Wednesday, July 17, 2024

MultiChoice Nigeria doing season 9 of Big Brother Naija from 28 July with housemates competing in pairs as M-Net cuts prize money to N100 million.

by Thinus Ferreira

MultiChoice Nigeria and M-Net are bringing back Big Brother Naija for a 9th season from 28 July in which contestants called housemates will enter in pairs but MultiChoice Nigeria is reducing the prize money from N120 million to N100 million (R1.1 million).

Season 9 of Big Brother Naija will run on MultiChoice's DStv for 71 days from 28 July until 6 October and have its debut on all MultiChoice's Africa Magic channels on DStv, after Nigerians had to audition in pairs.

The N100 million is N20 million (R223 000) less than the N120 million (R1.3 million) prize money for Big Brother Naija's 8th season in 2023 and with the plunging foreign currency value and rampant inflation in Nigeria, the N100 million is also worth much less than what N100 million could buy just a year ago in the West African country. 

Busola Tejumola, MultiChoice's head of content and West Africa channels, on Tuesday spoke at a media conference in Lagos, Nigeria where she said "The challenging aspect of the show will be that the housemates will be going into the house in pairs and doing some of the house challenges in pairs".

"Everyone curious about the theme should watch out for the premiere on Sunday 28 July. The show holds lots of fun, vibes, emotion, drama, dynamics, and intriguing twists. This innovative format promises to deliver fresh dynamics and unforgettable entertainment."

"We will not be having the head of the house challenge as usual, there will be lots of twists from Big BrotherThe pool party and the Saturday night party will be held and the show will air 24 hours."

"After 71 days of game playing, on 6 October a grand total of N100 million worth of cash and a brand new SUV will be won. Our grand prize this year is worth N100 million."

Busola Tejumola failed to explain why MultiChoice Africa reduced the Big Brother Naija prize money amount which is also worth less in buying power this year.

While Big Brother Naija will be broadcast and again be seen on DStv across Africa with an audience wider than just Nigeria, MultiChoice Nigeria didn't bother to alert media elsewhere in Africa and failed to send out any press release or communication on Tuesday to the press in other countries besides Nigeria.

MultiChoice's video streaming service Showmax will once again do The Buzz as an additional content add-on with Toke Makinwa who is set to return as the host of this recap show that will talk about highlights from the reality show.

MultiChoice Nigeria announced a reunion episode for the 8th season of Big Brother Naija that was set for 24 June but MultiChoice Nigeria and M-Net unexpectedly cancelled it and refused to provide any reason.

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

MultiChoice's DStv Media Sales takes over ad sales for all of Paramount Africa's TV channels from October.

by Thinus Ferreira

MultiChoice's ad sales arm DStv Media Sales will take over ad sales for all of Paramount Africa's TV channels available in South Africa from October.

From 1 October 2024 DStv Media Sales will represent advertising sales for all Paramount TV channels and brands, including MTV, MTV Base, BET Africa, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and Nick Toons carried on DStv.

"Paramount and MultiChoice have a long-standing partnership and we believe that this decision will further extend and deepen our strategic relationship," says Craig Paterson, senior vice president and general manager of Paramount Africa.

"This evolution of our ad sales operating model in Africa allows us to maximize revenue, align with key markets worldwide, and reduce costs."

Fahmeeda Cassim-Surtee, DStv Media Sales CEO, says "The partnership with Paramount provides a wonderful growth opportunity for the DStv Media Sales business and expands our offering to advertisers for the continent".

Lucasta Stephen, executive head of the South African sales division at DStv Media Sales, says "DStv Media Sales will now be able to offer advertisers and sponsors an expanded portfolio of channels, content, and audiences. The addition of these awesome Paramount channels provide increased scale and reach to the DStv Media Sales offering which we are super excited to bring to market".

"We will be reaching out to our valued advertisers to ensure a seamless transition."

