Friday, March 31, 2017

Petition started for MultiChoice to remove the Gupta news ANN7 TV news channel from DStv for 'creating divisions in the country'.

DStv subscribers who have had enough of the alleged one-sided news from the Gupta-news channel ANN7 have started an online petition to get MultiChoice to remove ANN7 from DStv.

Similar to the FOX News channel in America and broadcast on Startimes Media SA's StarSat in South Africa, ANN7 from Infinity Media provides viewers will an entirely different news narrative – one where the firing of the minister of finance Pravin Gordhan was described as "an excellent decision" late on Thursday night.

The Gupta news channel, constantly making the news for its on-air gaffes, saw anchors and analysts on Thursday night laugh and giggle with glee as Sindy Mabe and studio guests discussed president Jacob Zuma's controversial cabinet reshuffle.

On Friday Pravin Gordhan himself chimed in to roast ANN7 publicly for its news bias during a press conference held in Pretoria, saying ANN7 has "a lot so say with so-called independent analysts".

"They have a lot to say when they want to attack us, and malign us and try to disgrace us. So where is ANN7?"

Pravin Gordhan said "why must we constantly deal with people who are never seen in the public domain? Never."

"But they mastermind all these attacks - on family; make false accusations, pay somebody called Bell Pottinger. PR firms are hired, millions of rands are spent. To do what? To do what? To malign democratic institutions of South Africa."

"But why don't they come out? Face to face. Lets have a debate, face to face."

Pravin Gordhan said ANN7 had a terrible record, should prove its independence and challenged ANN7 for a public debate. 

"You can't have fake news and fake Twitter accounts and attacking family members."

Mcebisi Jonas the fired deputy minister of finance, said that certain media - without mentioning ANN7 specifically - is "deliberately distorting the news". 

Now DStv subscribers who are paying more from April, want ANN7 removed from their DStv bouquets and are signing a petition calling for the channel to be taken off of DStv saying "it is biased and creating divisions in the country".

"I object to ANN7 being part of the DStv offering. They give totally fake news reports and they are an insult to my intelligence," said Jenny Zaidel, with Berne Nightingale who said "ANN7 is a propaganda station, should not have to pay for it".

Elise Hattingh said "this junk is bringing our country down".

SABC viewership plunges to 'the lowest on record' - TV audience down to 45% while DStv grows; SABC radio listenership marks 'significant declines'.

The SABC's TV viewership keeps plunging and has now dropped to a disastrous 45% audience share - its "lowest on record" - while SABC radio station listenership also nosedived following the badly implemented 90% local content decree of its controversial former chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

While the viewership of SABC2 and SABC3 have been tanking over several months since mid-2016, even the stalwart SABC1 is now being affected and its viewership sliding, with overall SABC TV audiences that have slipped to just 45% in the last quarter.

The SABC's falling viewership and radio listenership comes in the wake of the disastrous implementation of Hlaudi Motsoeneng's 90% local content decree in June 2016 that's drained the public broadcaster's production coffers and saw viewers and listeners, and then also advertisers flee.

According to the SABC's latest group operations business review document of 22 March, the SABC's plummeting TV audience share has now hit "the lowest on record".

Business Day on Friday first reported about the latest business review document.

The SABC's ongoing audiences losses is however MultiChoice's gain, with the SABC ironically supplying TV channels like SABC News and SABC Encore to DStv.

The SABC's internal research notes that while SABC audience share fell to its lowest level ever in the last quarter, that MultiChoice's audience share for DStv has climbed from 25% to 28% - "its highest on record".

Meanwhile the SABC keeps revising its TV audience share target downwards, but the 45% is even lower than the downgraded 51% it wants to try and meet.

It's not just the SABC's three terrestrial TV channels that's struggling - the SABC's radio stations are hemorrhaging as well.

The SABC's predominantly English language radio stations - Metro FM, Good Hope FM and even Radio 2000 - saw "significant declines" since mid-2016 when Hlaudi Motsoeneng's abrupt content policy change was enforced.

In the 9 months since the change the SABC hasn't done any qualitative market research, with the report now suggesting that "qualitative research needs to be executed across different radio stations to test the effects of the 90% local music implementation".

SABC radio listeners from RSG to Lotus FM and Lesedi FM have been vocal in their dislike of how language and culture specific radio stations have been forced to play music falling outside of the market demographic of the consumers that specific SABC radio stations are supposed to be catering for.

The SABC's radio audience in the last quarter is now down to 71% according to the business review document.

