Friday, February 14, 2020

Nominees announced for 2020's 14th South African Film and Television Awards as NFVF looks to improve the credibility of the Saftas.

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) announced the nominees of the upcoming 14th South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas) on Friday morning at a media event held at The Mall of Africa, with M-Net's telenovela The River on 1Magic (DStv 103) that lead the nominations in the TV category with 15 nods, and the film Fiela se Kind that scored 11 nods as the feature film with the most nominations.

The SABC's soap Generations on SABC1, 7de Laan on SABC2, as well as Isidingo on SABC3 were all locked out of this year's Saftas after they failed to enter the South African awards show.

The production companies Word of Mouth Productions producing SABC2's Muvhango, as well as Ferguson Films producing The Queen and The Throne for M-Net's Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) dropped their Saftas boycott they've maintained for several years and entered their respective soaps and telenovelas again.

Besides having discussions with production companies who have been boycotting the awards show, the Safta organisers have also relooked and refined the judging guidelines for the awards show, with the various scriptwriting categories which are being returned to the main (and televised) award ceremony after they were abruptly dumped last year.

The various Saftas categories have also been relooked, adjusted and reduced to 70.

The 14th South African Film and Television Awards that is moving back from Sun City to Johannesburg, will take place at the Johannesburg’s Sandton Convention Centre over two-nights with the Craft Awards set for Friday 27 March and Main Awards taking place on Saturday 28 March and which will be broadcast live on South African television.

In television the telenovela The River scored 15 nominations, followed by Isibaya and the 4th season of Lockdown which all got 11 nods, and The Republic grabbing 10 nominations.

"I would like to congratulate all our 2020 SAFTAs nominees for telling authentic stories that resonate and connect with the people of South Africa," says Makhosazana Khanyile, NFVF CEO.

"As the NFVF we couldn’t be prouder of the immense contribution that these women and men make to the local film and television industry, not forgetting the broadcasters that provide the platforms for these stories to come alive".

"A key priority for us this year was to bring credibility back to the SAFTAs judging process," she says.

"It is no secret that many production companies have voiced their frustration with our appraisal system, some going as far as to boycott the SAFTAs altogether."

"Having taken this feedback to heart, we’ve taken every measure possible to ensure that the judging process is fair, transparent and without bias. Today I’m proud to announce that as a result of these efforts we’ve received over 300 entries for the SAFTAs," says Khosi Khanyile.

Viewer votes will once again decide the categories of Best TV Presenter and the Most Popular Soap/Telenovela.

The 14th South African Film and Television Awards will be hosted at Johannesburg’s Sandton Convention Centre over two-nights: Craft Awards on Friday, 27 March 2020 and Main Awards on Saturday, 28 March 2020 – with the Saturday show broadcast live on television.

Full nominees list to be added here (updating)

Thursday, February 13, 2020

#SONA2020: South African TV coverage of the State of the Nation 2020 Address today.

Several TV channels will be doing live coverage and analyses today of the State of the Nation Address 2020 of South African president Cyril Ramaphosa.

The State of the Nation Address is divided into three different parts - the ceremony where the Civil Guard of Honour welcomes the president and his guests as they walk along the red carpet at parliament; then the state ceremonial which includes a 21-gun salute and the South African Air Force flypast, and lastly the official address from the president.

The SABC will broadcast the State of the Nation Address 2020 (#SONA2020) live on TV, radio, its online SABC News channel on YouTube and on its website on Thursday, 13 February.

The SABC will do preview coverage and analyses on various programmes on SABC News (DStv 404) leading up to the address. These shows will cover the Civil Guard of Honour, red carpet arrivals coverage and the 21 Gun Salute.

The SABC says that SABC News reporters and anchors will be on location at parliament and in the Auckland Park studio in Johannesburg to cover the event.

SABC News roving reporters will also be spread across South Africa bring citizens' expectations and reactions in various communities in the run-up to the speech and afterwards.

The SABC will have leading political and economic analysts in studio and on-location helping the audience to make sense of the president's speech.

The red carpet arrivals will be live streamed from 16:00 on the SABC News channel on YouTube until the end of the proceedings as members of the judiciary, cabinet ministers and members of parliament (MPs), including the speakers of the various provincial legislatures, premiers and diplomats arrive at the Company Gardens entrance in Government Avenue to the Old Assembly.

The president's address will be broadcast live at 19:00 on SABC News (DStv 404) and on SABC2.

Following the president's address, a post-analysis of the speech will be broadcast live with experts and reaction from various political parties.

