Tuesday, November 30, 2010

BREAKING. M-Net's Vuka! Awards honours the best local public service TV adverts; amazing 'Selinah' commercial the outright winner.

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M-Net's annual Vuka! Awards honouring the best in public service TV adverts in South Africa once again bestowed trophies onto deserving commercials with Egg Films and Ogilvy Johannesburg's amazing ''Selinah'' advert about HIV/Aids and the benefit of antiretroviral drugs scooping 6 awards in total including winning the professional category.

The Vuka! Awards held earlier this evening at the Theatre on the Track in Kyalami saw the film and advertising industry gather for the 11th Vuka! Awards to honour the year's best commercials for charities and public causes. ''Thanks for giving a little bit of heart and a lot of love to charities out there,'' said presenter Kabelo ''KB'' Ngakane. ''Thanks for holding up a mirror about all the crazy things we're doing.''

And crazy things this year's Vuka! Awards entries (116 in total and up from 67 last year) did indeed address. Commercials ranged in scope from HIV/Aids, xenophobia, a lack of South Africa history under the youth (to promote the Apartheid Museum), discrimination, drunk driving, animal cruelty, missing children and abuse against women. ''Without M-Net most of the public service announcements (PSA's) you see simply won't exist,''said Kabelo Ngakane.

These commercials will be shown on M-Net and DStv across Africa over the next year. ''The Vuka! Awards is designed to give support to worthy causes,'' said Patricia Scholtemeyer, M-Net CEO. ''It gives all creative souls the opportunity to use the essence of our business and the powerful medium of television.'' Patricia Scholtemeyer said more needs to be done to foster growth in PSA's development and creation. ''Expert mentorship and skills transfer is important and we call on the industry, and we [M-Net] will also do so ourselves to give support.''

BREAKING. SABC3 unaware about the shameful exploitation of South Africa's Top Model Search asking contestants for money.

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I can exclusively reveal that SABC3 was/is completely in the dark about the shameful and exploitative reality show that it plans to broadcast from February - South Africa's Top Model Search - that is forcing contestants to pay R250 to ''register'' and for the possible chance to be on the show - news I broke RIGHT HERE. Contestants and potential contestants on a reality show are not, under any circumstances supposed to, or expected to pay money for that ''privilege''.

While SABC3 is completely mum on my official enquiries as to why R250 is demanded from contestants who want to try and be on South Africa's Top Model Search (only R200 if you ''register'' online), I can now reveal that SABC3 has been completely blindsided by this advertiser-funded show's highly inappropriate and unethical behaviour.

The damaging, shameful and exploitative manner in which South Africa's Top Model Search is fleecing normal South Africans who have aspirations of being models and being on TV, once again casts the spotlight on why advertiser-funded productions (AFP's) are a bad idea. It's bad programming for viewers, primarily a money-making vehicle for TV channels and something broadcasters usually end up washing their hands off when things go wrong, and is often productions they have very little control over.

I'm now told that SABC3 had no idea that contestants were forced to pay R250 each to possibly be on South Africa's Top Model Search. ''The channel is actually following up with the production company about the fee,'' a highly placed insider tells me. ''They weren't aware that there was a fee involved,'' a source tells me.

ALSO READ: Be a contestant on SABC3's new reality show South Africa's Top Model Search . . . if you pa R250.

6 MONTHS LATER: 6 ways in which TopTV has changed South African television in the past 6 months.

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Today, On Digital Media's (ODM) TopTV has been in commercial operation for exactly 6 months.

The new pay TV operator in South Africa marks its first 6 full months since its commercial launch in May having passed a few important benchmarks: that of public perception as a viable (pay TV) business; a value proposition that's not only different enough but also proved to be enticing enough to get new subscribers to sign up; and a lot of goodwill from the larger TV industry not just for its offering but the promise of longterm, spin-off yields for local productions and TV content partnerships in the future.

Since its debut exactly 6 months ago TopTV has immediate shaken up the local pay TV environment, the TV biz, and has shown that some changes to the existing pay TV subscriber model (and bigger subsidization! - some might say by necessity) is indeed possible. While the start-up hasn't been without its mistakes, faults and certain shortcomings, TopTV's arrival and presence during the past half a year has heralded a few welcoming (and surprising!) changes for the better for South African television.

