Friday, November 26, 2021

MultiChoice Showcase 2021: 18 must-know info-blasts from this year's media event.


by Thinus Ferreira

MultiChoice shifted its bi-annual media showcase events for South Africa's press to the end of the year (and did just one this year) with the MultiChoice Showcase 2021 showcase that took place yesterday afternoon as a virtual presentation and dropping various info-blasts throughout the presentation.

Like an Easter egg hunt, the media usually scour for nuggets of information dropped by various MultiChoice executives and shown in sizzle reels, with yesterday that was no different - although MultiChoice shared less information in totality than in any previous years of the showcase. 

Here are 18 things I picked up that you'd want to know:

1. Survivor season 41 on M-Net
M-Net (DStv 101) will show season 41 of America's Survivor in January 2022. 

Season 41 will usher in a new era which will be marked by a lack of a theme, harkening back to the early days of the series. The show will simply be known as Survivor 41. "Those ideas served us very well for 20 years, but now it’s time for something new," says host and producer Jeff Probst. 

M-Net will also show the 8th season of Survivor Australia Brains v Brawn" which will start on M-Net straight after the current 7th season.



2. Survivor SA renewed for a 9th season in 2022
"Return of the Outcasts" will be the "subtitle" of the 9th season of the local South African version that M-Net has now renewed for a 9th season filming in January 2022 and broadcasting in July.

Insiders couldn't wait to tell me earlier this week that Survivor SA was renewed and M-Net refused to respond to media queries about it, until the logo was flashed and "S9" at the MultiChoice Showcase 2021.

The castaways are chosen from previous players who didn't make it to the final Tribal Council and all "have a score to settle". We're told it's filming in January 2022, will broadcast in July on M-Net (DStv 101) and will once again be done somewhere in South Africa because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.


3. Award shows
DStv subscribers will be able to watch the 64th Annual Grammy Awards on 1 February on 1 Magic (DStv 103), the 94th Annual Academy Awards known as the Oscars on 28 March on M-Net (DStv 101), the Billboard Awards on 28 April on 1 Magic, and the Miss Universe pageant in 2022.



4. Paradise lost
No air date was provided for an upcoming new TLC show but from the producers of 90 Day Fiancé comes a sexy new docu-soap Love in Paradise – The Caribbean, following people who found love in the Caribbean. 

The tropics will provide the backdrop for relationships in various phases from holiday flings that turned serious to a rekindled love after 10 years apart and a vacation romance that turned into a pregnancy. Will meeting in paradise work out?


5. Pushing sport
Pushing the Line coming January 2022 to the Discovery Channel (DStv 121) will follow some of the top highliners and the up-and-comers of sport, who live together and push one another to take on the craziest places to set lines and break records.


6. Greedy
Mzansi Greed will debut on Moja Love (DStv 157) on 2 December, 21:30 exploring the worlds of crime and greed. What lengths will a person go to for money and power? 

The series focuses on cases of South African pyramid schemes, embezzlement and other crimes, featuring interviews with family members, police investigators business associates, fraud victims and, in some cases, the fraudsters themselves.



7. More SuperSport sports documentaries
In 2022 SuperSport will debut more locally-produced sports documentaries like Chasing the Sun.

 SuperSport is working on Pulse of a Nation: A South African Football Story that is a 4-episode documentary series looking at South African soccer.

Two Sides is another Springbok documentary - likely a documentary film - with cameras that once again filmed inside the Springbok rugby camp. The short sizzle clip shown to media contained a litany of unbleeped "f"-words from Springbok players and staff around them as everyone struggle to cope with the stress.



8. New broom
MultiChoice's video streaming service Showmax has a new boss that the media saw for the first time on Thursday. 

Barry Dubovsky who has been with MultiChoice since 2018 joined Showmax in his new role as its chief operating officer (COO) in August. Barry says that in 2022 Showmax will continue to focus on rolling out more Showmax Original productions.


9. Naija reality
The 7th season of Big Brother Naija gets a broadcasting date: June 2022. 

A group of isolated housemates will once again do tasks as they compete for a cash prize. Date My Family Nigeria will start in January 2022 on DStv, sending singletons on dates with three potential partners' families in a bid to find love.