On Thursday angry and fearful SABC staffers openly slammed SABC management as "inept and ignorant", asking executives point blank "if there's money" as the SABC's cash reserves are plummeting with another financial crisis looming for the broadcaster.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago on Friday didn't immediately respond to a media enquiry seeking comment about the first quarter audience share reports.

SABC FLOODGATE OF FRUSTRATION: Angry SABC staffers openly slam public broadcaster's management as 'inept and ignorant'.

SABC staffers at the beleaguered public broadcaster on Thursday lashed SABC management when workers in a packed Auckland Park auditorium gave voice to their anger, fears and frustrations and openly slammed management as "inept and ignorant".

Hundreds of frustrated SABC staffers at the public broadcaster's head office and SABC regional offices launched an avalanche of direct questions and pointed comments at the SABC's interim board on Thursday.

The flood of questions, demands for answers and public grievances came during a jam-packed meeting in the SABC's Auckland Park auditorium with SABC staff during a visit of the SABC's new interim board members and members of parliament's portfolio committee on communications on Thursday.

Frustrated workers told management they don't even have contracts even though they've been working at the SABC for years, told of "black-on-black oppression and victimisation of people" at the SABC and even alleged that the broadcaster "still has the remnants of Apartheid bothering us".

"Is there money or is there no money?" asked one staffer.

Staffer after staffer stood up inside the auditorium and told the SABC interim board and SABC management point blank of alleged nepotism in hiring, corruption and victimisation inside the South African public broadcaster that's once again buckling under a worsening financial crisis that's now been forced to once again dip into its fast-dwindling cash reserves.

"We're victims of inept, ignorant management," said SABC economics editor Thandeka Gqubule,who also stood up.

Thandeka Gqubule was one of the so-called "SABC8" staffers who were fired and forced by the court to be rehired after they were dismissed for opposing the SABC's controversial news censorship policy that the broadcasting regulator eventually found to be illegal.

"If you can secure us able, educated, skilled management, half of this won't happen," she said to loud applause.

The SABC's interim board told upset, scared and frustrated staffers uncertain about the future of the SABC, that they will try to restore the tattered image of the SABC and promised to give SABC staffers answers by early-June.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

SABC fined R10 000 after SABC3's Isidingo uses a woman's real cell phone number, tells BCCSA 'mistakes like these are bound to happen'.

In a shocking case, the SABC that was slammed as grossly negligent, has been fined R10 000 after its SABC3 weekday TV soap Isidingo decided to use a woman's real telephone number that invaded her privacy and caused such havoc in her life that she even got a warning letter at work.

Meanwhile the SABC as part of its defense said "mistakes like these are bound to happen at some point".

While the American TV industry for decades has used fake digits starting with "5-5-5", the SABC used a real woman's real cell phone number in a late November 2016 episode of Isidingo on SABC3 that immediately caused havoc in her life.

She was instantly flooded by a barrage of calls and messages that she couldn’t control. It got so bad that she was disciplined through a warning letter in December 2016, negatively impacting her HR record at the railway company she works for.

The SABC offered up an apology but the woman, Thapelo Diale, who had lodged a complaint with the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA), said that wasn't enough for the personal chaos Isidingo caused and that she had to endure as a result of the South African public broadcaster's negligence.

She told the BCCSA of the emotional harm and verbal abuse she suffered when answering her phone when it was calls from people who got her number from Isidingo.

The SABC told the BCCSA that actor Shona Ferguson, who plays Thapelo "Tyson" Mokoena in Isidingo produced by Endemol Shine Africa, was told by the director in a scene shot in October 2016, to write down a cell phone number for another character as per the script.

The SABC revealed that the Endemol Shine Africa's script for the Isidingo episode "did not have a cell number for the character to use at the time when the scene was being shot".

That was when the Isidingo character of Thapelo wrote down the number of a real-life Thapelo – that of Thapelo Diale living in Johannesburg.

The SABC had the audacity to tell the BCCSA that "mistakes like these are bound to happen at some point" because "human beings drive the SABC".

'Unprecedented, serious negative consequences'
In its judgment the BCCSA found that the SABC invaded the privacy of the complainant, and that the shocking mistake "had unprecedented, extraordinary and serious negative consequences".

The BCCSA said "it constituted a breach of her privacy and disrupted her work and that of her colleagues".

The BCCSA slammed the SABC as "grossly negligent to randomly choose a cell phone number for use in a popular soap opera".

The BCCSA said "many viewers form personal relationships with actors and therefore may continue to call the number. The scriptwriters and producers should have foreseen that the number could be a real and private number belonging to somebody".

Invited to the Isidingo set
After the decision to do an on-air apology, Thapelo Diale appealed the judgment, saying she didn't believe that the judgment is proportional to the offence.