Here's 6 important ways that TopTV has changed the South African TV landscape in the past 6 months.

Click on READ MORE below.

Monday, November 29, 2010

BREAKING. The Young & the Restless on e.tv renewed for another three years in America.

On the heels of the soap opera Days of Our Lives on SABC3 that was renewed for another two years in America earlier this month, comes the news that The Young & the Restless weekdays on e.tv has also been renewed for another three years in America where it's broadcast on the CBS network.

Just like Days of Our Lives, The Young & the Restless is also produced by Sony Pictures Television and it's America's number one soap in terms of viewership for the 22nd year in a row.

BREAKING. The new name of Binneland Sub Judice, previously known as Binnelanders, will be . . . Binneland. Without the 's'.

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I can exclusively reveal that the new name - the soap's third - when M-Net's Binneland Sub Judice moves from the pay broadcaster to kykNET (DStv 111) in April will be . . . Binneland.

Binneland Sub Judice will not return to its original name of Binnelanders but according to multiple sources familiar with the new name choice, will drop the ''s'' to only be known as Binneland.

Binneland that will drop the legal side of its story universe and revert back to only a half hour show as I told you in August RIGHT HERE, will still have subtitles in English although its on the Afrikaans satellite channel. ''Binneland on kykNET will have subtitling in English so that hopefully English speaking fans will cross over and continue following their favourite soap,'' another high level source close to the Stark Films production tells me.

Nisha Jones back as sales director of the SABC's commercial enterprises unit; cleared of all misconduct charges.

After her immediate suspension in March due to an investigation into possible serious acts of misconduct, the SABC has reinstated Nisha Jones as its sales director in the public broadcaster's commercial enterprise division.

According to the broadcaster Nisha Jones has been cleared of all charges after the investigation and is back in her position since 25 October. In a press release the broadcaster says ''the SABC welcomes Nisha Jones back and wishes her well''.

BREAKING. DStv preparing to dish up The Food Network as a new channel in South Africa; starting date still uncertain.

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Food lovers can rejoice since I can reveal that The Food Network is coming to South Africa and will be added on MultiChoice's DStv platform although an official launch date still has to be agreed.

I tried to keep it secret and not be a complete spoil-sport too long before the time, but once some of my competitors start to catch up and put things together it forces me to become wikileaky.

''The channel's launch date hasn't yet been confirmed,'' international sources I reached out to during the past week and who are aware of the dealmaking told me on Wednesday. Other sources tell me The Food Network will most probably be activated early in 2011 on DStv's channel 185. Several details still need to be ironed out. The Food Network, An American TV channel, is distributed internationally as a joint venture between America's Scripps Networks Interactive and the London-based programmer Chello Zone.

When asked whether The Food Network that will be broadcast in South Africa will be the same feed as that already seen elsewhere in Africa, international sources told me ''that's correct''. The Food Network will be DStv's third attempt at a dedicated food channel after The Carlton Food Network and BBC Food that used to be on the DStv platform, both folded.

BREAKING. SABC sees itself as the leaning tower of Pisa; looking for ''broadcast levy on all TV receiving equipment''.

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I have the SABC's power point presentation on its just presented turnaround strategy in parliament which contains many hidden and fascinating titbits missed by everyone - like the South African public broadcaster who now seems intent on introducing what it calls a ''broadcast levy'' for all TV receiving equipment as another attempt to fill its coffers besides its income from TV license fees.

Entitled ''SABC High Level Turnaround Plan'' and presented before parliament this week, the power point presentation starts with the image above. Then the SABC board, describing the situation of the ''SABC Today'' uses this embarrassing picture of the leaning tower of Pisa in Italy, saying that it wants to increase revenue ''through revised pricing and by ''creating schedule stability''.

Under ''kep projects underway'' the power point presentation lists ''TV license annual increase'' signalling the intention and possiblity of raising SABC license fees. More enigmatic is the ''key project'' of ''Broadcast levy in all TV receiving equipment'' which is not explained further. Then the SABC is also busy with its new SABC News TV channel that will be replacing the now defunct SABC News International channel.