The 7th season of Idols Nigeria will start in February and Judging Matters is a new "Judge Judy"-type show that will address legal issues from a small claims court, in partnership with the Lagos state ministry of Justice, hosted by Justice Olushola Williams and Ebuka Obi-Uchendu.


10. M-Net moves into Mozambique
M-Net is moving aggressively into the Mozambique market and upping local content produced in Portuguese for DStv subscribers specifically in Mozambique and Angola.

In Mozambique, MultiChoice and M-Net will launch the new Maningue Magic channel on DStv channel number 503 on 17 January 2022. 

The channel will have a local telenovela Maida, local lifestyle show, Txunado, local drama The Influencer, as well as Boss Station, a Mozambiquan original music show. Viewers can also expect to see a local version of Date My Family.



11. South Africa's Big Brother goes continental
The new season of Big Brother Mzansi revived after a decade will not just be seen in South Africa but will be shown across sub-Saharan Africa on DStv, similar to how Africa can watch Big Brother Naija

Also new is that the prize money will be R2 million for the winner.


12. A foodie date
The 4th season of MasterChef South Africa coming to M-Net (DStv 101) got a date: It will start on 28 February. 

Instead of on a wine farm like previous seasons, the new season is currently being filmed at the foot of Table Mountain in Cape Town "in a dynamic new location that celebrates both the heritage and the innovation of South Africa's diverse culinary offering".


13. kykNET returns
In 2022 kykNET (DStv 144) will have the 4th season of the Afrikaans procedural drama series Die Byl with Projek Dina returning for a second season. 

A new season of the anthology series Spoorloos is currently in development with a story set behind the backdrop of a small coastal town.


14. Fighting housewives
The third season of Real Housewives of Johannesburg will be shown in April 2022 that will consist out of 14 episodes. 

The Real Housewives of Lagos will be on Showmax in the first half of 2022. 

The second season of The Real Housewives of Durban will also be on Showmax but is still listed as "coming on 2022" only with no indication whether it's the first or second half of the year.


15. Local tabloid
While I Blew It will be back for a 4th season in 2022 and Ubizo for a third season on Mzansi Wethu (DStv 163) there will be new series as well doing what Moja Love has found success with Bangoxoshile, Not The One For You, Siza Mina and Fafi

Bangoxoshile is a series that assists homeless people who were forcefully removed from their homes by family, relatives or a spouse.

In Not The One For You friends and family write in to ask for assistance in confronting a friend or family member about a potent relationship that they should not be in. 

Siza Mina is a tabloid daily talk show featuring controversial topics and guests who are seeking intervention in resolving issues relating to family, marriage, parenting, divorce, broken friendships, cohabitation. 

In Fafi the 28-year-old Thandi Ndlovu is in love and getting married in 3 months - however it’s not her husband-to-be, Sgoloza Ndlovu, she’s in love with, rather her beloved late husband, Menzi Ndlovu. The Ndlovu family custom has dictated that upon Menzi's demise, his brother must marry his widow.



16. Sporties
On SuperSport in 2022 (see the full summary in its own article Here) the 2022 FIFA Football World Cup coverage will include all 64 matches, live and in prime time, as well as the UEFA Champions League and Europa League (until May 2022) and the FA Cup (until May 2022).


In cricket, there's The Ashes and India's tour of South Africa until January 2022, the IPL in March and the Proteas' tour of England from July to September. In tennis and golf all of the Majors will be on SuperSport from January to July 2022. 

In WWE wrestling there will be headline events like the Royal Rumble in January and WrestleMania in April 2022.

On two and four wheels SuperSport will cover the longest-ever F1 season, MotoGP, SuperBikes, and cycling events from May's Giro d'Italia to October's Absa Cape Epic, the Amstel Gold Race to Challenge by la Vuelta and the UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup and Paris-Roubaix to the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.

In athletics SuperSport will have the American Indoor Track League, Diamond League, IAAF World Indoor Tour and World Athletics Continental Tour and in July and August 2022 the Commonwealth Games from Birmingham.



17. Absence of Aletta
This was notably the first MultiChoice Showcase - previously known as the DStv Content Showcase but for some reason rebranded - without Aletta Alberts, Africa's TV content queen. 

The extremely experienced and well-versed executive who was MultiChoice's head of content and third-party channels passed away in July from Covid-19 complications.

