Friday, October 30, 2015

You can get paid watching television - Naspers' video-on-demand service ShowMax is hiring and looking for 2 content specialists.

Psst. You can get paid for watching television.

It doesn't happen often.

And being a TV critic (and also getting to and having to watch TV for a living) I also have to warn it's not always fun (sometimes you have to watch the Kardashians and some Khumbule'khaya) but overall it's fun.

Naspers' subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service ShowMax has some exciting content specialist positions available. Basically you get to watch TV, buy TV, and plan and guide the service's content strategy.

But hurry, hurry. The closing date is 4 November.

You can see and read more about the exact job title and specific job description right here. I don't usually run or report on jobs and work classifieds in the biz, but this is just fun.

The position is for someone passionate about the fast-paced and ever changing content and video-on-demand space, and who has a love of all things content.

And no, having watched all the seasons of Game of Thrones and Generations doesn't make you qualified (although it helps).

Unlike the SABC's famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng, you actually need to have a little something-something behind your name in terms of an after school special.

Go click and peruse and if you want to apply or know of someone, let them know.

If I wasn't a journalist writing about television, this is what I would have done, or think I would have ended up doing - trying to buy Smallville for South Africa.

kykNET turning its Afrikaans rugby drama, Getroud met Rugby, into a weekday soap from April 2016 to replace the cancelled Villa Rosa.

kykNET (DStv 144) is turning its existing Afrikaans rugby drama, Getroud met Rugby (Married to Rugby) into a weekday soap to replace the cancelled Villa Rosa, toning down the drama series to become a family soap opera.

kykNET promised a new weekday soap after axing the longrunning Villa Rosa citing costs that no longer justifying the stagnant viewership.

After four seasons and a film, Getroud met Rugby will now be turned into a soap. The rugby drama will start in Villa Rosa's timeslot of 18:30 from 4 April 2016.

kykNET says viewer response to Getroud met Rugby, created and produced by Deon Opperman, was the driving factor behind the "unanimous" decision to turn the drama series into half hour weekday episodes.

"Rugby lies most South Africans close to the heart and therefore we believe that the world around this sport will always tell relevant and mesmerising stories," says Karen Meiring, M-Net's director for Afrikaans channels.

kykNET says Getroud met Rugby won't be diluted being turned into a soap opera but that the show will retain all of the strongest elements from the drama series, but also meet the requirements of a good TV soap and will be entertainment the whole family can watch.

It will mean that some of the riskier elements, story lines, language and depictions of Getroud met Rugby will have to be toned down as the kykNET prime time drama series moves to an earlier timeslot and is reformatted to suit the serialised nature of daily storytelling.

As a soap the show will also change with a bigger emphasis on family life as is traditional with the soap genre.

"After four successful seasons of Getroud met Rugby as a drama series, it was fantastic news to me as writer and producer when kykNET informed me of the decision to present the series as a soap," says Deon Opperman.

The existing characters will remain and the cast will expand, adding a whole new family consisting out of parents and four children between the ages of 16 and 24, as well as another three married couples living and working in the rugby world.

"In a nutshell - the emphasis will fall much more on the 'married' aspect of Getroud met Rugby as on rugby," says Deon Opperman. "There will also be no actions or dialogue that offends a family. It's about enjoyable watching and entertainment".

"Viewers have to be able to recognise their own lives in that of the characters of a soap."

"Therefore it was important for me that we place a bigger emphasis on family life - on the role of parents in the family, on the dreams, aspirations and frustrations of the women married to the players of who are mothers, and of course all of the crucial elements of a soap: love relationships, intrigue, ambition, life dreams, disappointment and success," says Deon Opperman.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

BREAKING. M-Net and MultiChoice shutting down its failed streaming service for Africans living abroad, Africa Magic GO, at the end of November.

M-Net and MultiChoice is dumping its failed streaming service for Africans living abroad, shutting down Africa Magic GO at the end of November after barely a year in existence.

Africa Magic GO (AMGO) cost $8 per month.

M-Net and MultiChoice launched Africa Magic GO in June 2014 as a subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service just over a year ago in 2014 but is now ending the service.

Africa Magic GO provided African subscribers outside of Africa access to shows ranging from South Africa's Rockville, Dineo's DiaryInkaba, Zabalaza and The Coconuts to Nigeria and Ghana TV fare like Studio 53 Extra, Tinsel and other locally, African produced series and movies.

There's been no statement or announcement from either MultiChoice over the shuttering of Africa Magic GO, or from M-Net's AfricaMagic division, nor any explanation as to why Africa Magic GO is being axed.

Existing Africa Magic GO subscribers were just told in a message that the service is ending at the ending on November 30.

Earlier this year M-Net still talked about how proud it was of Africa Magic GO. "From the aesthetics to the content, Africa Magic GO has given the world Africa's new outfit - one that she's wearing with tremendous pride," said Ken Onwu, Africa Magic GO's product manager at the beginning of this year.

"We have an exciting line-up for this year," said Africa Magic GO.

Now Africa Magic GO is shutting down as suddenly as it started, without any reason why.

Africa Magic GO's quick demise follows Altron's Altech Node in South Africa that was a shocking failure after gobbling up millions of rands in a disastrous venture for the company. The Altech Node existed for less than a year.

Then there's also the struggling VIDI from the Times Media Group also facing a very uncertain future after it too is having major problems. VIDI's financial backer Tiso Blackstar is dumping the underperforming VOD service after its failed to gain traction in the South African market.

eNCA loses its group news editor, Ben Said; veteran news talent leaves 'a huge gap' as he departs's news division after 15 years.

eNCA (DStv 403) is losing its group news editor, veteran news man Ben Said, who is leaving Sabido's South African 24-hour TV news channel at the end of the year after 15 years with (read his internal farewell letter to eNCA colleagues below).

2015 continues to be a bad year for eNCA as the channel is going through a painful downsizing, having closed international bureaus, shuttering its entire African division outside of South Africa, cancelling several programming strands and actuality shows and shedding staff.

Following multiple high profile departures this year and the loss of several on-air personalities gone from eNCA so far this year, Ben Said's looming departure in December is the latest personnel loss impacting morale at the channel which is still the most watched TV news channel on MultiChoice's DStv platform in South Africa.

Ben Said is joining TRT World, a new English TV news channel start-up from broadcaster TRT in Turkey, where he will join, in a senior position, some former eNCA colleagues and other South Africans who've also joined the new channel.

