of the actual broadcast date to the press by broadcasters since the factory-run TV puppy mills churn out episodes with a 2-month buffer period - except in extreme circumstances where major production disruption occurs like for instance SABC1's Generations which completely shut down in November 2014.

Something else that shut down at the end of 2014 however was Sony Pictures in Los Angeles.

An intrusive and devastating cyber attack, exposing dirty studio insider secrets while internal correspondence, movie deals and payments, contact details, salacious studio executive emails ("Kevin Hart is a whore") and even unreleased Sony movies came flooding out.

Due to intense paranoia and security concerns, Sony Pictures clamped down and regressed to Hollywood's "dark ages" - basically doing everything since December on pen and paper, issuing paychecks manually on old machines, using BlackBerrys, fax machines and Gmail accounts and picking up the phone to actually call people and completely avoiding email.

In a globalised electronic entertainment world where Hollywood studios, distributors and broadcasters are inextricably linked, 2014's Sony hack attack is impacting distributors and broadcasters around the world in big and small ways - with a lot of it not readily visible or known to ordinary, outsider consumers and viewers.

One small absence like e.tv's The Young and the Restless episode synopses is however part of the little canaries in the coal mine signaling how truly devastating Sony's hack attack really was and its ongoing global impact on the entertainment biz.

e.tv in South Africa usually receives its monthly The Young and the Restless episode synopsis directly from Sony Pictures in Los Angeles. But Sony Pictures is now scared of email and has reverted to doing as much as possible on actual physical reams and reams of paper.

With the system being hacked and Sony Pictures slowly coming to grips with the hack impact and restarting, renewing and restoring the hacked system, Sony Pictures has not been able to, or refrained from sending February episode synopses of The Young and the Restless.

e.tv literally doesn't have it yet - unless, or until the disused fax machine in Marcel Golding's gilded but now empty corner office perhaps sputters to life.

So here's a little clue as to Sony's health report in 2015 as the globo company slowly nurses itself back to health after the hack:

When you are able to read again about Victor and Nikki and the rest of the people of Genoa City, realise that it signals that blood is once again starting to circulate through the veins of Sony's damaged worldwide content distribution system.