MultiChoice apparently didn't replace her position and her absence was definitely felt - the MultiChoice Showcase 2021 didn't have the all-knowing, all-telling tether of Aletta Alberts as anchor who in the past would help the media to integrate and build a bigger picture to put all of the various content streams into perspective.  


18. Notably nothing on this - so far 
Unlike previous years media sadly were not given the opportunity to ask questions at the showcase. MultiChoice that usually make announcements about DStv decoders didn't say anything about its decoders this time with no updates on the DStv Streama decoder that was announced over a year ago but never launched. 

Does MultiChoice plan to add Disney+ as a streaming service next to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video when it launches in South Africa from around June 2022? Or what about eMedia's new eVOD? Is Paramount+, discovery+, HBO Max, Apple TV+ and Peacock going to be added to the DStv Explora Ultra in 2022 like Sky and Comcast overseas did? We don't know yet. 

It's also not yet clear where MultiChoice is with letting DStv subscribers build their own subscription with DStv Flex by choosing various packages with selections of channels instead of picking a bouquet. 

MultiChoice has been investigating this and asking consumers their thoughts about such an offering earlier this year. 

It's also unclear for how long M-Net Movies will have premium first-run films to premiere given the impact of the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic on the world's film industry.


MultiChoice Showcase 2021: Why month-old pre-recorded interviews from MultiChoice executives sitting in Dubai touting DStv's 'home-grown local content' in Africa?


by Thinus Ferreira

On Thursday afternoon - following an unexplained late start and DStv channel 196 that failed to be unblocked for media to watch the event that way - MultiChoice made the press sit through its virtual MultiChoice Showcase 2021 event that was frontloaded with stale, month-old, pre-recorded interviews with MultiChoice executives sitting in Dubai but ironically touting DStv's "home-grown local content" in Africa.

MultiChoice Group CEO, Calvo Mawela; MultiChoice Group CEO for general entertainment and connected video, Yolisa Phahle, and Showmax's chief operating officer Barry Dubovsky (who has never even been introduced to the press since his appointment in August) were all seen in pre-recorded interviews.

Their interviews with Pabi Moloi, asking softball questions and with the answers not contributing anything new or containing any news, were done over a month ago in Dubai, with the executives all effusively talking about how important African video content is as they rather work from Dubai.


It's not clear why MultiChoice decided to use Pabi Moloi who is the face of rival brand eMedia and who is the presenter of e.tv's The Morning Show

It's reminiscent of when MultiChice and M-Net (DStv 101) in 2011 decided to use The Parlotones and their exact same song "It's Magic" for its new on-air campaign at the same time as the same song was already being used by SABC3 for months.

Why not use a Carte Blanche presenter, or Qiniso Van Damme who was The Bachelorette SA or someone already within the M-Net or MultiChoice video sphere that DStv subscribers have watched and trust?

MultiChoice is well aware that the media (that it presumably wants to engage with its MultiChoice Showcase) is looking for information, new information and news. 

It's not clear what MultiChoice specifically instructed executives like Calvo Mawela, Yolisa Phahle and Barry Dubovsky to say about DStv and Showmax and to work into their answers that would be new news, since everything that they did say in their month-old, pre-recorded interviews were a waste of the media's time.

Who at MultiChoice decided that Pabi Moloi must do a dull interview with an Irdeto executive about cyber security? 

It's is not functional, instructive, useful or appropriate for a so-called MultiChoice Showcase. Something like this belongs in a MultiChoice orientation video for new staff members - not as padded filler in a media event.

Conversation segments during the MultiChoice Showcase 2021 with SuperSport CEO Marc Jury, MultiChoice South Africa CEO Nyiko Shiburi, and with Fhulufhelo Badugela as MultiChoice Africa CEO were already better because these were not pre-recorded and done in South Africa, although they mostly also lacked newsworthy substance.

It was cringe-inducing having to watch Yolisa Phahle saying she can't remember what she can say and what information is under embargo. 

When you're producing, talking to, or disseminating any information to the media, the corporate communications team and executives roped in need to be 100% clear about what the information and the messages are - as well as come across as eager to share, not coy and bland with flavour-of-the-moment catchphrases.

MultiChoice's pre-recorded and old "interviews" with its executives feel inauthentic, dated, vapid, and lacked substance and quotables.