Hidden, but there, is that the SABC is not happy with SABC3 and SABC News. Both are listed under the area that needs work regarding ''Improving return on programming expenditure.'' What it means is that the SABC is not happy with the amount of money its making from what the broadcaster is spending within SABC3 and the news division. This must be completed by the end of 2011. The SABC also wants definite schedule stability by the end of next year.

ALSO READ: SABC admits: ''Television is the ultimate democracy. We'll have to do something special to try and get viewers back.''
ALSO READ: SABC looking at developing a new ''network strategy'' at preventing its own TV channels from cannibalizing each other with programming.
ALSO READ: The SABC is no longer investing in digital terrestrial television (DTT) other than keeping its pilot project on the air.
ALSO READ: Grilled SABC board to parliament: ''We feel like punching bags.''

SHOCKING! 3,6 million South Africans still do not have access to any SABC TV signal from the public broadcaster.

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Call them South Africa's lost and forgotten TV people. Hidden in its latest annual report is this sad and sobering statistic by the SABC: that 3,6 million South Africans still do not have access to any TV signal from the public broadcaster and than 5 million people don't have access to any radio signal from the public broadcaster.

''The SABC has established that there are approximately 3,6 million people in South Africa who do not have access to any SABC television channel and about 5 million people who do not have access to any SABC FM radio station,'' says the SABC in its official 2010 Annual Report.

The South African public broadcaster who has a government mandate to provide public television and radio services to all South Africans blames not itself in its annual report, but in essence where these people live. ''Additional high power transmitters will not resolve this problem due to the topography of these under serviced rural areas,'' says the SABC.

The broadcaster does however have a plan to roll out 300 low power transmitter sites over the next two years. ''Each of these low power transmitter installations will provide SABC1, SABC2, SABC3 and the most appropriate radio station for each area,'' says the SABC.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

FAT ATTACK! Forget about Dance Your Butt Off, the SABC is cutting the fat away with its own internal weight loss programme.

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So the SABC that introduced an austerity plan, has a new turnaround strategy and plans to cut the fat away by getting rid of corruption, middle managers, and ''wasteful expenditure''. It's also cutting the fat away on another level: the bulges around the belly.

Turns out the SABC has a programme to get rid of the fat, and I'm not talking about SABC1's current cringe-crass Dance Your Butt Off reality show. According to the South African public broadcaster's annual report for 2010 the broadcaster actually has a weight loss programme to help cut the fat away. It was started in October 2009 and reintroduced in February this year.

According to the SABC the programme helps SABC employees with weight loss, overweight issues and obesity. So far 64 SABC employees have participated.

TV industry not consulted by SABC in turnaround plan; ''fortunes of SABC depend on the production sector,'' says SASFED.

The South African television industry is not happy with the SABC and the South African public broadcaster's new turnaround strategy, with the industry that's appalled at not having been consulted at all in the matter.

In an open letter to the SABC, SASFED - the massive federation of independent film and TV industry organisations that collectively represent thousands of workers within the South African television production community - says that it ''has not in any way been accomodated for consultation on the SABC's turnaround plan''.

In the strongly-worded letter, SASFED says it wants this ''immediately rectified'' and to be invited ''to consultations on the SABC's turnaround plan and its implementation''. This week in parliament the SABC board presented an outline of its turnaround plan to the portfolio commitee on communications and how the beleaguered public broadcaster plans to dig itself out of massive debt, a skills shortage, corruption, mismanagement, an overload of middle management staff, bad programming, a crippling commissioning content hub and several other issues.

''The fortunes of the SABC depend on it being rooted in a . . . collaborative relationship with . . . the independent production sector,'' says SASFED. Among the issues SASFED cites that the SABC needs to ''address for a meaningful turnaround'' include commissioning procedures for local content and the amount of local content, the role of independent producers, intellectual property and copyright (see my story HERE), co-productions, licensing and the issue of residual payments.

ALSO READ: The End of the SABC owning everything? Why it could be happening sooner than you think.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

THE END OF THE SABC OWNING EVERYTHING . . .? Why it could be happening sooner than you think.