On SABC2 coverage of the State of the Nation Address 2020 speech will start at 18:00 and continue until 21:00, preempting the channel's normal schedule. On Thursday there won't be an edition of the Afrikaans TV news on SABC2. It will be followed by the day's episode of Muvhango at 21:00.

eNCA (DStv 403)
eNCA didn't respond to media enquiries about its SONA coverage and presentation plans but the channel will be doing rolling live coverage of the State of the Nation Address 2020 kicking off from 16:00.

The State of the Nation Address Build-Up starts at 16:00 for three hours after which the channel plans to show the State of the Nation Address 2020 from 19:00 live until 21:00.

In past years eNCA had a pop-up studio in Cape Town's parliamentary precinct and will likely have one again this year.

Newzroom Africa (DStv 405)
Newzroom Afrika says the channel has planned special broadcast coverage of today's event with a senior team of anchors and reporters in both Cape Town and its studio in Linden, Johannesburg.

"Our full day of coverage means live crossings from early in the morning until late into the evening with much analysis and reaction."

"Our seasoned anchor, Cathy Mohlahlana together with our politics editor, Sbu Ngalwa will be hosting our special broadcast from Cape Town - while Stephen Grootes makes his Newzroom Afrika debut from our Linden studios."

Newzroom Afrika says its reporters Ziyanda Ngcobo, Athi Mtongana and Nasiphi Same will be covering the SONA2020 red carpet, the parliamentary precinct and surrounds while Pelane Phakgadi and Malungelo Booi will do the wrap-up coverage, getting reaction and analyses. 

CNBC Africa (DStv 410)
CNBC Africa says the channel will broadcast the State of the Nation Address 2020 live from 19:00 until 20:00.

Business Day TV (DStv 412)
Business Day TV will broadcast the State of the Nation Address 2020 live and do post-analysis coverage afterwards until 21:00.

Parliamentary Channel (DStv 408)
Build-up: SONA 2020 coverage kicks off on the channel at 15:00, with a live broadcast of the State of the Nation Address 2020 speech from 19:00 until 21:30.

From 21:30 there is a half-hour Wrap-up: SONA 2020 carrying reaction from various politicians, after which a repeat of the speech is broadcast at 22:00 tonight.

The same coverage will be streamed on parliament's YouTube channel.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Yusuf Nabee out as A+E Networks Africa boss after embarrassing channel carriage conflict with MultiChoice; Johannesburg office restructured as Nazarene Khan takes over as regional manager.

Yusuf Nabee is out as A+E Networks Africa boss following the hugely embarrassing and highly damaging channel carriage conflict in late-2019 between A+E Networks UK and MultiChoice in South Africa.

Nazarene Khan, currently head of marketing and sponsorship for the past two and a half years at A+E Networks Africa, is taking over as A+E Networks Africa regional manager from Yusuf Nabee who is gone from the end of February 2020. He was appointed as A+E Networks Africa general manager in May 2016.

A+E Networks Africa held a channels upfront in mid-September 2019 despite no contract extension that was in place for its channels on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform for South Africa and MultiChoice Africa in sub-Saharan Africa despite MultiChoice that warned A+E Networks Africa not to go ahead with an upfront media event.

A+E Networks Africa did it anyway, followed by brand damage and embarrassment when MultiChoice shortly after announced that it's dumping the A+E Networks' Crime+Investigation Network and History and Lifetime channels provided by A+E Networks UK from November 2019.

MultiChoice executives were adamant that they won't pay what A+E Networks wanted for the channels and that the pay-TV operator isn't willing to accept the terms of a channels carriage agreement renewal.

Angry DStv subscribers started a petition that lured thousands of signatures.

Following the public channels termination announcement, MultiChoice went back to the negotiating table with A+E Networks and hammered out a new deal to keep carrying only History and Lifetime and dropping Crime+Investigation Network.

Yusuf Nabee and the A+E Networks Africa office declined multiple interview requests since November and refused to talk to the media about the embarrassing channel negotiation skirmish which further damaged media relations between A+E Networks Africa and the South African press.

In contrast high-level MultiChoice executives spoke to the media several times about the unfolding matter.

A+E Networks Africa also damaged its image and relationships with local South African production companies who were kept in the dark by A+E Networks Africa after it commissioned them to do shows, not knowing if their shows would go ahead or what's happening.

Disgruntled local producers who were commissioned by A+E to do local shows were upset that their productions - some just-commissioned and some already in post-production - won’t be seen and that they have been kept in the dark about what's going on. 

South African production companies who spoke privately to TVwithThinus were extremely upset, saying they were kept in the dark that A+E Networks didn’t have a channel renewal when their recent content was announced at A+E Networks Africa’s upfront showcase. 

Dean Possenniskie, the managing director of A+E Networks for the Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, spoke at A+E Networks Africa's content showcase upfront on 19 September 2019 in Johannesburg where he touted the ongoing, increasing production spending going to the creation of local South African programming on its set of channels. 