Ben Said joined as a producer in 2000 long before eNCA, formerly the eNews Channel, existed, and just started its eNews brand doing news bulletins for

Ben Said became a senior reporter covering a large number of stories for eNews on and was eventually appointed group news editor at eNCA. Throughout his 15 year career at and later eNCA and although moving into a news management position he kept appearing from time to time to report on-air and to give analysis.

"He has been an inspirational leader committed to mentoring the next wave of management and dedicated to transformation within the company," says Patrick Conroy, eNCA managing director.

"Ben Said leaves a huge gap in our organisation," says Patrick Conroy.

"It has been an absolute privilege to grow alongside eNews and eNCA for the past 15 years," says Ben Said. "While I am incredibly sad to be leaving, this feels like the right time to be making a move like this."

"In December I will leave behind an experienced management team and the hardest-working, most dedicated journalists, camera-operators and technical staff in South Africa."

eNCA's news director, Mapi Mhlangu, says eNCA is concerned about the constant poaching of talent from eNCA.

TV with Thinus obtained Ben Said's internal message to eNCA staff announcing he's leaving:

Dear Colleagues

It is with great regret that I announce that I will be leaving eNCA at the end of December. My last day will be December 25th.

This is the hardest email I have ever had to write but I have thought long and hard about this decision and am confident that it is the right one.

A good opportunity has presented itself in Istanbul, Turkey with TRT World and I have accepted. The time for a new adventure has begun.

After more than 15 years, I will leave with much sadness but also pride that I have played a role in the growth of Africa's finest news channel. Indeed I believe that eNCA ranks as one of the world's greatest regional news channels and is a credit to South Africa.

This is due to you - all of you - who over the years and against the odds have worked tirelessly, resourcefully and professionally to not only build this channel but to hold up a mirror to South African society. 

That mirror is never more needed than now. As South Africa's democracy and economy faces challenges, the role of the likes of eNCA to show South Africans what is going on in our society is critical - to unearth, to explain and sometimes even to guide.

We must remember that as South Africa faces, at times, seemingly insurmountable obstacles, that good, positive change is happening too. Every day, in every corner of our land.

We will continue to tell the story of the unscrupulous, the crooked, the bad, but we willalso continue to tell the story of the good people we are - for we are good people.

While away, I will miss this vibrant, noisy, democracy. Both in terms of the country and in terms of the newsroom! I will leave behind a group of excellent, experienced managers in Johannesburg and Cape Town who I have no doubt will take eNCA from strength to strength.

And when I do leave, I ask that you help them, sometimes help guide them, remember that we are actually all in this together. Forgive the mistakes they make make - lord knows I've made enough of my own.

But please remember that mistakes are few and successes are many in this newsroom. 24 hour news management in SA must rank as one of the toughest jobs in journalism anywhere.

While for me personally this feels like a good move, I remain extremely confident in the future of eNCA and Yes, media is changing and we need to adapt to that but these two channels are embedded in the psyche of the nation and I believe will remain so for many years to come.

eNCA, due to many years of hard work by all of you, has become South Africa's de facto national news channel. I believe this will continue in the years ahead.

There will be much more time over the next eight weeks for thank you's, goodbye's and good wishes but for now that's all there is to say.

Kind Regards,
Ben Said

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

MultiChoice adds VIA from Media24 to DStv as a new Afrikaans lifestyle and entertainment channel focused on women and their families.

DStv is adding a new lifestyle and entertainment TV channel called VIA from Media24 that will broadcast in Afrikaans and be geared towards women and their families.

VIA will launch on 9 November at 16:00 on channel 147 on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform as the 5th Afrikaans TV channel in South Africa.

VIA launches with 22 new locally produced shows ranging from food and diets to covering relationships, style and a sprinkling of reality programming.

The channel will broadcast a three hour premiere block of new episodes every weekday between 16:00 and 19:00 which will loop and repeat during the rest of the week and over weekends.

VIA, with channel head Cheryl Uys-Allie, will be available to DStv Premium, DStv Extra, DStv Compact and DStv Family subscribers in South Africa and Namibia.

Via hails from Media24 - unlike ASTV available on the StarSat and Platco Digital's OpenView HD platforms and the M-Net Afrikaans channels like kykNET, kykNET Nou and kykNET & Kie supplied to MultiChoice for its DStv platform.

Media24 will use both its print magazines and Afrikaans newspapers to market and cross-promote VIA, as well as leverage some of its existing titles to introduce new local TV content, for instance using established brands and editorial talent at magazines like Huisgenoot and Sarie as new on-air extensions and to present and appear in certain shows.

In South Africa VIA as a new Afrikaans channel will compete with the likes of existing channels like BBC Lifestyle, TLC Entertainment and Fine Living in the lifestyle entertainment and reality genre.

VIA will also likely further chip away at the eroding audience share of the SABC's Afrikaans viewers. While the public broadcaster is producing little in fresh Afrikaans content to cater to this market segment, Media24 has made a big investment in producing several brand-news shows aiming to attract female Afrikaans viewers and their families.

VIA's creation has been a boon for South African production companies and Afrikaans TV programming. Both established production houses ranging from Quizzical Pictures to newer ones like Afrokaans have been commissioned to make shows in Johannesburg and Cape Town for VIA ranging from reality competition and style shows to food, diet and lifestyle programming.

"They have worked under enormous pressure to deliver fresh, local content in a remarkably short time," says Cheryl Uys-Allie.

"VIA's content strategy is to delight and entertain our audiences with shows that resonate with their lives," says Pat van Heeden, VIA's head of content. "We offer a glimpse of the lifestyles of others, we see the remarkable characters in our midst and we celebrate the quirkiness in the ordinary."

"We are extremely excited to launch VIA and proud that we can treat our Afrikaans audiences to a brand-new Afrikaans channel," says Esmaré Weideman, Media24 CEO.

"We are delighted to include TV as another platform where we can serve our audiences working closely with our magazines, newspapers and digital platforms".

VIA shows at launch include Zavion, a reality show following the Survivor SA contestant Zavion Kotze, juggling his job as events coordinator organising weddings with decathlons.

In Kom Ons Braai three couples huddle around the coals to see who can outdo the other, while three brave women tackle three diets over a period of 30 days in the hopeof fitting into their swimsuits before summer in Die Eet Oorlog.

My Droom-trourok gives brides a chance of taking home a designer wedding dress but only if her guests agree on the winning gown.

In Stylstryd two contestants with dreams of seeing their decor talents in TUIS magazine will duel it out. With a decor blogger alongside them, they will decorate an empty room according to a set challenge.

Inspirasiekos met Sarie sees the women's magazine's food editor Herman Lensing looking for the best ingredients, while Carmen Niehaus, the Huisgenoot food editor choose the best one out of three aspiring chefs who get their recipe featured in the magazine in Jy het 'n Wenresep!.

