Thursday, July 25, 2013

BREAKING. SABC's new 24-hour news channel will start on 1 August, on DStv channel 404, in all 11 languages, with a lot of syndicated SABC shows.

The SABC's new 24-hour news channel will start broadcasting on 1 August and will no longer be just an announcement to launch on that day; it will start on MultiChoice's DStv channel 404; it will do news in all 11 official South African languages; and it will contain a lot of syndicated and repurposed SABC news programmes and shows already seen on SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3.

The long gestating 24-hour news channel from the SABC went through many permutations and plans, false starts, failed launch dates, controversies and money shortages hampering the proposed plans the past three years.

It will now not only be announced at a launch event and press conference on 1 August but will also start broadcasting on 1 August.

The new 24-hour news channel finally replaces the discontinued SABC News International with MultiChoice paying hundreds of millions of rands to the SABC over multiple years for the news channel to be delivered to DStv.

MultiChoice declined to say how much money the corporate pay-TV provider is paying the public broadcaster for the delivery of what amounts to a public news service, saying "we can't comment on the terms of that agreement as the agreement is confidential".

The public broadcaster also declined to say specifically how much money the private satellite TV company is paying the SABC, saying "it's a commercial agreement between us and MultiChoice".

The new 24-hour news channel will only be available to MultiChoice's DStv subscribers and not to all SABC licence payers and will not be carried on On Digital Media's TopTV although "must carry" broadcasting regulations dictates that all SABC public television TV channels must be available on all pay-TV services.

The SABC will make the channel available later on digital terrestrial television (DTT) once that long-delayed switch-over from analogue broadcasting eventually starts in South Africa.

The SABC's news channel will broadcast primarily in English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Sotho, Ndebele, SiSwati, Xhosa, Venda and Tsonga.

The new 24-hour news channel from the SABC will show Morning Live between 06:00 and 09:00 at the same time as it is broadcast on SABC2. Morning Live is SABC2 and the SABC's flagship morning breakfast show with a more newsier slant than SABC3's Expresso.

At 13:00 the SABC's news channel will simulcast News@1 at the same time it is seen on SABC3.

It will work the same way in which South Africa's other existing 24-hour news channel, eNCA (DStv 403), gives half an hour of News Day to at the same time in the afternoons and Morning News Today to replace's Sunrise on public holidays.

The SABC3's News at 18:30, the SABC's hour long flagship primetime news bulletin will also be shown at the same time on the new 24-hour news channel, followed by an hour long Afrikaans news bulletin from 19:30.

SABC2's existing A View from the House covering parliamentary proceedings in Cape Town will be simulcast at the same time, or shown at other times, during the weeks in which parliament is in session.

In between the end of Morning Live and News@1 in the mornings the SABC news channel will have Newsrooms LIVE which will be rolling coverage, commentary and reaction on the day's unfolding and already reported news of the previous day and stories making headlines in the morning.

During the afternoons and into the evening the SABC's news channel will bring viewers rolling news updates and do live crossings to SABC reporters across South Africa and the few at the SABC's remaining international news bureaux.

Other programmes on the SABC's 24-hour news channel include Question Time, an interview show with newsmakers and about topics, stories and issues in the news in South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world.

Kaleidoscope is the SABC news channel's programme focusing on arts, culture, lifestyle, travel and entertainment news.

Sports Live will be broadcast daily, covering the day's sports news from a SABC studio with studio guests and with live crossings.

Network will be like Tech Report on the eNCA, a show covering news on the technology front and covering and incorporating social media.

Media Monitor will be a bit like Maggs on Media on the eNCA, a show looking at the news behind the news and the media industry and issues the media is dealing with.

Edu Talk will be focused on covering educational issues and topics in South Africa.