She told the BCCSA that "I feel that Isidingo seems to be getting away with just a slap on the wrist whereas we don't even know if the apology will actually stop the consequence of their negligence; not forgetting the irreparable dent to my employment record by way of a warning letter."

"It needs to hit them in the pocket so as to appreciate the magnitude of the inconvenience caused."

The SABC's broadcasting compliance department that argued for an apology to suffice, told the BCCSA's said that "given the time that has since elapsed since the incident took place, broadcasting an apology shows that the SABC is a caring and responsive broadcaster".

The SABC said "this unfortunate incident has taught us critical lessons about handling matters about invasion of privacy".

Later on during the hearing, the SABC offered to broadcast an apology and invite Thapelo Diale to the Isidingo set to meet the actors as well as Shona Ferguson who gave out her cell phone number on the air.

In the end Thapelo Diale and the SABC agreed that the SABC shouldn't broadcast an apology, with Diale fearing that it might encourage even more callers to start calling her number again.

She also asked that the SABC's lawyers must urgently write her employer to explain what happened and to ask for the warning letter that she got to be rescinded, and that the SABC must ensure that her cell phone number is removed from all Isidingo footage and the soap’s YouTube uploads.

"The SABC failed to demonstrate that it took exceptional care and consideration before calling out a mobile number live on TV, without first checking out if it belongs to anyone," the BCCSA found.

"This act, in our view is tantamount to gross negligence on the part of the broadcaster."

The BCCSA fined the SABC R10 000 that must be paid before 20 April.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

M-Net frees Alexander Skarsgård’s penis tonight across Africa in the penultimate episode of Big Little Lies.

Tonight in the penultimate episode of Big Little Lies, M-Net is unleashing Alexander Skarsgård’s penis, with African audiences who will be able to see for themselves what American, British and Australian viewers have been buzzing about.

Since Monday international viewers have been abuzz about the penis stealing scene, and tonight at 21:30 in Big Little Lies, DStv subscribers from South Africa to Nigeria will get to see Alexander Skarsgård go full frontal in a shocking – and painful – nude scene.

While it's the second time that the 40 year old Swedish actor reveals his trouser snake on M-Net – the first time was in the vampire drama True Blood – viewers who watched the scene with Nicole Kidman’s Celeste character the past two days, are now wondering whether Alexander who's putting the "big" in Big Little Lies, has shown the real thing or has been swinging around a penis prothetic.

HBO producing and showing Big Little Lies in America, has been silent about the question and didn't respond to media enquiries about Alexander Skarsgård's penis.

That isn't stopping people from talking about it – several with extremely hilarious comments.

Nicole Kidman told Vulture that the violent scenes on Big Little Lies took a toll on her physically and emotionally.

She said that the show has made a strong statement about sexual and domestic violence. "After we shot some of the really, really violent scenes, I was in a lot of pain myself. My body was. It was very strange. It was very uncomfortable."

'GUYS, I CAN'T': ANN7's cringe Ahmed 'Cartwright' coverage on DStv at the 'Gordon Donald' hospital going viral in latest on-air gaffe.

The latest highly embarrassing coverage of the Gupta-owned TV news channel ANN7 (DStv 405) is going viral as people are watching the jaw-droppingly bad live report the channel did about the late Ahmed Kathrada's worsening condition a few days ago.

The inept ANN7 reporter who seems unsure of what and who exactly she's reporting on, and struggles to speak, even refers to Kathrada as "Cartwright" during the live report and also goes: "Guys, I can't" during the live crossing to ANN7's Midrand studio. 

While she's pulling faces, she reports that Ahmed Kathrada was "going in and out of the coma".

ANN7 also named the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre on-screen the "Gordon Donald Hospital" in its cringe-worthy Uncle Kathy coverage, getting the hospital's name completely wrong.

The ANN7 on-air blooper is the latest in an ongoing string of jaw-dropping mistakes since the Infinity Media news channel launched on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform in August 2013 with a litany of extremely embarrassing on-air gaffes.

Contestants not told after their wilderness reality show got cancelled - struggle on for months until they have now finally all given up.

Their British wilderness reality show in which they were left to survive on their own got cancelled months ago – only nobody bothered to actually tell the poor contestants breaking teeth trying to munch on chicken feed.

Emerging with the contestants who have now found their way back to civilisation, are reports that the contestants on the quickly cancelled Eden, had no idea that their show wasn't even on TV anymore.

According to The Guardian, only four episodes of Eden were broadcast on British television last year, although the contestants – dumped in a remote corner of the Scottish Highlands and trying to create a new patch of civilisation – were never told that the show is actually over.