South African government to intervene over Sprinbok rugby broadcast block and sports rights fight between MultiChoice, SuperSport, eMedia's Openview and the SABC.

Thinus Ferreira

An explosive TV keg is on the verge of erupting as untenable pressure is building up over millions of South African TV viewers who continue to be blocked from watching Springboks rugby on free-to-air television, with South Africa's government that said it is now going to intervene.

The ongoing TV sports sublicensing fight between South African broadcasters continue to block South African viewers from seeing Springbok rugby tests on television and specifically on the South African public broadcaster - content that qualifies as sport of national interest and importance.

Two of South Africa's new ministers - Solly Malatsi as minister of communications and Gayton McKenzie as new minister of sports, arts and culture - both now say they want to meet as soon as this week in a sit-down meeting with all of the stakeholders that include MultiChoice and SuperSport, the SABC, eMedia and the South African Rugby Union (SARU).  

Gayton McKenzie says he will summon MultiChoice and SuperSport, eMedia and, as well as the SABC to meetings. 

"We are very close to a roundtable with all decision-makers. We shall not rest until all can watch the national teams. The nation owns the national teams and the owners must watch their teams playing," he said.

"We are actively dealing with this matter. It is inexcusable and a huge shame on us. We shall very soon revert back after concluding talks."

Gayton McKenzie said he "felt anger, disappointment and sadness that so many South Africans can't watch. We need them to share the Springbok joy. We can't say we are a pro-poor country but don't have the Springboks on SABC. This needs to change. It must change. It's going to change."

The fight over TV sports sublicensing rights revolve around money and the millions paid to broadcast these, as well as the reselling or sublicensing of it and which viewers then get access to it.

MultiChoice's SuperSport is willing to pay hundreds of millions to sports bodies, content distributors and licensors for something like the past two Saturdays' Springbok test matches against Ireland. This money is then used to fund sport organisations and bodies, as well as pay players.

DStv subscribers in turn pay to watch this sports content on pay-TV services like SuperSport-packaged channels on DStv.

SuperSport sold and sublicensed the rights of the Springbok test matches to the SABC but with a contract stipulation that the content is not allowed to be shown or be accessible on the version of the SABC channels carried on eMedia's Openview satellite service.

MultiChoice argues that eMedia and would otherwise get free access to premium sports content that isn't and hasn't paid for.

eMedia argues that what is being shown by and on the SABC should be accessible everywhere the SABC's TV channels are carried and that SuperSport is deliberately not willing to sell or sublicence sports rights to eMedia en but just to the SABC.

Since eMedia dragged MultiChoice to the Competition Commission Tribunal which is still to hand down judgment in this matter - the SABC, which originally agreed to buy and sublicence the rights from SuperSport had to backtrack and break the deal to broadcast the content.

While MultiChoice and eMedia are duking it out over sports sublicensing rights, the SABC and South African Rugby are caught in the middle with viewers sitting without access.

Mark Alexander, South African Rugby Union president, in a statement said SARU supports the SABC's decision to backtrack on its planned agreement with SuperSport to broadcast the Springbok test matches but also says SARU support the SABC's desire for Springbok matches to be broadcast on the public broadcaster.

"This may appear to be a minor and obscure issue to the general public but it is critically important to the Springboks and the future of rugby in South Africa, affecting to just the broadcasters but the sport itself."

He says it's not SARU, SuperSport or the SABC which are fighting with each other.

"It was the intervention of eMedia and its demand that Openview be permitted to broadcast the rugby without any financial contribution by eMedia that put an end to this agreement."

"eMedia's attempts to put an end to exclusivity in sports broadcasting rights would slash the rights fees, with the sport itself suffering the most, severely impacting our programme delivery from the grassroots level to the back-to-back Rugby World Cup-winning Springboks."

"It is absurd that eMedia should be allowed to broadcast sport without contributing to its support and development."

Khalik Sherrif, eMedia CEO, says SARU is wrong.