Rapport newspaper journalist Hanlie Retief has a profile interview show, 'n Halfuur met Hanlie in which she introduces viewers to people who interest and inspire her.

Amore Vittone is the referee in Skoonma se Tong in which the age-old unease between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law is on the table. The man they share is blindfolded and tastes both their dishes - and must choose his favourite.

In Nikki Sê Nee, Nikki Roos, the mother of four who knows how to make the most of her rands and cents, shares her tips to help viewers save money and time.

Other VIA shows at launch include Familiefoto, Kersie op die Koek, Mooi van Binne, Maak My Nuut, Brood & Botter, Deur Dik & Dun, Vrydag 4 uur, Ken Jy My?, Ruil My Styl, Hartskos, Padkos and Die Kliek.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

MultiChoice and Discovery Networks International pull transgender teen show, I Am Jazz, from TLC Entertainment schedule across the entire Africa.

DStv and TLC Entertainment (DStv 172) have abruptly pulled a new reality show about a transgendered teen that was supposed to start tonight following a looming threat of censorship and censure in Nigeria.

The show, I Am Jazz, was scheduled to start tonight at 20:55 on TLC Entertainment run by Discovery Networks International (DNI) on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform but has suddenly been dumped and replaced with another show without any programming advisory or explanation why.

The abrupt removal of I Am Jazz follows after Nigeria’s broadcasting regulator, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), over the past weekend said it is going to investigate MultiChoice and TLC Entertainment over the transgender teen show and whether "the programme is indeed promoting undesirable ideas that will offend the Nigerian public".

It's the latest skirmish on the continent in the long-running and sensitive issue of what TV programming is deemed "acceptable" or not for viewers to see. 

Broadcasters and pay-TV operators in several African countries constantly battle myopic broadcasting regulators and are treading a fine line of what they can, and feel they can, show or not show.

The dumping of I Am Jazz a day before it was to air, however marks the first time that the threat of censorship of Nigerian television is directly impacting on pay-TV across the African continent and not just one country.

South Africa, where viewers are more liberally minded, and several other African countries carrying DNI’s TLC Entertainment channel are now kept from seeing I Am Jazz after some Nigerians complained about a show they haven't seen yet.

Ironically conservative Nigerians – who have seen much more risque TV fare recently than the now canned emotional journey of a transgendered teen – haven't complained about any of those shows.

Nigerians just weeks ago saw a penis flash in The Affair on M-Net Edge, are watching the transgendered drama series Transparent and Masters of Sex currently on the same channel, watched the transgendered reality show I am Cait on E! Entertainment which just got renewed for a second season, and are seeing a litany of other shows across several pay-TV channels containing nudity, violence and strong language which didn't see any of those shows pulled either during their run or before they were set to start.

TLC Entertainment promoted I Am Jazz as "fascinating", with Variety describing the show following the 15-year old South Florida teen Jazz Jennings who was born a boy but is living as a girl after being diagnosed with gender dysphoria, as "a sensitively constructed series".

Pulled off the schedule
Late yesterday MultiChoice in Nigeria said in a terse statement that "after careful consideration and wide consultation from various stakeholders, MultiChoice informs its esteemed subscribers that the mini-series I Am Jazz has been pulled off the schedule".

The show is however now in fact off the air not just in Nigeria but across Africa, including South Africa where TLC Entertainment's schedule and programme guide no longer shows it, but instead Little and Looking for Love.

Discovery Networks hasn't responded with answers to a media enquiry made Monday morning asking whether the broadcast of I Am Jazz will go forward and seeking comment on the issue.

Nigerian sensitivities
The pulling of I Am Jazz in Nigeria was likely influenced by other factors as well with MultiChoice Nigeria which has literally come under siege in the West African country the last few months.

Nigerian DStv subscribers are furious after a massive price hike in August which led to a court case that was dismissed.

Last week Nigeria's Consumer Protection Council (CPC) together with police and a warrant stormed MultiChoice Nigeria's headquarters in Lagos and raided the offices, taking computers and DStv subscriber information.

The CPC in a statement said the raid follows "a barrage of consumer complaints" including "poor quality of service such as incessant disruption of service without compensation, wrongful disconnection, decoder swap irregularities and poor customer service".

It's likely that the pay-TV operator wanted to avoid yet another additional programming issue with Nigerian authorities on top of recent problems.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

'We gotta get out! We gotta get out!' How eNCA's panicked Iman Rapetti and SABC News' Chriselda Lewis reacted on live TV when #FeesMustFall turned violent.

"We gotta get out! We gotta get out!" said Iman Rappetti, eNCA (DStv 403) anchor and reporter, with the panic very clearly audible in her voice as loud thuds became audible against the side of the vehicle.

Elsewhere on the burning lawns of the Union Buildings, the SABC News' (DStv 404) star reporter Chriselda Lewis fought her own battle trying to rescue an interrupted live interview on the air as a scuffle with angry protesters was shown on live South African television as well.

It was just two of the incidents that were shown live on South African television news on Friday as panicked and stressed TV news reporters and TV news crews tried to cover the #FeesMustFall student protest and march at the Union Buildings on Friday.

Besides TV news, several radio reporters and newspaper journalists also reported that they were threatened with physical violence and at least one SABC cameraman and one BBC cameraman got injured following students throwing rocks and other objects.

Earlier in the day, Patrick Conroy, eNCA managing director, reminded all eNCA staff that safety covering stories and events come first and that they should leave any place immediately when they no longer feel safe where they are.

A heavy-handed police presence - firing tear gas, stun grenades, chasing students and firing a water cannon - at the Union Building only served to escalate tensions and violence on Friday.

It was made worse by the South African president Jacob Zuma's failure to address students protesting over student fees, directly, after government officials over a loudspeaker earlier in the day told them that he would.

The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) says it is concerned by intimidation and harassment reports of the media by the police and protesters.

"We're shocked by the fact that journalists were targeted by the police and some of the protesters," says Sanef director Mathatha Tsedu.

"We've called on the police to ensure that they stick to the agreement that we have with them."

"We note with concern that some journalists, including a reporter from the BBC and an eNCA cameraman, were injured after rocks were thrown at police and journalists at the Union Buildings."

"Equipment was damaged and there were also reports of theft. Sanef commends those students who intervened and forced their peers to return the equipment."

Although the day's student fees protest started out peaceful, it descended into chaos and violence.

It looked as if South African TV news crews were not adequately prepared for covering the story on Friday in terms of taking adequate security measures and back-up plans to safeguard their own well-being as well as protecting their equipment and live broadcasts.