With remote-controlled cameras supposedly keeping watch and filming, the 23 men and women started out trying to create a shelter and their own community. Yet, when Channel 4 yanked the show, nobody told the contestants with the broadcaster who simply left the cast in the wild.

Apparently 13 of the 23 contestants left the show, unable to cope, although the rest kept going in utter squalor for months – unaware that nobody was even watching.

According to a local newspaper, the last contestants have now given up and deserted Eden – only to discovery the show isn't even being broadcast.

"The last 10 have left. Some of the participants were even seen in the dentist at Fort William needing treatment after eating chicken feed grit," the Press and Journal reported.

Channel 4 confirmed that "the year in Eden is over and the contributors are headed back to their old lives".

Now the contestants have to adjust to a world with Donald Trump as the American president and a looming Britsh Brexit.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Broadcasting Complaints Commission orders the SABC's Morning Live to apologise to The Daily Sun over one-sided interview.

Photo: Twitter

The SABC's Morning Live has been ordered to apologise to The Daily Sun after broadcasting a one-sided interview in which the SABC didn't bother to include the newspaper that was slammed on the show.

The Daily Sun, a tabloid newspaper in the Naspers stable, lodged a complaint with the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) against the SABC after Leanne Manas on Morning Live did an interview segment about "fake news" that went after the newspaper.

Leanne Manas interviewed Wilson B. Nkosi, a radio DJ at the SABC's Metro FM radio station in November 2016. Wilson B. Nkosi was the subject of a story in The Daily Sun.

During the interview, Wilson B. Nkosi said the story in The Daily Sun was "a fabricated story, from top to bottom", that "The Daily Sun must be exposed" and that "a lot of tabloid publications get away with it because they know that most people can't afford the legal fees".

Leanne Manas during the interview told SABC2 and SABC News (DStv 404) viewers that "people often lament how easy it is for journalists to fabricate stories without even trying to verify them. Sitting with us now is Wilson B. Nkosi who has been a victim of such".

The Daily Sun wasn't included in the interview, or asked for a response.

Leanne Manas said Wilson B. Nkosi was "a victim of one of these defamation stories", and that "the moral here is, please, what you read take it with a pinch of salt because it may not be the truth. It really may not".

The BCCSA tribunal approved the on-air apology settlement that the SABC must broadcast on SABC2's Morning Live.

"Morning Live would like to apologise to The Daily Sun. This after the newspaper was unfairly treated on this programme on 22 November 2016 regarding a story that The Daily Sun had written about Wilson B Nkosi."

"The SABC acknowledges that The Daily Sun was not given a right of reply. Based on the remarks during the programme, the SABC apologises to The Daily Sun."

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Actors slam the SABC and South Africa's entertainment industry at Joe Mafela's memorial service, 'hope and pray SABC will pay our artists their royalties'.

Veteran actors came out swinging good and nice on Thursday afternoon, slamming the SABC, the SABC2 soap Muvhango and South Africa's entertainment industry at actor Joe Mafela's memorial service, asking the public broadcaster to please start paying residuals and to do more than lip service when it comes to looking after actors.

The legendary Joe Mafela (75), most famous for his 'Sgudi 'Snaysi sitcom and Chicken Licken TV commerciasl work, died on Saturday night during a car crash on the M1 in Johannesburg, with a public memorial service that took place earlier today at the packed Johannesburg theatre and was broadcast on television.

The memorial service was attended by TV executives like James Aguma, acting SABC CEO and Bessie Tugwana, acting COO.

Actors and friends didn't hold back, using their chance at the podium to voice not only their personal remembrances and honouring Joe Mafela's legacy but also speaking up and out about what he wanted to see happen within South Africa's entertainment talent sphere and resistant-to-change entertainment and television industry.

Actor Tony Kgoroge put the SABC on blast after SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago spoke, saying that even though Joe Mafela himself didn't manage to fully escape exploitation in the local entertainment industry, that he is glad that he managed to rose above it.

Cautioning the entertainment industry, Tony Kgoroge said "the 'magic' is in the exploitation. They exploit you, they take your story, they own it, they pay for it, and then they say you'll just be a performer."

"Now coming into the new dispensation, the people like Joe Mafela tried to rise up and say to the broadcasters: 'We want to own our own. We want to tell our own stories the way we want to tell them, without anybody owning it or any foreign ideas becoming part of our narration".

"Then we're told because you don't have experience, go and partner with that company. And you go there - it's our white colleagues again. And when you go there you're only going there with a script or an idea," said Tony Kgoroge.