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Could it change? Possibly. And faster than what we might think. Currently the SABC owns everything it broadcasts (technically 99,5% - there's some super selective exceptions) with stringent commissioning contracts in which local producers basically sign away their intellectual property rights to their productions to the South African public broadcaster. That could soon change.

In an interesting remark missed by the rest of the press, the SABC in its appearance this week before parliament, said that it will relook intellectual property rights - long a stifling issue that actually inhibits growth in the local TV production industry. There might be a bigger incentive for producers to produce programming if they could own it and for instance sell it to various broadcasters with various licensing windows, which isnt currently really the case in South Africa.

The now defunct wannabe satellitel TV operator Telkom Media wanted to upturn the industry with this "new'' model where producers own their content and only sell the rights for which a broadcaster then pays. TopTV as a satellite TV operator and DStv's Mzansi Magic (DStv 107) are also both on record saying they're moving in this direction, which is probably what is adding to impetus to the SABC's sudden lip service of relaxing its grip on owning the content it commission from producers.

''The SABC owns everything,'' Robin Nicholson, the SABC's acting group CEO said this week before parliament's portfolio committee on communications explaining the SABC's current funding model for local productions and the bubble of intellectual property ownership. But look at what he said immediately after that: ''Maybe that has to change. Maybe that has to move towards renting some; sharing some, rather than owning everything.''

This hiddden but actually huge admission is the first overt indication that the South African public broadcaster has seemingly realized that its stranglehold on the local production industry can no longer endure. With more independent players changing and radically starting to alter the local production TV landscape, producers are getting more options and breathing room to shop their content elsewhere. If the SABC does want to try and get or retain the best TV programming as it declared this week, Fawlty Tower's hiherto ivory tower commissioning contracts and terms of intellectual property retention will inevitable be changing to a more open and fair dispensation.

BREAKING. ''Turning point'' for Cape Town Television (CTV) as the TV station gets a 7 year broadcasting license from ICASA.

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The struggling community television station Cape Town TV (CTV) has been granted a 7 year class license by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) after broadcasting for 2 years with 2 temporary one year licenses since September 2008.

''Getting this license represents a turning point for CTV,'' says Karen Thorne, CTV station director in a press statement. ''Now that we have achieved regulatory certainty, we know that we are going to be around for the next seven years. This means that we can plan ahead and build financial sustainability.''

''The first two years of CTV's existence were very challenging but the station has now firmly established its broadcast and production operations as well as stabilized its finances. Next year promises to be a significant growth period for the channel as it prioritizes increased local content, particularly in the areas of Afrikaans and isiXhosa language programming and local news,'' Karen Thorne says.

''The license gives CTV a legitimacy,'' she says, ''that will encourage the building of long term partnerships that will ensure the sustainability and growth of the channel. Donors and advertisers are now assured that their investments in the channel will have long-term benefits for the people of Cape Town.''

Icasa initially refused to consisder CTV's 7 year license application but eventually did so after public pressure mounted on the regulator. ''It [the 7 year license] gives us and the Cape Town community more security with the TV channel,'' says Martin Jansen, CTV board chairperson.

Friday, November 26, 2010

BREAKING. Royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29 will most probably be broadcast on SABC3.

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I can exclusively reveal that of the SABC's TV channels, SABC3 is definitely planning to air the wedding ceremony and all the pomp and circumstance on Friday, April 29 2011 when Britain's Prince William gets married to Kate Middleton in Westminster Abby.

''We are planning to have this show on SABC3,'' a channel insider directly involved with programming tells me. ''We are busy clearing the rights and working out the other conditions of carriage.'' The wedding of Prince Charles to Diana Spencer was broadcast in 1981 in South Africa on TV1.

BREAKING. The Hills are alive . . . SABC3 dumping its Friday movie slot; replacing it with a second reality programming block.

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I can tell you that SABC3 has decided to get rid of its Friday night movie slot that the broadcaster now admits just isn't working and will be replacing it with a new reality show programming block in 2011 to complement it's Monday premium reality shows.

I can also exclusively break the news about TV to the Power of 5 - a new lifestyle show that SABC3 will be doing in conjunction with the radio station 5FM in 2011 also on a Friday night. (''Its translating radio to TV,'' I'm told by SABC3. ''We're translating 5FM to TV.''). But back to the reality block addition on the channel.