"It is an absolute shame when the real facts of a dispute in which there is a court decision in favour of the public is distorted by a national body such as SARU. SARU should act in the interests of all South Africans and not only the privileged few," says Khalik Sherrif.

Sheriff says SARU is simply parroting MultiChoice's views.

According to eMedia, it is "the SABC's decision which resulted in the rugby not being aired by it".

"It is clear that MultiChoice and SuperSport and the SABC are solely responsible for the broader public not being able to watch these sporting events, such as the Springbok/Irish test matches and the cricket T20 final. eMedia has been in the public’s corner trying to ensure the widest access to these events."

MultiChoice told TVwithThinus in response to a media query that MultiChoice is "sympathetic to the position of the SABC in guarding against free-riding by a commercial competitor and using its limited funds in a manner that would serve to further the commercial interest of a private commercial entity".

"The allegation that SuperSport gave too little time for eMedia to bid for the rights is completely false."

"Despite having known about the test matches for months, eMedia belatedly approached SuperSport to inquire about the rights and, after being probed, made an offer to sublicense the rights."

"Their bid was inferior to what the SABC offered and was therefore rejected. Even as late as last week, eMedia repeated its patently sub-commercial offer for the rights to the second test in spite of it having been made aware that its offer was not commercially viable."

"It appears to us that eMedia prefers to free-ride on the investments made by SuperSport and the SABC rather than to itself invest at the level which Springbok rugby deserves."

"Sports broadcasting requires a careful balancing act. While fans would understandably like to watch everything for free, the fact is our sports federations depend on the licensing of exclusive broadcasting rights to keep sport alive."

"SuperSport makes a substantial investment in South African rugby and as a country, we have witnessed the fruits of that investment with the World Cup-winning performances of the Springboks."

"SuperSport must protect its investment in exclusive broadcasting rights. But even so, SuperSport is mindful of the desire of audiences to also see the Springboks play on the channels of the public broadcaster."

"We have therefore endeavoured to reach appropriate sub-licensing arrangements with the SABC. It is eMedia alone who has disrupted those arrangements in pursuit of its own commercial interests."

The SABC in response to a media query told TVwithThinus "the SABC will not be pressurised to use public funds to finance private third parties for sports rights".

"The SABC remains committed to broadcasting sports of national interest."

The SABC said it had acquired the rights for the Olympics games directly from the rights holder, International Olympics Committee in 2017 and will show the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games on the SABC TV channels.

Programming line-up for July 2024's Nat Geo WILD Sharkfest and Discovery Shark Week.

by Thinus Ferreira

The TV waters are shark-infested as Discovery Channel and National Geographic compete with a duelling Shark Week and a Sharkfest in July.

Discovery Channel (DStv 121) has its Discovery Shark Week that kicks off Monday 15 July at 17:00, with three local shark experts - Zandile Ndhlovu, Leigh de Necker and Dr Alison Towner who appear across various episodes over the week.

Ndhlovu, known as The Black Mermaid, appears in Monster Hammerheads: Species X and Belly of the Beast: Bigger and Bloodier, with De Necker who appears in 6000-LB. Shark. Towner is an expert who appears in Great White Danger Zone.

On Nat Geo WILD (DStv 182 / StarSat 221) the channel's Sharkfest starts on 20 July on weekends at 18:00, and runs until 28 August with shark-themed programming that will also be available on the streaming service Disney+.


Shark scientist Dr Alison Towner appears in Great White Danger Zone on Monday 15 July at 17:15 as her team investigates a new Great White hotspot off the South African coast, uncovering unusual behaviours in these predators. 

"Southern African white sharks are currently a subject of intense mystery. Human activities and killer whale predation have drastically shifted their habitat use in this region," she explains.

"Great White Danger Zone investigates how white sharks are adapting to these changes at the southern tip of Africa."