"They have cameras, they have editing suites, they have studios. They have everything you can think of. You're only bringing a script. How much of a percentage do you think you'll get from that? So you're bound to sell that story because you have to put bread on the table. You have kids that have to go to school."

Directly addressing the SABC, Tony Kgoroge said "Kaizer, was saying that they [SABC] is still repeating some of the things that Joe Mafela used to do. I hope and pray Kaizer that you pay our artists their royalties."

Tony Kgoroge's words were met with loud applause.

Cynthia Shange: It's not like we don't know how to save
Veteran actress Cynthia Shange who called Joe Mafela "my brother, then my father" used her turn at the podium to draw attention to the little job security and work stability local South African actors are provided, saying "I just briefly want to tell you about the life of actors".

"I've been in this field for 43 years. I know we make you happy. But deep inside most of us, we are not happy."

"We can just pretend to take those selfies, to sign autographs. Life for actors are very hard because we are not permanent. I'm 43 years in this industry but I'm still a freelancer."

"I must always sign a new contract. I've been with Muvhango for 18 years now. But each years we must sign a new contract. I can't get a loan because I'm not permanent.  You can maybe squeeze from your salary to have maybe a medical aid. But if you lose the job for that period, it lapses."

"You can struggle to have your funeral cover. So please if we die and we ... " - and then Cynthia Shange became visible emotional - "and now I'm talking to the journalists: If one of the actors die and we don't have money, they make as if we don't have money".

"It's not like we don't know how to save. We save. We save what there's left to save. We save that one cent, that two cent. We do our best. But we chose this career. I'm not saying it's a wrong career. It's our passion. We chose this for our lives."

Rename SABC's Studio 5 the Joe Mafela Studio
Super-producer Mfundi Vundla of Generations The Legacy on SABC1 said that Studio 5 at the SABC's Henley Studios should be renamed after Joe Mafela.

"Joe Mafela built the SABC. He brought audiences to the SABC. The SABC is just brick and mortar without the content and the people who bring audiences. Without that the SABC is brick and mortar."

"I said we have to do something to recognise Joe in a very signifcant way."

"Joe and I and Generations worked out of Studio 5 at the SABC, the biggest studio at Henley Studios. I wrote to the head of TV and said my suggestion is that this Studio 5 must be named The Joe Mafela Studio".

"In the big studio in Rome there where they make movies and stuff, Fellini had a studio where he worked all the time and after he passed, the funeral was in that studio and guess what, the studio was called the Fellini Studio. So Studio 5 must be called The Joe Mafela Studio," said Mfundi Vundla.

On Sunday veteran actress Lillian Dube revealed that the 11th South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas) that took place on Saturday at Sun City, organised by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), didn't invite either herself or Joe Mafela to the award show although both of them are honorary recipients of lifetime achievement awards from the Saftas previously.

NO APRIL FOOL'S JOKE. SABC3 in yet another massive schedule shake-up as the channel's line-up is rejigged for the 3rd time in a year from April.

 In a desperate attempt to lift ratings, stem its ongoing viewership slide and slow its cash drains the SABC will announce yet another very dramatic schedule shake-up for its loss-making SABC3 channel that will come into effect from 1 April.

It’s no SABC April Fool's joke: SABC3's latest upcoming schedule shake-up will be the SABC's third for the struggling and loss-making channel in just a year.

SABC3's shake-up follows sister channel SABC2's latest big schedule change that was introduced in February and that angered a large number of viewers – SABC2's sixth big schedule shake-up since mid-2014.

Just as with currency fluctuations in an economy, public and commercial transport commuter timetables, and even a family's nightly dinner time, stability and predictability over time of a broadcaster's TV schedule – or the lack of it – is a strong indicator and signal to the organisational and systemic health or chaos behind the scenes.

Constant and erratic TV schedule changes – the SABC for instance again disrupted all three of its TV channel's schedules in January for Afcon 2017 coverage – confuse viewers who are creatures of habit and who struggle to find their shows and what they want to watch.

With every major TV schedule change of the SABC, some viewers sample competitor channels and programming, find new favourites, form new habits and never return.

SABC3 saw its ratings tank the past nine months following the SABC’s controversial former chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng's abrupt decree of 80% local content that was haphazardly introduced on the channel since July 2016. The badly implemented move saw viewers flee, viewership fall and then advertisers leaving.

The SABC introduced big schedule changes for SABC3 in April 2016, followed by yet another dramatic schedule shake-up just three months later in July 2016 – with a new SABC3 logo and-on air look.

That was also when Motsoeneng – now still currently employed by the SABC but ordered to stay at home with no job title – wreaked havoc on the cash-strapped SABC3 by abruptly ordering a decree of 80% local content for the SABC's only commercial TV channel.