Whoever came up with this bizarre idea to reheat old stuff lacking substance has no idea how the news media covering the TV and film industry operate and what their needs are.


MultiChoice Showcase 2021: SuperSport to shine in 2022 with a vast locked-in offering of local and international sports events.


by Thinus Ferreira

At the MultiChoice Showcase 2021 virtual media event on Thursday afternoon, SuperSport summarised its vast, locked-in offering of local and international sports events it will broadcast live in 2022 on DStv and Showmax Pro, and announced a further two local sports documentaries - one for football and another one following the Springboks rugby team.

SuperSport continues with the 2022 FIFA Football World Cup in December 2022 with Marc Jury, SuperSport CEO, saying that with the Premier League, La Liga, the DStv Premiership, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, SuperSport offers "an unbeatable football experience".

SuperSport says it will continue to broadcast key live sporting events, including giving subscribers the opportunity to follow the Springboks on their incoming and outgoing tours in 2022.

SuperSport's 2022 FIFA Football World Cup coverage will include all 64 matches, live and in prime time, supported by an array of highlights, historical footage and news updates. SuperSport also has the UEFA Champions League and Europa League (until May 2022) and the FA Cup (until May 2022).
 
SuperSport will bring viewers the action from the all-new United Rugby Championship (until June 2022) and the Six Nations will make a reappearance in February 2022. SuperSport will also cover the World Sevens Series of the Blitzbokke.

In women's sporting events SuperSport is doing coverage of the Proteas Women taking on the West Indies on an incoming tour; the FIFA Women's World Cup; British Open Golf; Augusta National Women's Amateur; LPGA Weekly; Sunshine Ladies Tour; US Women's Open Golf and Solheim Cup.

There is also the FIG World Challenge Cup Gymnastics, FIG World Cup, FIH Pro League Hockey; DStv Schools Netball Challenge; Paarl Gim Netball Tournament and the Spar Challenge International Netball Series.

There's also Women's Premier Division Rugby; Women's Six Nations; Women's Sevens and WTA 1000; WTA 250 & WTA 500 tennis, as well as  mixed events like athletics; Basketball National League, international cycling; the Absa Cape Epic; SuperSport Shootout Golf, Oxford v Cambridge rowing, PSA World Tour Squash; Super League triathlon and the World Triathlon Championship Series.
 
Cricket lovers can follow The Ashes and India's tour of South Africa until January 2022 on SuperSport, the IPL in March and the Proteas' tour of England from July to September. 

All the tennis and golf Majors are covered by SuperSport from January to July 2022.
 
On two and four wheels SuperSport is covering the longest-ever F1 season, MotoGP, SuperBikes, and every major cycling event from May's Giro d'Italia to October's Absa Cape Epic, as well as the Amstel Gold Race, Challenge by la Vuelta and the UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup and Paris-Roubaix to the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.

SuperSport will have boxing in 2022, the usual UFC stars and EFC. 

In WWE wrestling SuperSport will again broadcast headliner events like the Royal Rumble in January 2022 and WrestleMania in April next year.
 
The American Indoor Track League, Diamond League, IAAF World Indoor Tour and World Athletics Continental Tour will be shown and during July and August 2022 SuperSport will bring viewers the Commonwealth Games from Birmingham.
 
There's National League Basketball and all the major road running marathons from Lagos to Milan and Hamburg to New York City.


MultiChoice Showcase 2021: 'Fuck, fuck fuck, fuck' says SuperSport in profanity-laced Springbok documentary sizzle reel for new Two Sides rugby and Pulse of a Nation football local documentaries coming to DStv in 2022.


by Thinus Ferreira

"Fuck!" screams Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth. "Fuck!" screams Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber. "Fuck, fuck, fuck," say several more in a short teaser, showing that under stress and duress the players and support staff of South Africa's rugby team are not quite living up to the ideals of their Christian religion they front in public.

On Thursday, SuperSport played two sizzle reel promos for the media at the virtual MultiChoice Showcase 2021 for two upcoming new local sports documentaries - Two Sides that looks like a film documentary once again going inside the Springbok team, as well as the 4-part Pulse of a Nation: A South African Football Story.

Two Sides and Pulse of a Nation: A South African Football Story will both debut on SuperSport in 2022, with SuperSport reiterating what it already said, that it is ramping up production in the local sports documentary genre.