It was foreseeable that the lawns of the Union Buildings could erupt and turn into a so-called "hot zone" given the violent events that played out earlier the week at parliament and at universities across South Africa.

Yet South African TV news crews, instead of just covering the story, also became the story.

The question can be asked whether TV news crews took enough precautions or did enough security analysis and pre-planning for the unpredictable event and if they could have made better choices given what they knew could happen (and which then did).

Spots they reported from came under attack from pelting rocks and stones, outside broadcast vans were damaged and warned that it could be set alight, reporters and cameramen were hit with rocks and flying objects, and equipment from satellite vans to cameras were broken, vandalised and couldn't be used anymore.

It not clear how TV news crews planned to make a quick exit and retreat with satellite vans from where they chose to park surrounded by thousands of students.

Was it possible to take some, or more if they did, of their own security protection personnel to help shield reporters and whisk them to safety if they came under attack or if violence broke out (which it did)?

Some different metrics and a different guidebook is used reporting from conflict zones and war zones - something not a lot of South African TV news reporters and anchors have experience in, or experienced.

The lawns of the Union Buildings on Friday afternoon turned into a conflict zone where a different set of news rules work better although the news values of trying to get the news out and reporting it remain unchanged. TV news should have anticipated that.

South African TV news did great work on Friday in extremely unpredictable and difficult circumstances.

Yet I cannot help but wonder if they couldn't have thought longer, have been wiser and more prudent, and have prepared a bit better before beforehand.

Friday, October 23, 2015

A challenging day for South African TV news crews battling violent protesters, rocks, police tear gas as #FeesMustFall movement reaches Union Buildings.

South African TV news crews, as well as newspaper journalist and radio reporters, were confronted by a challenging, difficult and extremely unpredictable day today, trying to cover, and to cover all the angles of the student fees protest which reached the Union Buildings today.

The fast-developing took a violent turn as the #FeesMustFall student protest turned the lawns of the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Friday into a "hot zone", filled with rocks and stones being thrown as well as other objects, journalists threatened by protesters, students burning porta-potties and police firing stun grenades and tear gas.

eNCA suffered damage due to vandalism including cable theft, while eNCA reporter Iman Rappetti and camera crew were pelted with rocks.

At least one SABC reporter got injured and was hurt in the chaos, while both newspaper journalists and radio reporters were threatened with physical assault.

Most South African TV news crews and broadcasters, in hindsight, didn't take adequate precautions entering the area and covering the student protests as an unpredictable, and therefore dangerous, news story.

The SABC's one outside broadcasting (OB) vehicle was warned to pack up and get out since it might be set alight by the thousands of protesters who went on a rampage and started burning tyres, breaking down the wire fence surrounding the Union Buildings, throwing rocks at media and police, and burning porta loos.

eNCA (DStv 403) anchor Iman Rappetti was hit with an object when at one point she suddenly found herself in the middle of rocks, stones and other objects being flung by protesters.

Later, Iman Rappetti, together with the eNCA crew, were subjected to some of the rounds of teargas fired by police on the Union Building grounds, after being pelted with rocks and stones.

An eNCA camera was also damaged by a rock, with a lens shattered. Although the cameraman was hit as well, he was uninjured as heavy-handed riot police once again moved in.

Earlier in the day eNCA cabling was also stolen and the vandalism also put an eNCA satellite van out of action.

"We gotta get out! We gotta get out!" said a panicked Iman Rappetti in a clip from the eNCA broadcast included in one of the stories filed by Sky News (DStv 403) when the eNCA crew suddenly came under attack at the Union Buildings.

"An object did hit Iman Rappetti in the face, but she was not injured and is fine," eNCA told TV with Thinus. "A rock also hit one of the camera lenses, damaging it and putting it out of action".

Reporters Bingiwe Khumalo and Nontobeko Sibisi also covered for eNCA in Pretoria, and Nickolaus Bauer followed events from inside the Union Buildings.

On SABC News (DStv 404), senior reporter Chriselda Lewis who did brilliant coverage on location on Friday, got her one live on-air interview interrupted and abandoned after protesters derailed it.

The SABC News reporters Sipho Stuurman and Tumaole Mohlaoli also covered the scene from Pretoria.

"It was absolute chaos. Absolute chaos," said a hoarse Christelda Lewis on SABC News on Friday evening back in studio at Auckland Park.

"Journalists were not free. Students were not free. Innocent bystanders, professors, lecturers who were there to sympathise with the cause, were absolutely not free".

"One of the SABC journalist's got hurt and at some point we were being thrown - I don't think it was directed at the journalists - but the teargas was all up in our faces," said Chriselda Lewis.

"We were unable to do our jobs. Absolute chaos at the end of the day."

A BBC cameraman was also injured by objects hurled by protesters on Friday.

CNN International's (DStv 401) David McKenzie was at the Union Buildings as well covering the unpredictable protest that escalated as the event progressed.

Naked wedding tonight on Four Weddings South Africa on Lifetime on DStv proved a TV challenge; 'some things you just can't un-see', says producers.

A South African naked wedding that will be broadcast tonight at 20:50 in Four Weddings South Africa on Lifetime (DStv 131) proved a TV challenge for those who had to film the nude nuptuals.

In the local version of the competing brides show produced by Rapid Blue, viewers tonight will be able to gawk at - and perhaps laugh - at the breezy wedding in the buff, as four different brides compete to show off with the best wedding.

While the TV show had to employ some clever angles during the abundant nudity on display for bride Joanne and her husband's wedding, some above-the-waist filming as well as a lot of blurring during the editing process, the production crew who had to film it all got to witness the proverbial "full monty".

"The competing brides were under no pressure either to be nude by Joanne or her husband," the show tells TV with Thinus. "Everyone in the production team was fully clothed which was not an issue at all" for those who did shed their clothes.

"Although many of the wedding guests were fine with being filmed, not all of them felt the same way," says Four Weddings SA, "so the team had to try and ensure that they didn't feature people who were uncomfortable with being on camera, so one or two faces had to be blurred to ensure privacy".

"Wherever possible, above-the-waistline angles were specifically chosen. We tried to be as discreet as possible, but of course could not get away from wide shots in which everything is visible," says Kee-Leen Irvine, managing director of Rapid Blue and producer of the show.

Tonight's naked wedding episode with the wedding that was filmed at a bushveld retreat on the outskirts of Pretoria, took longer in post-production since it required more work: a lot of blurring.

"Post production did take longer as our editor spent many, many hours covering up the nether regions. But ... as you know, there are some things you just can't 'un-see', so they might be scarred for life - it's just too early to tell!"