Not a single one of the new and mostly badly produced local shows introduced on SABC3 since July 2016, except for a new season of Neill Anthony Private Chef, managed to lure enough viewers to crack SABC3's most watched month-on-month ratings list.

With disastrous AR's (audience ratings) in prime time for the batch of new content, the SABC still had to splash the cash to produce the ratings-failed content that viewers flipped the switch on.

The new SABC3 schedule shake-up is the first under SABC TV boss, Nomsa Philiso

She was appointed as the SABC's new head of television in August 2016 to replace the veteran Verona Duwarkah who was abruptly fired for refusing Hlaudi Motsoeneng's allegedly irregular content orders and dubious production contracts and reportedly accused him of of harassment and gross mismanagement.

There's growing buzz that the SABC could perhaps be shuttering the beleaguered SABC3 before the end of the year, while insiders are wondering how the SABC wants to programme and run its promised five additional new TV channels for digital terrestrial television (DTT) if it is struggling to keep the three existing channels on the air and just three schedule line-ups filled that's already stuffed with repeats.

Zandile Nkonyeni, SABC TV publicist, was asked about talk that SABC3 might be shutting down, what the situation is around SABC3's future, and what assurance there is from the SABC to viewers about the channel, but she didn't respond. 

Major programming moves
Now the SABC is again tinkering with SABC3's schedule in another big shake-up.

According to insiders, SABC3 will announce that it is switching a large number of its shows' timeslots with viewers who will once again have to adjust their viewing patterns.

SABC3 will introduce yet another new swathe of local content – some with dubious public broadcasting value – as it also gets ready to dump late night and overnight repeats to cut back on rebroadcast fees, cancels long-running programming like Interface and even moves its news bulletin, The Bold and the Beautiful, Top Billing, Special Assignment and other shows yet again to new times and days.

Zandile Nkonyeni was asked why SABC3 is doing yet another big schedule change again and what prompted the latest shake-up. She failed to comment.

SABC3's latest schedule do-over stretches from the very early morning to late night.

SABC3 will cut its breakfast show Expresso back by half an hour, with the morning show that will move from 06:00 to a new starting time of 6:30 in mid-April. SABC3 is also slowly moving the beloved American soap Days of Our Lives back from its midnight banishment to an earlier timeslot.

Here’s what’s happening on SABC3 from April
Major coming SABC3 changes from April include:

  Expresso is being reduced again, back to two and a half hours, after its timeslot was increased in July 2016 to three hours. From Monday 17 April Expresso is set to start half an hour later at 6:30 to make space for a half hour of kids programming at 6:00 on weekdays.

■ The existing line-up of SABC3's 09:00 hour of repeats is dumped for repeats on weekdays of Real Talk with Anele from Monday 3 April.

■ After taking away the Venda-language soap Muvhango repeat on SABC3 in July 2016, it is suddenly back – at 11:30 on weekdays.

■ The weekday chatter, Afternoon Express that was moved from 16:00 to 17:00 in July 2016 as part of a failed experiment, will move back to 16:00 from Monday 3 April.

■ Real Talk with Anele gets upgraded and moves from 16:00 to 17:00. Basically Afternoon Express and Real Talk with Anele are switching timeslots, with SABC3 now believing that Real Talk – that constantly attracts more buzz – has more potential to lure a bigger actual audience.

■ The SABC is once again moving the public broadcaster's flagship daily TV news bulletin on SABC3 that's been hammered in the ratings and that shed tens of thousands of viewers over the past few months.

The news at 18:30 on SABC3 is once again becoming News @ 6 from April – a simulcast of the news done on DStv's SABC News (DStv 404) channel with anchors Peter Ndoro and Francis Herd.

■ That knock-on effect means that the American soap The Bold and the Beautiful is also once again shifting timeslots – from 18:00 to 18:30 on weekdays on SABC3 from Monday 3 April.

■ The hugely popular The Bold and the Beautiful, perennially the most watched show on SABC3, will now serve as the lead-in for the struggling local soap Isidingo that stays put at 19:00. SABC3 hopes that Bold’s buoyant viewership will filter through to the Endemol Shine Africa produced Isidingo.

■ The local talker Trending South Africa that started in daytime on SABC3, switched to night time and then got a 12:00 weekday repeat, is getting cut down from five days to four episodes per week, losing the Friday episode.

Trending SA will also no longer get any daytime repeat on SABC3 from April but will see its broadcast timeslot move half an hour earlier from 22:00 to 21:30.