Zandile Ndhlovu appears on Tuesday 16 July at 18:10 as she dives with Dr Austin Gallagher in the Turks and Caicos, investigating a potentially new species of aggressive Hammerhead sharks in Monster Hammerheads: Species X

"Joining Monster Hammerheads: Species X was an incredible opportunity to combine my passion for freediving and showcasing the beauty and diversity of sharks," says Zandile Ndhlovu, South Africa's first black female freediving instructor and founder of the Black Mermaid Foundation.

She also joins Dr Gallagher’s team in Belly of the Beast: Bigger and Bloodier on Sunday 21 July at 17:15 where they study massive great whites in New Zealand.

In 6000-LB. Shark on Saturday 20 July at 18:10, the marine biologist Leigh de Necker teams up with Tom "The Blowfish" Hird to track down massive Great White Sharks off the coast of New Zealand.

"Filming 6000-LB Shark for Discovery Shark Week 2024 in New Zealand was truly one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life," she says.

"To witness these magnificent creatures in their element, surrounded by five, six, even seven at a time, was awe-inspiring. These weren't just any sharks - we're talking chunky animals between 3.5 and 5.5 meters in size! My marine biologist brain was in overdrive! Why were there so many sharks? Why were some so large? What were they feeding on? Could any be our South African sharks?"

Other Discovery Shark Week programming this week include:

Deadliest Bite, Tuesday 16 July 17:15
A group of shark experts set out to discover which shark species has the deadliest bite. Using bite force meters, biomedical imaging, and a cutting-edge super slow-motion camera rig, they'll document and analyse shark bites like never before.

Great White Serial Killer: Sea of Blood, Wednesday 17 July 17:15
After fatal shark attacks in 2022 and 2023 off the shore of a Mexican fishing village, shark attack survivor Paul De Gelder joins shark investigator Brandon McMillan to work with locals to identify the killers and help prevent future attacks from happening.

Alien Sharks: Ghost of Japan, Thursday 18 July 17:15
Wildlife biologist Forrest Galante explores the alien world of Japan's oceans. Teaming up with deep-sea shark expert Christina de Silva, they search for the extremely rare Japanese angelshark, the "ghost of the sea".

Jaws vs. Leviathan, Friday 19 July 17:15
In New Zealand, a clash of titans is about to erupt: the Great White versus a massive leviathan. Dr Tristan Guttridge and Kina Scollay simulate epic battles and study orca tactics to discover the ultimate predator.

Sharks of the Dead Zone, Saturday, 20 July 17:15
Dr Tiara Moore has discovered bull sharks thriving in polluted, algae-filled lagoons. Teaming up with Dr Craig O'Connell, they study why pregnant females still migrate there and how their pups survive in a seemingly hostile environment.

Shark Attack Island, Sunday 21 July 18:10
South Pacific paradise has become a shark attack hot spot with Bull, Tiger and Great White sharks moving closer and closer to resort beaches. Seven people have been killed in just the last five years, some in knee-deep water only steps from the sand.


National Geographic's latest Sharkfest will run over four weeks on the Nat Geo WILD channel, with 26 hours of shark programming.

Some of the shark programming include:

Shark Beach with Anthony Mackie: Gulf Coast, Saturday 20 July 18:00
Anthony Mackie returns to his hometown of New Orleans in this hour-long special where he investigates a fishing phenomenon called depredation, in which a shark preys upon a fisherman's catch and consumes it before it can be retrieved.

Shark Attack 360, Sunday 21 July 18:00 (ends 25 August)
Eight hourlong episodes. Nat Geo Explorer and Marine Biologist Dr Diva Amon leads a team of scientists to uncover new facts about shark attack cases with the help of real-world experiments and a state-of-the-art immersive lab to bring us closer to sharks than ever before.

Baby Sharks in the City, Saturday 27 July 18:00
Shark biologists have discovered a nursery of Atlantic great whites right off the coast of New York City. Watch as they deploy a state-of-the-art camera tag to reveal the secret life of the baby great white for the first time in these Atlantic waters.