Two Sides and Pulse of a Nation: A South African Football Story will try to emulate the success that SuperSport has had with its very well produced and well-received Chasing the Sun documentary series that followed the Springbok team to Tokyo and culminated in their 2019 Rugby World Cup victory in Japan.

MultiChoice and SuperSport made the odd decision to show an unbleeped, profanity-laced promo to the press of Two Sides on Thursday at its showcase media event that felt low-class crass and out-of-place, although it's doubtful that MultiChoice and SuperSport would broadcast the unfiltered promo and its "fuck"-filled clips that were very clearly specially chosen to be included for the promo, to DStv subscribers.


"We've got a number of documentaries that are in the pipeline," Marc Jury, SuperSport CEO, said, mentioning how SuperSport is applying the production lessons learnt during the making of Chasing the Sun as it is expanding its local sports documentary genre offering.


MultiChoice Showcase 2021: MultiChoice and M-Net aggressively ramp up Lusophone production targeting DStv subscribers with new channels and content in Portuguese in Mozambique and Angola.


by Thinus Ferreira

MultiChoice is aggressively pursuing a localised-regionalised content strategy - that Africa's largest pay-TV operator calls "hyper-local" - rushing new content streams into African countries and in languages that were previously deemed too expensive for the investment, pooling production in harder to penetrate places from Ethiopia to Mozambique.

Reacting to both the rise of global streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+ and others, as well as to the increasing loss and unavailability of premium international content that studios are keeping for their own services, MultiChoice is ramping up local content in local languages across Africa - hoping that DStv and GOtv subscribers will bite as they're weaned off of Hollywood offerings that will still be there but not as readily available as in the past.

Fhulu Badugela, MultiChoice Africa CEO, appeared as the second guest during Thursday afternoon's MultiChoice Content Showcase 2021 that the pay-TV operator held as a virtual presentation for media, where she spoke about MultiChoice Africa's plans and investments in local content across the continent.

Fhulu Badugela said that DStv and GOtv subscribers are responding to M-Net's new localised TV channels packaged for MultiChoice, and new localised format competition, reality, and dating shows, as well as telenovelas and comedies that are being produced in Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya, Zimbabwe and in a growing number of African countries.

Up next is MultiChoice Africa's big Lusophone push as MultiChoice aggressively targets Mozambique with spin-off value for Angola as M-Net ramps up local production in Portuguese.

M-Net is moving aggressively into the Mozambique market and upping local content produced in Portuguese for DStv subscribers specifically in Mozambique and Angola.

In Mozambique, MultiChoice and M-Net will launch the new Maningue Magic channel on DStv channel number 503 on 17 January 2022. 

The channel will have a local telenovela Maida, local lifestyle show, Txunado, local drama The Influencer, as well as Boss Station, a Mozambiquan original music show. Viewers can also expect to see a local version of Date My Family that besides South Africa also has a Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya, Zimbabwe and other localised versions. 

In Angola where Portuguese is also the official language, DStv subscribers will be getting weekly comedy shows as well as a dubbed telenovela with the launch of Kwenda Magic as a new channel on DStv on channel 502 that is also taking place on 17 January 2022.

"MultiChoice's hyper-local content strategy sees us continue to tell stories that resonate with our customers, in their language and featuring characters they identify with – and helping take proudly African stories to global audiences," says the pay-TV company.

MultiChoice says that it is the biggest funder of local content in Africa and produced 2 692 hours of local content in the last financial year – 41% more than the year before – bringing its local content library to nearly 66 000 hours.

Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice CEO of general entertainment and connected video, says that MultiChoice and M-Net are "home to over 42 local channels across the continent because it's incumbent upon us to both cater for regional tastes and share familiar stories".

MultiChoice says that its owned reality formats continue to grow with Our Perfect Wedding that is rating number one in 90% of the territories in which it is broadcast and spawning more and more localised versions – most recently Gojwachin in Ethiopia. 

A Ghanaian version of Date My Family will make its debut in December 2021.

Nigeria's Tinsel – Africa's longest-running soapie – retains its number one position in its timeslot and now runs over 3 100 episodes. 

The telenovela The River is the top-performing show in its timeslot in South Africa and Nigeria among DStv Compact households and is dubbed for Nigeria and has been adapted as Kina in Kenya.