■ From Thursday 6 April Top Billing sees yet another timeslot change in the glam magazine show long broadcast history – moving from 20:00 to 20:30.

■ SABC3's investigative magazine show Special Assignment is once again moving in April – this time from Wednesdays at 21:30 to Mondays at 21:00.

■ SABC3's long running Sunday night current affairs interview show Interface at 21:30 is apparently abruptly getting axed. Interface's last episode will be on Sunday 2 April, thereafter replaced by a celebrity-driven type profile show entitled Celebuville in the same timeslot from Sunday 8 April.

Flurry of unknown new local content
Instead of phasing individual new shows in over time to help them gain viewer recognition and support, SABC3 is unleasing a next new wave of unknown local content from April as part of the latest schedule shake-up.

This programming will all compete at the same time for viewers' attention, battling each other to stand out in a crowded nightly 19:30 to 21:30 timeslot.

The previously announced channel switch from SABC1 to SABC3 of Clover's latest season of the advertiser-funded production (AFP), Tropika Island of Treasure Seychelles will start on SABC3 on Monday 27 March at 19:30.

While TVwithThinus saw it already and this show's production values look much improved, the same can't be said for new and unknown SABC3 shows like the female presented car maintenance and driving test show Driving in Heels starting Tuesday 4 April at 21:00, Hostess with Lorna Maseko starting Tuesday 4 April at 20:30, and the food competition reality show Dinner Date set to start on Wednesday 5 April at 19:30.

After several pushbacks the delayed Uyanda It’s On that was originally scheduled for 2016 is finally set to start on SABC3 on Wednesday 5 April at 21:00. 

The reality show follows the former SABC1 publicist and socialite Uyanda Mbuli and her various worldwide luxury indulgences captured on video for public broadcasting consuption.

Friday 7 April will finally see the start of the new SABC3 half hour sitcom Soap on a Rope at 19:30 that was also originally supposed to start in August 2016 on the channel. The comedy stars Luthuli Dlamini, Melanie du Bois, Alfred Ntombela and Sonia Sedibe and is set on a fictitious TV show's set.

Publicist Zandile Nkonyeni was asked why SABC3 is introducing another batch of new local programming in a burst and what the programming strategy is behind the move but she failed to respond.

Late night changes
Days of Our Lives on SABC3 is moving from midnight to an earlier timeslot of 22:30 from 3 April.

The late night Isidingo and The Bold and the Beautiful repeats are both dumped in favour of the German TV news service Deutsche Welle that will now start at 23:30 and run until 02:00 in the morning.

From 02:00 the SABC’s feed of the SABC News channel on DStv will be simulcast overnight with the repeat of American TV series that used to be at 03:30 that's all getting axed in the latest shake-up.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Did Disney steal Zootopia? Screenwriter Gary L. Goldman files a lawsuit against Disney over alleged copyright infringement and wants a jury trial.

A prominent screenwriter is suing The Walt Disney Company, alleging that the mouse house stole Zootopia from him and wants the case to be heard and seen before a jury.

Zootopia, that won the Golden Globe and Oscar earlier this year for best animation film is his idea, not Disney’s, says Gary L. Goldman who has filed a lawsuit claiming copyright infringement, arguing that “Disney Zootopia is substantially similar to the Goldman Zootopia” in a 37-page court filing.

In the eye-popping court papers, Goldman alleges that Disney copied not just his Zootopia film name for its film, but also its “themes, settings, plot, characters, and dialogue – some virtually verbatim” after he pitched his Zootopia idea to Disney in 2000 and again in 2009 and got rejected both times.

Goldman, a veteran screenwriter who wrote the scripts for films like Total Recall, says Disney even copied his character designs and artwork, and includes striking graphics to show how Zootopia’s main characters mirror the characters he created.

Disney in a statement says Gary L. Goldman’s lawsuit “is riddled with patently false allegations. It is an unprincipled attempt to lay claim to a successful film he didn’t create, and we will vigorously defend against it in court.”

In his court papers, Goldman goes through the alleged copyright infrigements one by one and how his Zootopia characters are nearly identical to Disney’s Zootopia.

Goldman’s script for instance has a squirrel named Mimi – cute and optimistic – who is discriminated against. Disney’s Zootopia has Judy, the bunny cop.

Goldman’s tall, horned Asian mountain animal running a club he named Max is called Yax in Disney’s Zootopia and is the same type of animal, and also running a club.

He does this for all of the main characters and shows how their attributes are the same as those of the characters of Disney’s Zootopia.

Same setting, themes, story, poses, characters
Goldman says besides copying his word “Zootopia” – a portmanteau that he came up with – even even dialogue from his treatment shows up almost verbatim in Disney’s Zootopia.