Sharks Gone Viral, Saturday 3 August 18:00
It's a social media feed frenzy as comedians Helen Hong, Keon Polee and the Sklar Brothers deep dive into the internet’s wildest shark videos - from lightning-fast shark attacks to sharks living on a golf course - while a panel of experts explore the science behind social media's most influential fish.

Supersized Sharks, Saturday 10 August 18:00
Norfolk Island off the Australian coast is home to some of the largest tiger sharks in the world. For the first time, scientists are diving in to answer why there are so many huge tigers there. Shark biologists Lauren Meyers, Charlie Huveneers and Adam Barnett lure the giants to their boat to investigate and make a surprising discovery.

Attack of the Red Sea Sharks, Saturday 17 August 18:00
This special investigates why sharks killed three people in less than a year in the coastal waters of Red Sea resorts. Multiple witnesses captured the gruesome attacks, with the videos quickly going viral, sparking confusion and hysteria. Are these attacks part of a growing trend that is becoming more common worldwide?

Shark vs Ross Edgley, Saturday 24 August 18:00
Swimmer and shark advocate Ross Edgley faces his greatest challenge yet as he attempts to pit his mind and body against the most formidable predator in the ocean. Testing the limits of his speed, strength, hydrodynamics and endurance, Ross will push his body to its extremes to understand what makes sharks such incredible and versatile predators.

Incest and filicide: Inside Queen Modjadji's shocking debut episode decisions.

by Thinus Ferreira

In Queen Modjadi's first episode, a flawed king suspects his sons of plotting to kill him (he's right!), murders all 10 of them, and then has sex with his daughter - hoping for her to get pregnant with a daughter to fulfil a prophecy to appease the ancestors and raingods.

While first episodes of new TV series are usually scene-setting, forced to use the time to do basic character introductions and the setting setting for the audience before the plot starts, Rhythm World Productions on Sunday night disposed of the normal pleasantries and instantly went on a very bloody killing spree in Queen Modjadji.

Multiple just-established characters were brutally killed off during the first episode on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) on Sunday night, with several others in grave jeopardy, and some forced to flee from a crazy king.

While blood flowed, a daughter bared a boy instead of a daughter after having forced sex with her father the king, while the remaining tribe members wondered who else would live and who would die as they tried to stay alive in their drought-ravaged village.

For MultiChoice, M-Net's Mzansi Magic channel which is following up Shaka iLembe with Queen Modjadji, and for Rhythm World Productions, the scene-setting and jarring story is a calculated risk but one that they deem necessary to be authentic to the origin legend of the rain queen.

Although gruesome initially, MultiChoice and the producers took great pains not to be exploitative, to offend, or to drive away Sunday night DStv subscribers with lurid sex scenes and explicit murder and violence.

"We're in 2024. It's important for us to tell the Queen Modjadji story, as hard as it is, very, very respectfully," Nomsa Philiso, MultiChoice CEO for general entertainment, told me in a sit-down interview.

"You'll see the scenes around the conception hut - the way that it is done - it's almost sacrosanct. They are preparing her. They are doing it in a way that is very respectful. You will not see any sex scenes, for instance. We do understand that certain things are spoken of. So how do you still tell the story but respectfully?"

"Of course we thought the incest storyline is going to be 'wow, wow, wow' with viewers but we cannot walk away from it because that is the genesis of Queen Modjadji. It's the story," she said.

"Queen Modjadji is the right thing to do for MultiChoice; the right TV project. If we say we are truly going to tell our own stories, we should not just be telling the easy ones."

Gersh Kgamedi, Queen Modjadji's creative producer, told me the biggest challenge right off the bat for MultiChoice and Rhythm World Productions "was how do you present the taboo of a father sleeping with a daughter, and how do we treat and approach that respectfully."

"For us that was the biggest, biggest challenge of the entire story. One misstep could have changed the story entirely."

The king's killing of his sons "is based on real events," Gersh Kgamedi explains.