"We did add one or two extras that we think will be enjoyed by viewers, but they'll have to wait and see what they are!"

The Four Weddings SA episode at 20:50 tonight entitled "Naked Ambition" also features the Zulu maiden Nthabiseng marrying her longtime Swati boyfriend in Johannesburg's botanical gardens, the wedding of Sizakele who is going over the top with an extravagant wedding at a picnic spot and bride Storm's elegant, rustic country wedding.

BET2 on DStv dumped after 8 months as Viacom International Media Networks Africa goes back to one BET channel on MultiChoice's pay-TV platform.

BET2 (DStv 135) is dumped from MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform at the end of November just 8 months after Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa) in April said it is "expanding" the network's entertainment offering for viewers by providing two BET channels.

VIMN Africa and DStv are now contracting the existing 2-channel BET offering from December.

It's not clear whether it was the plan all along and whether the repositioning and split into BET and BET2 at the beginning of the year was a temporary bridging plan, or whether the plan to have two BET channels just didn't work out.

In response to a media enquiry, VIMN Africa tells TV with Thinus Viacom is removing BET2 to "replace it with a fuller, more rounded entertainment experience on BET".

With the shuttering of BET2, MultiChoice is making BET (DStv 129) - which was just for DStv Premium subscribers - available to DStv Extra and DStv Compact subscribers from December when BET2 is shutting down on 30 November.

MultiChoice and VIMN Africa are not explaining the abrupt closure of BET2 besides saying it will be gone from the end of November.

In a joint statement MultiChoice and VIMN Africa says that "locally-produced content will play an increased role on the channel with BET Buzz continuing to air every weekday, a second season of Top Actor currently in production, and additional local commissions set to air in early 2016".

A 2-part documentary programme about the South African designer David Tlale will be shown "at launch", presumably the "launch" in December when BET2 is shuttered and BET becomes the only channel.

From 5 December BET will add a new Saturday night movie slot, broadcasting "classic urban movies. A two-month Eddie Murphy movie festival is being added with films like Best Defence, Beverly Hills Cop and The Golden Child.

Ignoring the closure of BET2 as VIMN Africa goes back from 10 to 9 channels, Alex Okosi, the senior vice president and managing director of VIMN Africa says "we are delighted that DStv Compact and Extra subscribers will now be able to have access to BET's compelling general entertainment content that celebrates African and African-American culture".

VIMN Africa continues to run the BET International (StarSat 167) channel, the original international (UK) feed, on On Digital Media and StarTimes Media SA's StarSat satellite pay-TV platform which overlaps and carries a lot of the same programming as on BET like The Wendy Williams Show, but without the localised new African programming.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

BREAKING. MultiChoice adding a 3rd pop-up channel for December, The Good Life Network from Ochre Media, focusing on health and fitness.

Besides kykNET Films and kids channel HOOLEE, MultiChoice will run a third pop-up channel from December called The Good Life Network, a health channel produced by Ochre Media and the department of health.

The Good Life Network will run on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform from 1 December until 31 March 2016. The channel will be a precursor to a permanent South African fitness and health channel from another media house that will be added in 2016 to DStv, according to insiders.

The Good Life Network will bring viewers programming related to nutrition, health and fitness, human rights, youth sexuality, diseases like HIV and TB, as well as gender and consumer rights.

The channel is "a call to action for all South Africans to make small changes in their lives to live a healthier live," says Lebo Ramafoko, the CEO of the Soul City brand, which is running the pop-up channel over the holiday period in conjunction with Ochre Media.

The Good Life Network programming will include shows like Health Busters (breaking down myths), Food Police (helping you design healthier meals), SuperDoc (critical women's health issues), Village Shrink (mental health), Cook for Life (African meals), Get Up Stand Up (celebrating
those making a difference), Fit Life (inspired fitness outside the gym), Health Bulletins (citizen
journalism), Straight Up (youth sexuality) and Icheke (check your health).

"In keeping with the successful edutainment model, The Good Life Network will service a
consumer appetite for entertaining health related content and services," says Krisen Pather, the head of edutainment programming for Ochre Media.

The Good Life Network will be available on DStv Premium, DStv Extra, DStv Compact, DStv Family and DStv Access on channel 199.

Editor: While MultiChoice calls it The Good Life Network, Ochre Media's the logo clearly has the channel's name as The GoodLife Network. There is no indication of which is right, the channel and platform operator didn't bother to check this detail.

ITV drama, Jekyll and Hyde will be available in South Africa on ShowMax within 24 hours after the Brit drama's debut in the United Kingdom.

The new ITV drama series, Jekyll and Hyde, will become available in South Africa through ShowMax within 24 hours after the new horror series starts in the United Kingdom.

Jekyll and Hyde, based on Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde, will start in Britain on Sunday 25 October, and will be available on the ShowMax from Monday 26 October.

A new episode will become available on the South African subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service every week, within 24 hours after its shown in the United Kingdom. The first season has 10 episodes.

Naspers' ShowMax recently acquired the rights to Jekyll and Hyde as part of a new 125 hours content deal with ITV Studios Global Entertainment.

Jekyll and Hyde stars Tom Bateman from Da Vinci's Demons, Natalie Gumede and Richard E. Grant.

Set in 1930's London at a time of Hollywood glamour, aerodynamic cars and monster movies, the new TV drama will pay homage to the Stevenson novel and focus on the young, attractive yet troubled hero, Robert Jekyll, the grandson of the original doctor.

At the heart of the drama is Robert Jekyll's quest to discover his real identity, his true family history and the nature of his "curse". Jekyll transforms into Hyde in moments of extreme anger, stress and when his or the lives of others are threatened.

"Our goal from the outset has been to establish ShowMax as the most comprehensive, high quality SVOD content collection in Africa," says Victor Eckard, ShowMax's head of content, about the ITV content deal.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Stark difference in how eNCA, SABC News and ANN7 on DStv are covering the chaos as parliament erupts with student protests and stun grenades.

South Africa's three 24-hour TV news channels on Wednesday afternoon showed stark and dramatic differences in how they covered the news - and all the news - when thousands of students flooded the South African parliamentary precinct as chaos erupted and police used stun grenades and tear gas.

eNCA (DStv 403) with Lester Kiewit was brilliant, together with Andrew Barnes, reporting live amidst the chaos and historic scenes embarrassing parliament and the South African government.

SABC News (DStv 404) remained focused on the minister of finance giving his budget speech. Eventually by 15:15 SABC News started giving some of the student protest perspective with reporting over the phone from Nomawethu Solwandle, followed by reporting from Francis Herd.