Then there are other drama series like The Unmarried that has reached over 2 million viewers across South Africa, Nigeria and Zambia, Lockdown and Die Byl that has been multi-season top performers on linear and VOD platforms. Nqobile reaches over 1.5 million viewers in South Africa.

MultiChoice says that Riona remains the most-watched drama among top segment audiences in Nigeria, Pazia has captured almost a third of the Tanzanian market, with Ubuntu and other dramas in its timeslot routinely reaching over a quarter of the combined Zambian DStv and GOtv market.


East Africa
MultiChoice says that the Maisha Bongo channel in 2022 will have new shows including Sinia - a drama about two wealthy families and the secrets and lies that are hidden beneath the glitz and glamour.

Danga revolves around the street-smart conmen Pipi, Angel and Mo who will stop at nothing to deceive the richest man in town, Mark. In La Familia, after 4 decades of prosperity "Mr & Mrs Ibrahim must pay a heavy price".

On Maisha Magic Plus, Tuko Talks sees Lynn Ngugi engage people from all walks of life in raw and tell-all conversations about their past, pain and joy. 

In Kenya but available across Africa, the Showmax Original crime procedural Crime and Justice will be back for a second season in 2022 with detectives Silas and Makena solving cases in the streets of Nairobi.

The Pearl Magic Prime channel will debut Chapterz, a new drama series that exposes a seemingly perfect family's hidden skeletons. 

On Zambezi Magic, Wanilata is a reality dating show in which singletons get the chance to connect with their crush. Every episode sees the contestants go on a date, with the final question being: "Do you love me?"

Our Perfect Wedding Zambia returns to ONEZED, as does Ubuntu, in which Chief Mukango promises his cousin Tachimba that he will succeed him as chief of Ubuntu when he dies. Things take an unexpected turn when a sickly and dying Chief Mukango names his daughter, Thandiwena, heir to the throne instead.

On Abol TV, Adey is a riveting dram series that shows the multiple facades of life behind the backdrop of 2 separate families that are somehow connected with a 17-year-old girl. 

In Zuret, a criminal organisation is running an operation to smuggle millions of dollars out of the country. A secret agent infiltrates the group to capture the ringleader, however, the secret agent discovers that the love of his life, who he hasn’t seen in years, is engaged to one of the criminals.

MultiChoice also launched the Maisha Magic Poa channel on DStv channel 144 on 1 October this year.

"Maisha Magic Poa is a game changer in the Tanzanian television and entertainment landscape whilst the new bouquet remains a testimony to MultiChoice's dedication to provide Tanzania with quality and affordable entertainment," says Fhulufhelo Badugela.


West Africa
On the Akwaaba Magic channel in Ghana, Dede is a naive rural teenager who is deceived by her stepmother to leave her family and life behind in order to work as a domestic helper in the home of Robertsons, a complicated wealthy family, where she falls for the youngest son, whilst struggling to achieve her dreams.

Inside Out’s Soraya cuts short her national service to fight for justice for her mother, framed for a murder committed by Maafio, a rich and powerful woman. 

The latest localised version Date My Family Ghana is coming to Ghana as a reality dating show and the 7th season of Big Brother Naija now has a June 2022 starting date on M-Net's Africa Magic channels on DStv that will once again see a group of isolated housemates do a series of tasks as they compete for a cash prize.

Date My Family Nigeria arrives in January 2022 while the 7th season of Idols Nigeria will kick off in February 2022.

Judging Matters helps to address legal issues from a small claims court, in partnership with the Lagos state ministry of Justice, hosted by Justice Olushola Williams and Ebuka Obi-Uchendu.

Shoot Your Shot returns for a 2nd season with Bisola Aiyeola as the presenter, helping people to set the right mood for an introduction to someone they have been crushing on. Love Come Back also returns, with host Ibrahim Sulaiman helping one man or woman in their quest to get another chance at love with an ex.

On the Honey channel Pastor's Wives will have a second season in 2022.


MultiChoice Showcase 2021: PICTORIAL. A set of new Blood Psalms stills released as MultiChoice's delayed Showmax Original fantasy series from Yellowbone Entertainment waits to be paid its film rebate.


by Thinus Ferreira

MultiChoice has released some further new provocative images - what in the film biz is called "stills" - of the fantasy drama series Blood Psalms that has been shifted to a February 2022 release on its Showmax video streaming service.