"What we've done is mixed true events with partly fiction. The killing of the sons is important because that is the culmination of ultimately changing the kingdom from a kingdom to a queendom, so the sons had to be get rid of as well."

Why MasterChef SA's 5th season axed 5 contestants in the debut episode.

by Thinus Ferreira

Saturday evening's 5th season premiere of MasterChef South Africa on SABC3 ended with the unexpected axing of five contestants who all returned home after just one episode's cooking in the kitchen.

The rugby recruiter and coach Lucas (33) from Worcester, the Johannesburg video producer Andrew (42), the Boksburg content creator Lesego (26), the law firm manager Robyn (28) from Midrand, as well as the environmentalist Ella (39) from Johannesburg were all eliminated after their checked dishes were the lowest-rated out of the 20 contestants.

"It breaks my heart to say this, but your MasterChef SA journey ends here," MasterChef SA judge Katlego Mlambo told the five contestants.

"I'm a very competitive person, so this was pretty serious to me but you've got to be humble in victory and defeat," Lucas said. "It's reignited something in me. It's given me belief and hope. I'll always keep cooking." 

Andrew said that he feels "disappointed". "I didn't expect it to be this short. But we are in the MasterChef kitchen and I didn't perform to the standards".

Lesego said "I'm devastated to leave this early in the competition because I don't think I was able to really show myself. But this is not the end, this is just the start of something different".

Robyn who's lucky charm broke during the cooking challenge said she doesn't believe it had an impact. "I don't feel that my necklace breaking had any effect on the outcome. I choose to carry on in a positive way."

Ella who kept the apron of her dad who had passed away, on underneath her new white MasterChef SA apron, said "I'm quite happy not to have taken my one off. This one belonged to my dad. My dad had the biggest heart. His light shines through and that is the best gift you can give someone - share a bit of light. So I wear it with pride and I know I've done my family proud."

Fifteen contestants from across South Africa are left for the remaining 19 episodes of the Banijay format cooking competition reality show filmed by Homebrew Films at Atlantic Studios and done by Primedia Studios for SABC3.

"knew from the start that this season would only have 15 contestants, but in the pre-auditions, we found 20 really worthy candidates - it was just so difficult to choose only 15," Paul Venter, executive producer, tells TVwithThinus as he explained why the 5th season decided to axe five of them at the end of the first episode.

"We decided to give them all the privilege to come to the kitchen and cook for one episode in the MasterChef SA kitchen - a dream come true for many - but that would then be the last round of auditions, and what great jeopardy to have 5 people going home already in the first episode - drama from scene one, episode one and guaranteed for the whole series!"

According to Paul Venter, the biggest enemy in the MasterChef SA kitchen is and remains time.

"We hear screams and see tears when some candidates fail to make the final adjustments in the final minutes and then we will also have the curious case of the 'stolen pickles' ... which is eventually solved. But will karma send the pickle thief home? Viewers will have to wait and see!"

In Saturday's 5th season debut episode, one contestant told judge Justine Drake that she grew up watching her on the show, while another contestant watched her sister compete on the show in a previous season of the series that has over time become a South African television institution.

Kaye Anne Williams, vice president of content at Primedia Studios, tells TVwithThinus that MasterChef South Africa has become an institution because of two components: food and people.

"For those two reasons, it is not hard to find something that you can relate to and, therefore, incorporate in your own life. Our goal in driving awareness for the new season was to ensure that the average viewer understood that this show was for them and is about them, their food and their stories."

Paul Venter says the latest season of MasterChef SA has "contestants from all four corners of our country, from all walks of life and from as young as 20 and as 'young' as 65".

"Some contestants have roots deeper into the African continent, as far as Congo and as close as Zimbabwe, and some even as far as Taiwan. But one thing that equalises the playing field is the big food dream to win the coveted MasterChef SA title".