ANN7 (DStv 405) showed student protest visuals but did it phone-in with Kevin Brandt.

eNCA's coverage was by far superior on Wednesday afternoon, being in the middle of the action and staying there during the chaos.

Lester Kiewit's reporting was brilliant, literally trying to cover all the angles on the steps of parliament, interviewing students, and trying to interview the unresponsive minister of state security until he was physically pushed away.

ANN7 was a far second, although it improved somewhat during the Wednesday afternoon. ANN7 made a lot of mistakes, like calling the parliament protests "UCT", meaning "University of Cape Town" several times due to a very inexperienced anchor in Midrand.

The SABC News coverage was hopelessly bad, inadequate, skewed. There was no interviews, no stand-and-report coverage. Watching just SABC News, a viewers wouldn't get any real sense of what was actually happening outside parliament.

In national student protest over fees, ANN7 on DStv reports that students are calling for the 'CRAPPING OF FEE HIKES'.

On Wednesday afternoon Infinity Media's ANN7 (DStv 405) reported that students, protesting nationally over tertiary education fees, are "calling for crapping of fee hikes".

The South African 24-hour TV news channel continues to have a problem with, and to embarrass itself, with on-air mistakes, amateur editing and other issues which make it difficult for ANN7's reporting to be taken seriously.

Just a few days ago ANN7 held its 2nd South African of the Year Awards 2015 which was embarrassing because of an American headline performer Jason Derulo asking South Africans if they can speak English.

ANN7 didn't invite media and TV critics to this year's event so I went out to visit friends on the Saturday night.

When I got back home and switched my TV on just before 22:00, the first thing I saw was Hugh Masekela getting the lifetime "achivement" award from ANN7, massively blasting "achivement" spelled wrong in the giant screen for all their invited guests and viewers to see.

Talk about awkward. But it was about to get worse.

When Hugh Masekela got on stage, ANN7 spelled his name wrong on the vanity cheque handed to him. The name of their lifetime achievement recipient.

To make things more cringe-worthy, Hugh Masekela called ANN7 out on it, on stage. "I don't think they'll change that cheque for me because you've spelled my name wrong," Hugh Masekela told ANN7 and the South African of the Year organisers.

"It's M A S E K E L A, not M E," said Hugh Masekela.

It wasn't the end. Immediately after that ANN7's bottom third banner went up, telling viewers that "Hugh Masikela" won the lifetime achievement award - the third major spelling oops in just the few minutes I watched.

I couldn't watch anymore and changed the channel. Besides Jason Derulo I don't know what else went wrong and was shown wrong by ANN7, possibly leading to embarrassment for the South African of the Year Awards.

Who are the people responsible for all these mistakes? Who is in charge of checking these things, or nobody? If somebody is checking these on-air "bloopers", why do they continue to happen and are people not competent, or fired, or trained or not senior enough to see mistakes?

I think ANN7 needs to invest in senior editors and news producers, or more of them, to lessen the constant on-air gaffes on the DStv news channel because viewers look and laugh at it instead of look and listen.

SABC2 adds The Bantu Hour as a new comedy sketch and variety show with host Kagiso Lediga and Hugh Masekela as the bandleader.

SABC2 is adding The Bantu Hour, a new comedy show from the people who produced Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola for eNCA (DStv 403), fronted by Kagiso Lediga and Hugh Masekela who will be the bandleader.

Like Saturday Night Live, The Bantu Hour, starting on Saturday 7 November at 21:00 on SABC2, will contain comedy skits presented by Kagiso Lediga and other stand-up comedians including Celeste Ntuli, Trevor Gumbi and Chris Forest.

The Bantu Hour will also have a celebrity guest in each episode, similar to Saturday Night Live. "When we came with this concept, this really brough memories of days when we used to do The Pure Monate Show back then," says Kagiso Lediga. "The comedy features a myriad of comedians, so viewers are in for a treat".

The Bantu Hour on SABC2 will use several languages.

"The Bantu Hour is a great way to revive sketch comedy on SABC2 because it brings the best of South African comedy talent together," says Jacqueline Setai, the SABC's head of entertainment programming.

The Bantu Hour is produced by which is Diprente Films that did LNN for eNCA, with Hugh Masekela, Kagiso Lediga, Themba Vilakazi and John Volmink as executive producers and Tamsin Andersson as producer.

The missed opportunity of M-Net, MultiChoice's DStv, Ster-Kinekor and Nu Metro on October 21, 2015 with Back to the Future Day.

I mean, really.

How long have they we all known about it?

Today is Back to the Future Day across the globe. The day that Marty McFly and Doc Emmett Brown arrive in the "future" in Back to the Future II, the film that Steven Spielberg calls "the most iconic and best time travel story ever".

Is Back to the Future II showing today on M-Net (DStv 101) or any of the M-Net Movies channels on MultiChoice's DStv? Nope.

Is Back to the Future II showing on any of the other channels carried on DStv? Nope.

Is Back to the Future II showing in limited release in cinemas at Ster-Kinekor, or at Nu Metro theatres where it would definitely have filled seats as a once-off special event "thing"? Nope.

Is Back to the Future II or any of the Back to the Future trilogy films avaiable on Naspers' ShowMax? Nope.

Type Back to the Future in the struggling Times Media's VIDI and what do you get? Nothing.

Then perhaps PCCW Global's has Back to the Future? Guess again.

After M-Net, Disney and MultiChoice did a DStv Star Wars pop-up channel earlier this year, one would really expect better from M-Net Movies and MultiChoice. Much better.

Actually it's a collective and total failure - an embarrassment - for all the video streaming and video broadcasting entertainment media platforms in South Africa that none of them have the movie. On the one day it really matters. 21 October 2015.

None of them knew, or bothered to cash in and make an "event" of something that's really movie and video event-worthwhile and to get some added marketing mileage out of that time-travelling DeLorean.

The only thing worse than being old in media is being out of touch with popular culture. Especially if you work in television or movies.

And yes. You can be old, just be a snappy dresser. Like Doc Emmett Brown.

With cinema attendance at Ster-Kinekor and Nu Metro way down and plunging according to the latest AMPS (and with DStv BoxOffice up), it appears that neither Ster-Kinekor nor Nu Metro have yet realised that special "event-ising" or mining once-off movie movements and moments is what will save and drive its business in future.

Last week I scanned all the DStv channels to look for Back to the Future II today. I couldn't find it. I looked because I planned to do more about it today. Instead, last night, I just watched the movie again, in high definition. On my laptop.

I've watched Back to the Future II more times than I can count, but I wanted to go back and zoom in on the details, especially on the newspaper headlines of the day.