''On Fridays in 2011 SABC3 brings viewers a new block of MTV style reality viewing,'' says the channel. It will start with MTV Cribs on Friday, 4 February at 20:00 with tours through the domestic sanctuaries of some of today's biggest stars, then Run's House at 20:30 and the MTV reality show The Hills with reality star Lauren Conrad will start its first season on SABC3 on 4 February at 21:00.

''Monday nights will still remain your Survivors and The Amazing Race,'' Risuna Mayimele, SABC3's brand manager assured me when I asked whether SABC3 is possibly planning to move its reality night to a Friday. ''The new Friday reality slot will be totally different [from Mondays]. If you look at the Friday reality its more the entertainment aspect of it. What we're now saying with the new programming strategy is we're looking at the different days and responding to what the viewers need on those different days. We'll never put Survivor on a Friday.''

''We're a lifestyle TV brand, so we're trying to bring those elements of lifestyle and make it more entertaining and more relevant to our viewers,'' she says.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

BREAKING. The 25th and final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show confirmed to start in January 2011 on SABC3.

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I can now confirm that the 25th and final ''farewell'' season of The Oprah Winfrey Show will start on SABC3 in January 2011. I can also confirm, exactly as I've broken the news before, that SABC3 is resolute to try and show the last episodes - when that goes out in America later next year - at the same time in South Africa as well, if possible.

On Monday I told you RIGHT HERE what SABC3's Oprah dilemma is, and exactly as I said, the new Oprah season will now start in January, despite possible schedule disruptions and preemptions because of the Cricket World Cup. SABC3 needs to start the new season if it wants to cash in on the hype and possible higher viewership while the popular talk show is finishing its final season. SABC3 is even considering dumping the Friday repeat episode of Oprah in order to catch up as quick as possible.

''We're looking at a different strategy now,'' Risuna Mayimele, SABC3's marketing manager tells me when I asked her how the channel is going to try and make South African viewer enjoy the season and get the most of it while the talk show host is still on TV. ''We want to try and speed it up so that when the great and grand finale of Oprah happens in America, it happens in South Africa as well.''

''Certain things regarding this final season of Oprah are going to be topical, so we are going to strip episodes in such a way that we can catch up,'' Risuna Mayimele says.

BREAKING. Be a contestant on SABC3's new SA's Top Model Search reality show . . . if you're willing to pay R250.

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Contestants on a TV show - irrespective of what it is - should never ever have to pay for that opportunity, but that is exactly what SABC3 and its new advertiser-funded, already-looking-like-a-TV-travesty reality show South Africa's Top Model Search is doing by demanding that contestants first pay R250 ''to register''.

I can tell that South Africa's Top Model Search promising ''an intensive traveling itinerary through South Africa, New York and Milan, Italy'' (where have we've heard that before from a failed SABC3 model search advertiser-funded reality show (cough, cough Model Millions . . .). The show will be on SABC3 for 13 episodes from 19 February at 21:30 and there will be no live finale. The 13 contestants will move into a mansion in Gauteng and one will be eliminated weekly.

I have reliably learnt that Top Billing presenter Jo-Ann Strauss will most likely be the presenter, although Tswelopele Productions who produces Top Billing and Patience Stevens, apparently doesn't know it yet. Christina Storm and David Thlale are, according to my always awesome sources, also involved.

SABC3 can't yet answer questions about South Africa's Top Model Search such as the production company and says ''the format hasn't been decided yet'' as well as that it's not like any of the other crop of model search reality shows that's been on television before. Contestants who register online only pay R200.

BREAKING. SABC3 set to roll out redesigned website next week; will allow viewers to watch entire episodes online for free.

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I can be first to reveal that SABC3 is set to roll-out and debut its brand-new website within days - possibly as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday next week - and will become the first South African broadcaster to stream and allow viewers to watch episodes of some of the locally produced shows on its schedule in its entirely for free on the website.

SABC3's refreshed new website that will incorporate social media like Facebook and Twitter as a major component of the redesign, will happen next week and follow days after DStv launched their refreshed new website yesterday.