In Goldman’s version a characters says: “If you want to be an elephant, you can be an elephant.” In Disney’s version, Judy says: “You wanna be an elephant when you grow up? You be an elephant. Because this is Zootopia. Anyone can be anything”.

“Each of the works addresses the issue of whether, in a diverse society as represented by the different species of Zootopia, one can be anything he or she wants to be.”

“A corollary theme is whether, in order to do so, one can overcome not only the prejudices inherent in a diverse society as represented by Zootopia, but also the prejudices within oneself as a member of such a society,” says Goldman’s lawsuit.

Goldman explains how the settings of the two Zootopia’s are the same and even the story.

“Artwork in the two Zootopias has the same subject matter and substantially similar appearance, including shapes, colours, body structures, poses and facial expressions of the animal characters”.

“Both works begin with young, uncool heroes who live in small towns with their parents. The heroes work to achieve a career dream that their parents specifically discourage. They go to academies where they excel, achieve recognition for their work, and earn the opportunity to go to the big city for their dream jobs.”

“In the big city, the heroes come up against strong, powerful and entrenched bosses who want to maintain control over the heroes".

Goldman continues to detail the similar narrative structures between the two Zootopias and says the “plot structure and these events involve and are driven by similar themes and characters, and they are used in similar ways to express similar themes”.

Nigerian doctor seeks Big Brother Naija interdict; wants MultiChoice to stop 'obnoxious broadcast' on DStv because his kids and family can't stop watching the 'repugnant' reality show.

There's more controversy for the latest season of Africa's Big Brother TV show with the second "obnoxious" season of Big Brother Naija seen across Africa on DStv that's now being dragged to court for allegedly being so addictive that a Nigerian doctor's kids and family just can't stop watching the show.

Dr Olusola Omoju has filed a motion seeking an injunction - wanting MultiChoice to stop broadcasting Big Brother Naija on the DStv and GOtv platforms with immediate effect because his "family members and other dependents have become avid watchers of the Big Brother show".

The doctor says if Big Brother Naija continues to be shown, his "efforts as a father in bringing up my children" will be jeopardised, since he seeks "to ensure the highest standards of morality in my home"

It's not clear from the court papers if the doctor lost his DStv remote control and TV set's remote control for the age restricted show that employs a built-in digital parental lock-and-block mechanism, or if the TV's wall socket or the set's on-off button in his house is no longer working and forcing the family to watch the show.

If the interdict were to be granted, the Nigerian television censorship will once again affect the entire African broadcasting industry and African viewers far beyond just Nigeria since the Big Brother Naija channel and various highlights programmes are broadcast on DStv across sub-Saharan Africa in several African nations where viewers clamour to watch the reality series.

Last month Nigerians were outraged when they discovered the "secret" that Big Brother Naija is actually filmed in South Africa in the same camera house used for South Africa's Big Brother Mzansi, the pan-African version Big Brother Africa, as well as some other African countries' versions, all making use of the same already constructed and customised studio facility in Linden, Johannesburg.

Three weeks ago controversy again flared up when the show was marred by yet another sexual assault on a housemate when a male housemate groped and fondled a woman while she was sleeping, after which he was expelled.

According to the filed court papers, that naively only lists MultiChoice Nigeria and Nigeria's National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) - excluding Endemol Shine Africa that's the actual production company and M-Net as the actual broadcaster - dr Olusola Omoju says Big Brother Naija was included on his DStv without his consent.

He says he enjoys the "sport, religious, educational and entertainment TV stations available on the DStv plan" but that Big Brother Naija "promotes indecency, immorality and obscenity and is repugnant to the rich cultural heritage of the Nigerian people".

The doctor made and gave the court a compact disk video of a male housemate fondling a woman's breast "openly", a disk showing a man fondling a woman while she slept, and a disk to show that "some housemates have been known to walk around exposing their breasts and taking their baths in a state of near nudity (called "shower hour").

The "shower hour" footage is likely taken from earlier Big Brother Africa versions since MultiChoice Nigeria said that the second season of Big Brother Naija won't be showing "shower hour" again.

The court papers alleges that Big Brother Naija was made available on the doctor's DStv bouquet without his consent, that the practice of an age restriction and "a special code to enable subscribers [to] choose whether they wanted access to the show or not" isn't used this season, and that MultiChoice Nigeria "downplays the importance of family life and broadcast sexually charged acts".

The doctor says that if the "obnoxious broadcast of Big Brother Naija reality show is allowed to continue, this may result in the total collapse of morality in public places and in the society at large".