In the fantasy drama series mostly filmed in the Eastern Cape, Zolisa Xaluva plays soldier Toka with Zikhona Sodlaka who plays Sithenjwa and with the two characters who end up marrying each other.

Thando Tabethe plays Heka, a god manifesting as a physical being, with Faith Baloyi as Queen Assilli and the court's advisor with access to magic, while Bokang Pehalane is cast in the role of the teenage Princess Zazi trying to save her people from a world-ending prophecy.

With MultiChoice and Showmax that organised no group media set visits during the filming of Blood Psalms - something that is very unusual for an expensive production of this size - the only imagery for the show will be the set of stills that the show itself took while it filmed on location.







Blood Psalms, written, produced and directed by Jahmil X.T. Qubeka and Layla Swart Najaar from Yellowbone Entertainment, was supposed to start in October on Showmax but was delayed due to an ongoing scandal with South Africa's department of trade, industry and competition.

The department abruptly cancelled its payments of millions of rand that were approved for the making of Blood Psalms in the country's shambolic film rebate scheme that is also impacting on other film productions in the country.

Almost half of the R85 million production cost of Blood Psalms is funded through the film rebate scheme of the department of trade, industry and competition. 

R8 million earmarked to pay for just post-production work on the MultiChoice and Canal+ co-production that has over 300 visual effects artists working on the show, was for instance abruptly cancelled in September. 

Besides this there is still another R16 million payment to be made in a rebate payment by the DTIC once Blood Psalms is fully completed.

The government's film rebates are paid out at specific production milestones with producers getting financial support while they're completing their content: At the start of principal photography, when filming wraps, the start of post-production, and then delivery of the completed video production.








After Yellowbone Entertainment took the government department to court, the DTIC agreed to make requisition for payment within three days but failed to respond to the deadline of the court order.

The DTIC in a statement said that "It would be inappropriate to continue these discussions in the media as the discussions have not yet been concluded and both parties have undertaken to work diligently to conclude outstanding matters. The Yellowbone matter is sub-judice and it would be unlawful to comment."












Jahmil X.T. Qubeka says it was "an embarrassment" to be in Dubai in October with MultiChoice, inviting the world to do business in South Africa and to film productions in the country "when we have not put the mechanisms in place for that to happen".

The multi-million rand series that has been in production for almost 2 years as the largest and most expensive series ever filmed in Africa and produced on South African soil, has already been delayed. 

Candice Fangueiro, Showmax head of content, said the Showmax Original would start in October 2021, although the date came and went. 

MultiChoice then announced to the media flown to Dubai for the media junket that Blood Psalms has now been pushed to February 2022 although it's unclear if this target date for release on Showmax will be met with, the future of the R85 million production that hangs in the balance. 


Thursday, November 25, 2021

M-Net renews Survivor South Africa for an all-stars 9th season to be broadcast in July 2022.


by Thinus Ferreira
 
M-Net (DStv 101) has renewed Survivor South Africa for an "all-stars" 9th season in 2022 that will be broadcast in July next year.
 
On Thursday afternoon MultiChoice flashed a Survivor SA title card at its DStv Content Showcase, saying that it will be on-screen next year.
 
Sources told TVwithThinus on Wednesday night that Survivor SA was renewed, but M-Net didn't respond to a media query by Thursday afternoon after the pay-TV channel was asked about the renewal on Thursday morning.
 
Sources said that the new season is apparently being filmed in January 2022 and might be an "all-stars" season with previous contestants but M-Net's PR communication team didn't want to respond to these questions on Thursday when the channel was asked about it.

Survivor SA is produced by Afrokaans with Handrie Basson as executive producer and Leroux Botha as creative producer and series director.
 
In a statement, MultiChoice on Thursday afternoon finally confirmed the news, saying "In 2022, Survivor SA returns for its 9th season - and this time the greatest game on earth will see a cast of returnee outcasts who were outwitted and outplayed on previous seasons battle it out to outlast and become the Sole Survivor".

"These players, who never made it to the final Tribal Council, all have a score to settle. Get ready for Survivor SA: Return of the Outcasts - on M-Net in July 2022."