I've known about SABC3's massive website plans and redesign for months and kept close track of it, and now I can spill that the redesign will happen next week. Visitors will be able to track shows, interact with each other, and the channel. Because of broadcasting rights that have to be cleared for this platform (and SABC3 intends to do that from now on), international shows won't be streamed or be available initially.

SABC3 plans to add some local shows however and will start small but expands as quickly as possible and watching episodes in its entirety will be free. ''We want to be like Fox and some other American networks where people can catch up quickly if they've missed an episode by coming to our website,'' SABC3 tells me. ''With some of the local content and some local shows, if people haven't seen it, they can't make a plan to see it elsewhere like with international shows. Now we want to start giving them that option.''

O HALLELU! One Gospel adds a gospel game show hosted by Nimrod Nkosi; one other new show.

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The former Lotto TV host Nimrod Nkosi returns to television this coming Monday night at 21:00 as the presenter of a brand-new local production on One Gospel (DStv 331) - a gospel game show entitled Ivangeli Game Show.

The Ivangeli Game Show will test contestants' knowledge about gospel music and in one of the competition categories contestants will have to sing their favourite gospel songs and hymns. Contestants will win gospel CD's and DVD's as well as hampers.

One Gospel has a second new show starting with I Just Wanna Praise that kicks off this coming Tuesday at 17:00 on the channel and is a phone-in and dedication music video show. Viewers across Africa would be able to ''send a special message'' when they call +27 (0) 83 913 33 331 and request a gospel music video.

Mzansi Magic delays commissioning new local content; says it needs more time to work through submissions.

You can see why the SABC has now started to see it as a threat, and Mzansi Magic (DStv 107) is forging ahead with big plans for commissioning local TV content in South Africa.

Now Mzansi Magic says its delaying commissioning content like that new black local soap opera I told you they're planning RIGHT HERE, since the channel needs more time to evaluate the submissions from producers that its received. Mzansi Magic says the channel has had an ''overwhelming response'' to its call for shows ranging from a reality show to the soap opera and other productions and that the channel needs more time.

''[We] need to select the best possible ideas for the audience, therefore additional time and resources have been allocated to evaluate the submissions,'' says Lebone Maema, Mzansi Magic's channel manager. ''To give each one a proper consideration means that we need to spend a bit more time than anticipated on the process.'' Mzansi Magic will now only annouce the shortlisted commissioned drama, comedy and reality shows  at the end of February 2011.

Carte Blanche on M-Net will be an hour and a half this Sunday; looking at canned lion hunting and visits the circus.

The acclaimed weekly investigative magazine show Carte Blanche on M-Net Sundays at 19:00 will be half an hour longer this Sunday and will clock in at an hour and a half, the pay broadcaster says.

Some of the stories on this week's line-up includes looking at South Africans in prisons overseas after they were caught smuggling drugs, canned lion hunting that is still taking place, visits the Cirque du Soleil circus in London, and looks at how safe the water is in Cape Town.

''British Crime Month'' to premiere on the Crime & Investigation Network in February 2011.

The Crime & Investigation Network (DStv 255) announced that the channel will premiere ''British Crime Month'' in February 2011, highlighting some of the most notorious crimes of recent years that took place in Britain.

February in the Crime & Investigation Network will kick off with Peter Tobin, one of the United Kingdom's most notorious serial killers. The third season of The True Story starts in January on the crime channel. Crime 360 starts in March which follows one case from start to finish, and in April Fugitive Chronicles will tell the stories of the men and women who risked their lives to bring some of the most dangerous fugitives to justice.

BREAKING. DVB-T2 the chosen digital standard for the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) which has South Africa as one of the member countries just chose DVB-T2 - the ugraded European DVB-T standard as the digital terrestrial television (DTT) standard for the region moving forward.

South Africa would still be able to ''get a Brazilian'' and opt out from using DVB-T2 and going for the other standard, and the local South African TV industry is waiting with baited breath for the South African department of communications to make a final announcement on what standard South Africa will be using.