The media and content producers slammed A+E Networks for being having been dishonest and secretive, creating a perception that everything was fine and remaining "as is" while A+E Networks in reality didn't disclose that it was at risk of losing its entire set of channels in South Africa and across sub-Saharan Africa.

"Yusuf who has been instrumental in establishing A+E's local presence and building our brands has decided the time is right to step down from his role," says Adrian Pilkington, senior vice president for commercial and strategy at A+E Networks for the Africa, Middle East, Nordics and Benelix region, in a statement.

A+E Networks Africa will now be overseen by Nazarene Khan who is promoted to regional manager.

"Nazarene Khan has been a key part of the team for the past few years and working alongside Fatime Kaba, our head of programming and scheduling, we have two very talented executives to build upon the foundation that Yusuf has created. I'm delighted to have her heading up our Africa team."

The SABC says it's not planning to sell off its struggling SABC3 TV channel, nor its 5FM, Good Hope FM or Metro FM radio stations.

The South African public broadcaster says that the SABC has made no plans or decisions to get rid off and to sell of either its SABC3 TV channel, nor its Metro FM, 5FM, or Good Hope FM radio stations.

The SABC has been evaluating what the struggling broadcaster's "non-core" assets and services are which it should get rid of, but the broadcaster says SABC3, Metro FM, Good Hope FM and 5FM have not been targeted.

"The SABC has been made aware of an article by Inside Politics African Narrative published on 4 February 2020, claiming to have exclusive access to a document titled ‘Repurposing the State-Owned Enterprises as Instruments for Economic Growth’," Mmoni Seapolelo, SABC spokesperson says in a statement.

According to the article, the public broadcaster could sell off SABC3, Metro FM, 5FM and Good Hope FM and dump its entire commercial broadcasting services as part of reducing its broadcasting mandate.

"Because of the potential uncertainty this information can cause the SABC believes it is necessary to clarify that it is not intending to sell the assets mentioned in the article and has had no discussions with government in this regard," the SABC says.

"As requested by National Treasury and the ministry of communications and digital technologies, the SABC is conducting a thorough process of assessing all its assets, determining which are core and non-core, taking into account a range of factors including public mandate, licence conditions and financial contribution."

The SABC says that the SABC board has approved comprehensive assessment criteria for determining its "core media assets",and says that this includes not only TV and radio channels which are contributing to its public mandate but also ones which help to fund the SABC's public service obligations.

"The SABC board has already identified non-core property assets and has drawn up a list of properties for disposal, as required by National Treasury preconditions."

"The potential disposal of any of the SABC's media assets involves a much more complex decision matrix, with factors such as the public interest, the public mandate and the future financial sustainability of the SABC being central to any decision," the SABC says.

"The SABC remains committed to ensuring that the public service broadcaster fulfils its public service mandate and at the same time striving to be a financially sustainable institution," says Mmoni Seapolelo.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

M-Net adds Oscars 2020 red carpet special with Anele Mdoda for 92nd Academy Awards + full broadcast coverage list for the red carpet and 'cyclone stage' ceremony.

M-Net (DStv 101) has added a half hour Oscars 2020 red carpet special for its prime time schedule on Monday night to intro the 92 Academy Awards with Anele Mdoda who will interview some stars as they make their way into the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

It's the second time that Anele Mdoda will do the Anele at the Oscars special that she presented last year for the first time. It's the third time in history that a South African TV reporter is doing red carpet duty at the Oscars, and the third time that South Africa will have its own red carpet Oscars TV special.

Anele at the Oscars as a recorded show will be broadcast at 21:00 on Monday night, 10 February 2020, on M-Net (DStv 101), followed by the prime time showing of the 92nd Academy Awards at 21:30.

M-Net will also broadcast the awards ceremony as a live simulcast on Monday morning at 03:00 on M-Net Movies (DStv 104). This year the Oscars will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide with MultiChoice and M-Net that have the rights for sub-Saharan Africa.

This year's Oscars stage with be a glittering "cyclone" - a Swarovski-covered stage created by Jason Sherwood.

Important to note is that NBCUniversal's E! (DStv 124) for the 5th year in a row will again not have any actual red carpet coverage during the last hour of red carpet arrivals since those rights belong to the ABC network in America that gets exclusive live red carpet access.

While E! will carry the beginning of the red carpet arrivals live, viewers will have to switch to M-Net Movies to watch the red carpet arrivals live from 23:30, as well as for the official red carpet show starting at 01:30 on Monday morning. M-Net acquired these official red carpet pre-shows as part of the Oscars broadcast package.