In the 2015 of Back to the Future II it depicted that newspapers like USA Today still exist. Not just online, but in actual paper form. That's great, and true.

On the USA Today cover (technically tomorrow's newspaper of October 22 2015) there is a story of a terrorist threat - very in keeping with the times.

America also has a female president - again very apt - if you note the use of the female pronoun "she". Perhaps Hillary Clinton will be the next president.

Of course there is no "Queen Diana" as the movie predicted, it's still Queen Elizabeth II after all these years.

In 2015 people are stealing thumbs and fingerprints to get access to other people's accounts and entry.

And you can see a USA Today news drone drop down with cameras in front of the Hill Valley Town Hall to capture news - which is exactly what happens today with news gathering.

In the 2015 "future" besides the USA Today, there's a lot of other interesting things - like the multiple channels in people's homes with very little on it to watch. Go back (to the future) and see if you can see Oprah Winfrey whose Oprah Winfrey Show is playing in reruns insidethe 80s cafe.

Jaws19 is showing at the holomax (at least we got to the IMAX but have to watch with 3D glasses).

Go back to the past on Back to the Future Day and go rent Back to the Future II at the video shop (gasp!) today to see how, in several surprising aspects, the film got a lot of things about the future right (and hilariously wrong).

CNN International looking back - and forward - with special, CNN 30: Events that Changed the World, with Christiane Amanpour on 30 October.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of CNN International (DStv 401) CNN on Friday 30 October will broadcast CNN 30: Events that Changed the World, a special programme presented by CNN's chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour.

CNN 30: Events that Changed the World on Friday 30 October at 20:00 (South African time) will highlight moments in world history from the past 30 years, and look at the future and what the next 30 years might hold.

CNN 30: Events that Changed the World is filmed at McLaren's Thought Leadership Centre, using what CNN calls "a state-of-the-art 360 degree timeline".

The special programme will draw on CNN's video archive to immerse viewers in the events which shaped the globe the past three decades.

Thought leaders and guest on CNN 30: Events that Changed the World will include Baroness Susan Greenfield, Bernard Kouchner and Dame Zaha Hadid.

CNN 30: Events that Changed the World is filmed in front of a studio audience of people aged 30 and under. It means they didn't see or experience some of the historic events since they were not alive at the time, or were very young while their future was being shaped by the singular, yet interconnected events that will be highlighted.

CNN 30: Events that Changed the World will repeat on CNN International on Saturday 31 October at 04:00 and 11:00.

Auditor-General (AG) tells parliament the SABC's financial health is a concern; SABC wasted R413.7 million in irregular expenditure.

The AG has warned South Africa's parliament on Tuesday that the SABC is wasting a huge amount of money - the South African public broadcaster wasted a massive R413.7 million in irregular expenditure in the 2014/2015 financial period alone.

The SABC wasted another R18.8 million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure in 2014/2015 according to the AG who warned that the SABC's financial health is a concern.

The SABC also, again, got a qualified audit, with the AG calling the SABC's financials "concerning".

The Auditor-General told parliament that the SABC's financial report for 2014/2015 and financial statements contains a lot of mistakes.

The AG's stark warning over money waste and the SABC's financial health is in stark contrast to what the SABC's own executives said just last month.

The SABC CEO Frans Matlala in September said the SABC is "financially healthy and stable", and the chief financial officer James Aguma in September said the SABC "is financially stable".

The SABC's controversial and famously matricless chief operating officer (COO), Hlaudi Motsoeneng, now on "voluntary leave" pending a disciplinary hearing on 30 October, said several times earlier this year that the SABC is "healthy" and has a "healthy bank balance of R1 billion".

According to the Auditor-General, the SABC's financial health in concerning with the AG directly contradicting what the SABC executives, Frans Matlala, James Aguma and Hlaudi Motsoeneng said.

According to the Auditor-General, poor management and a lack of management accountability is the reason for the SABC's wasteful and irregular expenditure of millions of rand.

Besides the irregular expenditure and fruitless and wasteful expenditure, the SABC recorded a massive loss of over R401 million during the 2014/2015 financial year - something denied earlier this year by Hlaudi Motsoeneng after The Sunday Times said it would happen.

On Tuesday the AG has urged parliament to rein in the SABC over its money waste and poor financial management, telling members of parliament that the SABC's money waste is the biggest in the entire communications portfolio.

According to the Auditor-General there's a failure at the SABC to rein in executives in charge of and running the SABC.

The Auditor-General said the SABC's bad financial health is due in part to its unwillingness or inability to properly collect SABC TV licence fees.

"I have assessed the SABC as concerning primarily because of their license fees, which they don't recover," Alice Miller, an executive in the Auditor-General's office told parliament on Tuesday.

"The SABC would be in a much more healthy position if they recovered all the TV license fees that are due to them, as well as the losses that were made last year".

On Tuesday night on SABC television, SABC News gave a skewed report and reported how the SABC is "better" because the public broadcaster got less qualifications on its financials, and how the SABC is now wasting less millions of rand than before.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Dr. Phil on SABC2 renewed for a further 5 seasons through to 2020 in a new talk show deal with CBS TV Distribution.

Dr. Phil seen in South Africa on SABC2 has been renewed for a further 5 seasons which will see the weekday talk show remain on the air until at least 2020.

While SABC2 is behind with Dr. Phil, it's currently in its 14th season in the United States and will go until at least its 18th season in 2020 according to a new deal with CBS TV Distribution with Dr. Phil McGraw who is both the host and co-executive producer, as well as the executive producer of The Doctors on M-Net City (DStv 115) along with his son Jay McGraw.

In America Dr. Phil is the highest rated TV talk show, trouncing Ellen, seen in South Africa on M-Net (DStv 101), but was embroiled earlier this month in massive staff firings and facing personnel revolt.

"All of us in the Dr. Phil family are extremely excited to extend the show through 2020," says Dr. Phil McGraw.

"Extending this dynamic partnership with CBS affords us the chance to continue our important work with individuals and families across America and around the world."

"Personally I am so proud to continue with the best team in television. Most of my television family, from Carla Pennington the executive producer, to the same 7 cameramen I had when we started over 13 years ago, are still here making a difference everyday."

"Dr. Phil is the leading voice in daytime television and he's made his show an important platform to discuss issues our viewers are struggling with every day," says Armando Nunez, the president and CEO of CBS Global Distribution Group in announcing the 5 season renewal. 

"He truly is one of a kind. We're so thrilled to have Phil as part of the CBS family and look forward to continuing our long, productive and extremely successful relationship with him."

FINGERED. M-Net Edge on DStv turns one year old; sends TV critics probably the best birthday surprise invitation in like, forever.

