The Rehad Desai documentary won an International Emmy at the end of November in New York despite the refusal of South Africa's big terrestrial TV broadcasters - the SABC as public broadcaster and Sabido's e.tv - to show it in the country.
The documentary, produced by Uhuru Productions that won in the documentary category and which has won numerous international and local film awards the past year, recounts the horrific story through witnesses and widows of how the South African police massacred miners in the shocking incident which left 44 miners dead and the country stunned.
Miners Shot Down has since been shown on the education channel [ED] (DStv 190), Al Jazeera (DStv 406 / StarSat 257), the community TV station, Cape Town TV (CTV) and the video-on-demand services of Times Media Group's VIDI and PCCW Global's ONTAPtv.com.
Following public pressure through a petition which already amassed more than 5 000 signatures and public calls for the SABC and e.tv to broadcast Miners Shot Down following its Emmy win, the commercially run e.tv and eNCA at the end of November said that it won't pay the TV producer and filmmaker to show Miners Shot Down but will broadcast the documentary "if Rehad Desai drops us a free copy".
Miners Shot Down has now quietly appeared on the eNCA schedule on Sunday at 19:05, with no pre-publicity or programming advisory from the channel to the press or TV critics and no notification that the documentary has been picked up and scheduled.
While broadcasters and TV channels usually want to maximise their potential ratings by getting media exposure through publicising and marketing shows and its programming acquisitions - especially for an Emmy winning programme - eNCA's lack of letting the media and viewers know through the press, makes it less likely for viewers to be aware that the documentary is finally on TV and that it will be shown.
The Miners Shot Down broadcast will be followed by an hour-long panel discussion on eNCA between 20:00 and 21:00 with eNCA anchor Jeremy Maggs as moderator. eNCA also decided to keep quiet about this additional programming add-on to the press with no publicity promotion or announcement about it.
Sister channel e.tv will now also broadcast Miners Shot Down sometime in January 2016.
e.tv and eNCA didn't respond to a media enquiry about their programming acquisition of the documentary and its scheduling that made on Saturday evening.