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Zee Africa updates Zee World on-air graphics and tagline, moves primetime start time to 5pm.

by Thinus Ferreira

Zee Africa has changed the tagline for Zee World (DStv 166) to "Living every moment" from July and expanded the channel's programming schedule with prime time now starting at 17:00 with 8 shows until 22:00.

Zee Africa says the channel refresh of Zee World for viewers across sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean islands that includes new graphics and an enhanced programming offering, "honours Zee World's legacy".

"It is important for us to remind our viewers who we are at the core while extending it out to all age groups and cultures across Africa" says Somnath Malakar, CEO of Zee Africa.

"The tagline 'Living Every Moment' represents what Zee has always stood for and continues to be the inspiration that the brand endeavours to deliver to its audiences."

Zee World's programming has expanded with prime time now starting at 17:00. New titles have been added at 19:30 and 20:30. From July, Zee World now broadcasts eight shows between 17:00 and 22:00.

Desiree Pillay, senior vice president for content and marketing at Zee Africa, says "Our channel refresh represents our unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional entertainment that resonates with viewers across the continent, and we are doing it with flair".

"With a brand-new logo, a new tagline, and a whole lot of new shows, we invite our viewers to join us in 'Living Every Moment' on Zee World as we embark on this exhilarating new chapter together."

Samsung unveils Galaxy Z Fold6, Galaxy Z Flip6 and Galaxy Watch Ultra - plus South Africa pricing.

by Thinus Ferreira

Samsung Electronics on Wednesday afternoon in Paris, France unveiled its Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip6 as well as a range of new smartwatches at its next Galaxy Unpacked event. 

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6 is available in three colours - silver shadow, pink, as well as navy - with all three colours which will be available in South Africa.

The Samsung Galaxy Flip6 is available in four colours - silver shadow, blue, yellow and mint - with all four colours which will be available in South Africa.

Powered by Samsung's Pro Visual Engine, the Galaxy Z Fold6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6 are equipped with multiple image editing features, and also comes with further enhanced camera features.

Similar to Samsung's recent Galaxy S24 series launch the new devices are centred around Samsung's Galaxy AI with improved versions of Chat Assist, Circle-to-Search, Note Assist and Transcribe Assist, as well as an instant slow-motion feature within photography.

The Pro Visual Engine AI functions are accessed by tapping the Galaxy AI button in the image editor.

"Our foldables meet the unique needs of every user and now enhanced by the power of Galaxy AI, Samsung is delivering an experience like never before," says TM Roh, president and head of mobile exerience business at Samsung Electronics.

The devices have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor and comes with One UI 6.1.1 and both have 12GM RAM. 

The Galaxy Z Fold6 has either 256GM or 512GB storage with a recommended retail price of R43 500 (256GB) and R46 000 ((512GB), while the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip6 has 256GB of internal storage and a recommended retail price of R26 000.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6 has a slightly larger display that its predecessor: 6.3 inches and an OLED display with a 2 376 x 968 pixel resolution. 

Its internal display remains unchanged from the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5: a 7.6-inch OLED with 2 160 x 1 856 pixel resolution. Both displays are on a 120Hz refresh rate.

The Galaxy Z Fold6 comes with the same 50 MP f/1.8 main camera with OIS at the back, alongside a 10 MP f/2.4 telephoto unit with 3x optical zoom and a 12 MP f/2.2 ultrawide shooter with a 123-degree field of view.

It also has a 10 MP selfie camera on the cover display with a 4 MP video-chat shooter hidden under the foldable display.

Samsung says the Fold6 "also offers one-way translation, so you can easily understand when listening during lectures or any other type of presentation". 

Live Translate - which requires a network connection and a Samsung account - translates "phone calls directly on your device in real-time, and is also now being extended beyond Samsung’s own native calling app to a selection of popular third-party apps".

The Samsung Galaxy Z 
Flip6 has unchanged display
dimensions from the Flip5 at 7.6-inch for the internal display and a 3.4-inch external screen, with unchanged resolution of 2 640 x 1,080 pixels and 748 x 720 pixels. 