Nothing like getting a cut-off finger sent to you in the mail.

Two of M-Net's channels are turning one.

While Vuzu AMP (DStv 114) couldn't care less to tell TV critics like me about it, M-Net Edge (DStv 102) has been communicating to press for weeks, giving them a heads-up and is creating all the right and edgy buzz leading up to the celebration.

The Fedex guy literally just hand delivered this at my door, and even said: "It's from M-Net".

It looks like it's going to be an amazing M-Net Edge 1st birthday party.

Vuzu AMP had some first birthday party last week but couldn't even bother beforehand to just say its happening. And I've covered Vuzu from when it was no "AMP", and for years and years before that when it was called GO. Terrible.

In stark contrast, M-Net Edge definitely has the "wow" factor and knows how to get media attention and how to communicate.

Who doesn't want to go to a party where you're sent a ring, and told to "bring the ring to get access to the VIP event"? What an effective media message.

It's very Lord of the Ring-sey, but with ... edge.

The cute box opens to reveal the gruesome party surprise: a hacked off finger!

But M-Net explains nicely that "M-Net Edge brings you the most provocative, cutting-edge international series. But remember: it's always fiction. No humans were harmed in the making of this gift".

On the high-gloss, blue embossed black ticket inside, press are invited "to come and party with the edgiest one-year old" and to "bring the ring as your VIP access".

I for one will definitely be there next weekend and I'm actually looking forward to it.

Today's interesting TV stories to read from TV with Thinus - 20 October 2015

■ Disney is developing a Descendants sequel
The movie about the teenager of iconic Disney villains did so well globally The Walt Disney Company is doing another one with all the same on-air talent and crew.

■ The party is finally over for Empire.
It's viewership is still huge but the ratings now keep dropping weekly for the second season of Empire on FOX (DStv 125 / StarSat 131).

■ The SABC and SABC Sport can't spell.
Aggressive SABC Sport lashes out, shows its incompetence to properly talk to people after using "hilites". Its "derogatory response" goes viral.

■ ANN7's 2nd South African of the Year Awards 2015 the "weirdest awards thing ever".
ANN7 (DStv 405) didn't want to invite media to the SATY2015 which turned out to be an embarrassing mess and "trending" after Jason Derulo asked South Africans if they can speak English.
"Guptavision" SATY's was a "local version of Great Leader-loving North Korean state television" says Daily Maverick.

■ Criminal case of alleged fraud opened against On Digital Media (ODM) and StarSat.
Shareholder Mergan Moodley alleges that On Digital Media executives and current owner StarTimes Media SA colluded defraud original ODM shareholders in the troubled pay-TV venture during the business rescue process the struggling operator is still in.

■ Shortlisting of candidates for SABC board set for next month.
Parliament's portfolio committee for communications could have a shortlist ready by November for three long-vancant seats on the unstable SABC board after minister of communications Faith Muthambi intervened to get rid of people who disagreed with the appointment of the matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng as COO.
- Meanwhile the ANC is on the verge of firing Faith Muthambi.
- Meanwhile Faith Muthambi and her spokesperson Mish Molakeng are completely silent on why Hlaudi Motsoeneng has not been suspended if he's facing a disciplinary hearing.
- ANC wants to use encryption of digital terrestrial television (DTT) set-top boxes (STBs) to "weaken MultiChoice's monopoly".

- Meanwhile parliamentary committee chairperson Joyce Moloi-Maropa has resigned over the chaos wrought by Faith Muthambi, but she doesn't want to talk about her resignation. She met "serious challenges beyond what I can carry" she writes in her resignation letter.

■ Primetime viewership in America has fallen another massive 8%
The outdated Nielsen measuring system simply isn't capturing all viewers watching TV and what they're watching and its damaging the American TV industry.

■ Latest AMPS: South Africa DStv viewership is up while SABC and ratings are down.
South African Audience Research Foundation: In total television remains unchanged, but "significant losses in viewership" for both the SABC and SABC2 is "trending downwards", SABC3 is "okay". DStv has "grown significantly".
- Viewership of DStv BoxOffice has also "gone up significantly" while SA cinema attendance plunges.

■ Was the Consumer Protection Council's raid on MultiChoice in Nigeria too heavy-handed?
What exactly does the CPC want to do with the personal information of thousands of DStv subscribers that was seized last week in the raid on MultiChoice Nigeria's headquarters?

- Is politics and competitors involved in the raid on MultiChoice  since there's growing fear in the industry that rivals may be using the CPC to attack MultiChoice's market dominance?
- See photos from the raid on MultiChoice Nigeria as police and journalists went along.
- MultiChoice Nigeria was "engulfed in a rowdy scene" causing embarrassment to MultiChoice as shocked DStv subscribers were shut out.

■ Environmental affairs show 50/50 on the SABC wins 2 awards
at the Kudu Awards.

■ Cosatu calls the SABC's famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng "a leadership problem"
Controversial Hlaudi Motsoeneng is a leadership problem "the public broadcaster failed to handle" and that it shows "no leadership when you hear a COO say in public that he did not increase his own salary," says Cosatu.
- Meanwhile Hlaudi Motsoeneng warns the South African courts ...

■ Defiance seen on M-Net Edge (DStv 102) cancelled.
Science fiction show which became cheap is done after its 3rd season.

■ Rookie Blue seen on Universal Channel (DStv 117) cancelled after 6 seasons.
The Canadian TV cop drama produced by Shaw Media lost its executive producer anyway.

South Africa has telenovela fever.
The SABC, and M-Net's Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) are all making local telenovelas - shows that's supposed to end. But then those that become popular are continued, robbing viewers of a definite ending because TV channels can't bear to lose something successful.

■ Shocker: Why your monthly pay-TV subscription keeps going up
While the relative price of TV sets, computers, audio equipment and everything else keeps dropping. With a graph.

The New York Times has a special TV coverage section with all the articles in it really well worth the read:
■ From Wasteland to Wonderland - TV's altered landscape.
There's still a mountain of junk on TV but there's also a lot more dazzling television to watch.
■ Unwrapping the pay-TV TV bundle.
Be careful what you ask for - breaking down your pay-TV subscription to pay for just the channels you want will end up costing you the same, or more, while you get less content.
■ Watching for the programming apocalypse.
With the avalanche of TV programming and shows being made, is the TV bubble about to burst?
■ New twists for the TV plot
Viewers have watched so much television that they can guess plots now. It forces TV makers to change the way they structure plots and to become even more creative.
■ Social media takes TV back in time.
Social media is making TV more communal - the way it actually used to be.