I have asked the SABC, e.tv and M-Net whether any of the South African broadcasters have any comment on the SADC decision on DVB-T2. I've already heard from e.tv who tells me the broadcaster has no official comment. I'm still waiting to hear from M-Net and the SABC.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

BREAKING. DStv refreshes its website with a ''reskin'' to make programming information easier accessible.

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DStv refreshed its website today but if you had DStv's homepage saved as one of your favourites, you're link isn't going to work and you'll have to retype DStv's home page in from scratch and save it all over again. Neither is http://www.dstv.co.za/ working (that just says ''It works!'' on a white page), so you'll have to visit http://www.dstv.com/ to see what the new website is all about.
[UPDATE - After I wrote this, DStv fixed both problems.]

MultiChoice tells me the new DStv website is a new beta version which was made available today, calling it not really a change of the website as much as a ''reskin''.

''The intention is really just to ensure that information is easily accessible to people visiting the site and that the look and feel is aligned to the DStv brand.''

EXCLUSIVE. Where does the name come from? Where is it made? All you want to know about DStv Mobile's new Drifta decoder.

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I'm first with all the exclusive have-to-know details about DStv Mobile's great new gadget - the Drifta decoder - to enable mobile television broadcasts on your other devices from iPads and iPods to your laptop, Apple Mac and PC.

(For more on the Drifta decoder and the basics of what it is, read my earlier story HERE.)

Here is what I can tell you first about about DStv Mobile's new Drifta decoder that will go on sale from December after I reached out to DStv Mobile for some answers to specific questions late last night.

First off theThe Drifta is manufactured in Korea. DStv Mobile doesn't want to give me a specific product order but says ''initially the order will be limited as we want to test the market and gauge interest. As the interest and demand grows, so will the number of devices that we bring into the country.''

I asked where the name of the Drifta decoder comes from  and who thought of it. DStv Mobile tells me the naming of the device was done ''by our creative team''. ''Mobility was the strong motivator. It plays into the concept of 'wherever you are whatever you are doing'. The product does not only allow the user to 'drift' across content genres, it also allows them to 'drift between devices. The name had to be both a noun and a verb to allow people to describe what they are doing,'' says DStv Mobile.

But why did DStv Mobile decide to launch the Drifta as well in conjunction with starting DVB-H broadcasting on cellphones? Why a separate gadget? ''Initially the number of DVB-H enabled cellphones in the market will be limited as it will take time for manufactures to bring more enabled phones into the market,'' says DStv Mobile. ''The motivation for introducing the Drifta decoder is to make DStv Mobile accessible to a wider audience and to give consumers a choice on how to access the service.''

ALSO READ: Exclusive first look at DStv Mobile's great new gadget - the Drifta decoder!
ALSO READ: All the basics about DStv Mobile's new Drifta decoder for mobile television broadcasts on other devices.

EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK! DStv Mobile's new Drifta decoder for mobile television broadcasts on other devices!

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Ta-da! I can be first to give you the exclusive first look at the brand-new Drifta decoder of DStv Mobile that will be on sale from December and that will make it possible to watch television (only certain TV channels initially) on anything from your laptop to your iPad, iPod, PC and Apple Mac.

The nifty gadget, looks very much like a cellphone, with a little radio antenna and is small enough to fit into a Christmas stocking. Perfect since the Drifta decoder will go on sale from December for R599.

ALSO READ: MultiChoice Mobile delights with the new Drifta decoder for mobile television broadcasts on other devices.
ALSO READ: Where does the name come from? Where is it made? All you want to know about DStv Mobile's new Drifta decoder.

BREAKING. e.tv on launching e.Mobile as South Africa's first true mobile TV service: ''The way viewers consume TV is changing.''

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After e.tv announced the launch of e.Mobile yesterday, the broadcaster's entry into South Africa's first true mobile television broadcasting environment, I've asked e.tv more about e.Mobile.

I'm first with answers as to why e.tv as a TV channel won't be immediately available on the e.Mobile cellphone service (but the eNews Channel will be), how e.tv sees the growth and potential of DVB-H broadcasting in South Africa, what it means for the eNews Channel to now be available on cellphones as well, how e.tv managed to get e.Mobile up and running so quickly since having been granted a license by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) and what some of the specific targets are that e.Mobile want to attain with this broadcasting service.

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