Here the internal display is also a 120Hz refresh rate.

Pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip6 are possible from Wednesday 10 July 2024.

Samsung also unveiled its Galaxy Watch Ultra with a recommended retail price of R20 000.

Also new is the Buds3 earbuds (recommended retail price: R4000) available in either silver or white.

The Buds3 Pro has a recommended retail price of R5000), with the new Samsung Galaxy Watch7 that comes with a recommended retail price of R7000 for the 40mm, and R7500 for the 44mm. 

Samsung South Africa will not sell its Samsung Galaxy Ring locally.

MultiChoice's relaunched Showmax does first price increase from August, pricing of bundled packages remains unchanged.

by Thinus Ferreira

After six months the relaunched Showmax is doing its first price increase since the unveiling of the new version of MultiChoice's video streaming service - although the prices of its two bundled packages will remain unchanged.

From August, Showmax Entertainment will increase 11.2% from R89 to R99, while Showmax Entertainment Mobile is going from R39 to R45 - an increase of 15.4%. Both these increases are above the current inflation rate.

The pricing of the Showmax Premier League package will remain unchanged at R69 a month. 

The pricing of the bundled Showmax Entertainment (all devices) + Premier League (mobile) package remains unchanged at R140 and the pricing of the Showmax Entertainment (mobile) + Premier League (mobile) package also remains unchanged at R99. 

Showmax says its Showmax Entertainment Mobile price of R45 is "at the low end of mobile streaming prices globally". It's the first price hike for Showmax since MultiChoice retooled the streamer in partnership with Comcast's NBCUniversal.

Marc Jury, Showmax CEO, says "Pricing is something that all businesses have to review regularly, and we launched with attractive pricing on the new Showmax platform".

"We are thrilled that we've been able to keep Showmax Premier League and bundled Showmax plans unchanged, bringing all 380 Premier League matches to millions of football fans in Africa and continuing to focus on making streaming affordable and effortless."

He says "No other streamer has this range of the best international and local content at an incredible price."

Since its relaunch in February, MultiChoice added 40 Showmax Originals to the streamer, including localised shows produced in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.   

Showmax Entertainment's R99 price from August is its original launch price in 2015.

MultiChoice that is coming off a disastrous financial year for the year ending end of March 2024, is under immense pressure to grow its Showmax subscriber numbers and to also move the streamer towards a position of profitability. MultiChoice told investors last year that it aims to achieve profitability for Showmax in 2027.

Last month when it released its financial results, MultiChoice noted that Showmax's paying subscriber base grew 16% since the relaunch in February to the end of March but continues to decline to provide any subscriber numbers.



Showmax Entertainment 

All devices    

Showmax Entertainment Mobile   

Showmax Premier League   


Showmax Entertainment Mobile + Premier League Mobile bundle   

Showmax Entertainment All devices + Premier League Mobile bundle   


All Premier League   

live matches + extra Premier League content    







Series, movies, kids’ shows, documentaries incl. Showmax Originals, MultiChoice Originals, Universal Pictures, NBC, Peacock, Sky, DreamWorks Animation, HBO, Paramount, Lionsgate, Sony, Warner Bros. Discovery, BBC, ITV, Telemundo, Banijay, eOne, Fremantle and more. 








Number of concurrent streams    





1 stream Entertainment 

1 stream Premier League 

2 streams Entertainment 

1 stream Premier League 

Mobile apps   







Smart TV, laptop, Android TV, Apple TV apps   






  (only for Entertainment content, no access to Sport section) 

Maximum video resolution   


HD (1080p)  

HD (1080p) 

HD (1080p) 

HD (1080p) 

HD (1080p) 

Downloads available for offline viewing 


  (only for VOD content, not live streaming) 

 (only for VOD content, not live streaming) 

 (only for VOD content, not live streaming) 


Data saving settings