Here's your comprehensive TV guide on exactly how, the channels, and the times, where you can watch the show as well as the surrounding red carpet coverage:

Oscars: E!'s Insider Guide
21:00 Sunday 9 February, E! (DStv 124)
A recorded special counting down to one of Hollywood’s biggest nights spotlighting the biggest names who might make a showing this year on the red carpet.

On the Red Carpet: Oscars 2020 The Arrivals 
23:30 Sunday 9 February, M-Net Movies Premiere (DStv 104) LIVE
The official red carpet coverage broadcast kicks off looking at the fashion as the stars arrive and interviews with the stars.

E! Live From The Red Carpet: Oscars 2020
00:00 Monday 10 February, E! (DStv 124) LIVE
E!'s live coverage red carpet coverage of the 2020 Oscars starts. The "E! Glambot" makes a return to the Oscars to capture one-of-a-kind red carpet moments. Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic are the hosts.

E! Stream the Red Carpet: Oscars 2020
▪ 00:40 Monday 10 February, Twitter @enews
E! does a digital show covering the Oscars red carpet as part of its second screen coverage.

The Oscars Red Carpet Show
01:30 Monday 10 February, M-Net Movies Premiere (DStv 104) LIVE
The official red carpet pre-show with presenters Billy Porter, Tamron Hall, model Lily Aldridge and film critic Elvis Mitchell. Beginning at 02:30 when E! must cut away, Ryan Seacrest, for a second year in a row, will switch from E! to join this show as a presenter to cover the last half hour from alongside the red carpet before the ceremony starts.

Red Carpet Rundown: Oscars 2020
02:30 Monday 10 February, E! (DStv 124) LIVE
Since E! is no longer allowed alongside the actual red carpet at this time, fashion correspondents and experts analyse the looks from the stars who've already arrived for Oscar night with photos and commentary.

92nd Annual Academy Awards 
03:00 Monday 10 February, M-Net Movies Premiere (DStv 104) LIVE
The ceremony from inside the Dolby Theatre. The Oscars will once again be hostless this year for a second consecutive year.

Anele at the Oscars 
21:00 Monday 10 February, M-Net (DStv 101)
A pre-recorded half-hour with Anele Mdoda in Hollywood covering the glitz, glam and excitement of Hollywood's biggest night.

92nd Annual Academy Awards 
21:30 Monday 10 February, M-Net (DStv 101)
The prime-time rebroadcast of the awards show.

E! News
▪ 10:20 Tuesday 11 February, E! (DStv 124)
Lilliana Vazquez and Scott Tweedie do a special Oscars 2020 lookback episode with news and commentary about this year's ceremony and red carpet coverage. E!'s team of correspondents will do a special Oscars recap with all the insider secrets, surprises, snubs and backstage shockers, plus the biggest fashion risks and hottest after-parties.

Pop of the Morning
▪ 10:50 Tuesday 11 February, E! (DStv 124)
Lilliana Vazquez, Scott Tweedie and Victor Cruz do a special Oscars 2020 edition of the daily talk show looking back at gossip, issues and sharing their insights of this year's ceremony and red carpet.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Jeremy Maggs out as eNCA acting editor-in-chief; Norman Munzhelele taking over as acting managing director at the scandal-hit TV news channel.

Jeremy Maggs is out with immediate effect as acting editor-in-chief at the scandal-hit TV news channel eNCA (DStv 403), saying he's stepping down because of stress, a month and a half after the firing of the politician-made-news-boss Kanthan Pillay in mid-December 2019.

Jeremy Maggs, who is also an anchor on eNCA, has been acting editor-in-chief at eNCA for the past 12 months but asked to step down because he couldn't cope with the stress-load anymore which was having a negative impact on his.

Norman Munzhelele is taking over as acting managing director of eNCA. Norman Munzhelele has been with the eMedia Investments group for 3 years.

Jeremy Maggs will continue to co-anchor the SA Tonight timeslot - the prime time timeslot he originally anchored, then left for the afternoons and then returned to.

"This has not been an easy decision, but for the past few months the stressful nature of the job has caused me to re-evaluate both my position at the station and my life choices. I've been stressed and unwell for some time and I’ve made this decision in my own best interests and that of the station," Jeremy Maggs says in a prepared statement released on Tuesday morning.

Antonio Lee, eMedia Investments COO, says in the statement "We acknowledge Jeremy’s contribution during his tenure as acting editor-in-chief, and accept his wish to step down".

"Jeremy remains one of our top-rated presenters and is inextricably linked to the eNCA brand.  We are exploring other programing opportunities with him.  We thank Jeremy for the job he has done as acting editor-in-chief, and we look forward to continuing our working relationship with him."