Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Sony Pictures Television (SPT) switches to a new global territories and country management model, appoints Kunle Falodun as Africa 'country' leader.

Sony Pictures Television (SPI) is switching to a new global territories and country management model and has appointed Kunle Falodun as the "country" leader for Africa.

Kunle Falodun, from Nigeria, joined Sony Pictures Television in its London office in July 2017 as vice president of distribution for Africa, to drive Sony's plans for the African continent.

Under the new, combined combined global networks, worldwide distribution and home entertainment unit, the various country leaders will work according to the new territory management model and each have regional oversight of TV and home entertainment distribution, as well as Sony Pictures Television-owned networks in their respective territories, like for instance The Sony Channel (DStv 127) and Sony Max (DStv 128) available on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform in South Africa and across the rest of Africa on GOtv.

"As announced last month, we are moving to a new territory management model which brings together, under a single local leader, businesses that have been historically separate, giving us the ability to make smart, strategic business decisions," says Keith Le Goy, Sony Pictures Television president of worldwide distribution.

"With this new leadership structure, we have already seen increased collaboration and the generation of great ideas driving our business forward. From innovations in how we work across SPHE windows to developing new revenue share models around the world with AXN, we can already see meaningful early wins."

Paul Buccieri appointed as president of the A+E Networks group.

Paul Buccieri has been appointed as president of the A+E Networks group as the replacement for Nancy Dubuc who left in March.

A+E Networks runs channels like History (DStv 186), Lifetime (DStv 131) and Crime+Investigation (DStv 170) carried in South Africa and across Africa on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform through A+E Networks UK and a local A+E Networks Africa office in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Paul Buccieri has been president of A+E Studios and the A+E Networks portfolio group since 2016 and will now oversee the entire A+E Networks Group.

In a statement Steven R. Swartz, president and CEO of Hearst, and Ben Sherwood, co-chairperson of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television, said, "Paul's successful track record running A+E Studios and overseeing programming at the portfolio of brands, combined with his experience in worldwide production, distribution, syndication and digital, will further propel A+E Networks' momentum".

"He's a proven leader, strong collaborator and skilled programmer with an eye for identifying trends in the very competitive content marketplace."

Paul Buccieri in the statement says "I want to sincerely thank our board members at Disney and Hearst for offering me this exceptional opportunity to lead A+E Networks during this transformative time in media".

"I could not be prouder of A+E’s powerful brands, strong partnerships and, most importantly, the talented people I get to work with every day. We look forward to expanding on our solid foundation of creativity."

Before joining A+E Networks, Paul Buccieri was chairperson of ITV's ITV Studios US and ITV Studios Global Entertainment in the United Kingdom, and led ITV's international television distribution and consumer products business unit. Before that he was president of programming, production and development at Fox Twentieth Television.

Christiane Amanpour's weekday Amanpour current affairs show on CNN International to change to Amanpour & Company from 10 September, will switch to hour format.

Amanpour, the weekday current affairs show on CNN International (DStv 401) anchored by the global TV news channel's chief international anchor, will rebrand to Amanpour & Company from 10 September when the show also change its format and get extended to an hour while it adds 4 journalists as co-contributors.

This is happening since Christiane Amanpour's show will be simulcast on the PBS channel in the United States, with PBS that needs to fill an hour.

Since Amanpour & Company will run on CNN International and PBS simultaneously where it has to fill an hour timeslot, it necessitated a change in Amanpour that is adding journalists Walter Isaacson, Michel Martin, Alicia Menendez and Hari Sreenivasan as co-contributors to fill the bigger time requirement.

CNN through its PR agency for Turner Broadcasting in Africa, Burson-Marsteller, was asked for more information regarding the timeslot and the duration, as well as the date, that responded that CNN has not confirmed anything but will do so in the next few weeks.

Amanpour & Company like Amanpour will be done between London and New York and will continue to "will feature wide-ranging, in-depth conversations with global thought leaders and cultural influencers on the issues and trends impacting the world each day, from politics, business and technology to arts, science and sports".

The show, although continuing to speak to a global audience, will however add a more American slant to cater to the United States viewership.

The longer duration of Amanpour & Company also raises questions about whether the show, currently at 20:00 on CNN International, Africa time, will remain there and if it does, what will be happening to CNN Talk at 20:30 that replaced State of America with Kate Bolduan that has quietly been removed from the CNN International schedule.

'You guys want to get Rufus back or what?' Drama series Timeless seen on M-Net 'uncancelled' for a second time as time-travelling science fiction series will get a proper 2-hour send-off finale before the end of 2018.

The time-traveling science fiction drama series, Timeless seen on M-Net (DStv 101), has been "uncancelled" for a second time, with the production company and the NBC network announcing that the science fiction drama series will return after its cliffhanger second season series finale with a 2-hour made-for-TV movie to wrap up the story.

A date isn't known for the new 2-hour finale but it will be broadcast sometime before the end of 2018.

It will most likely also be shown on M-Net that broadcast the first (and only) two seasons of Wyatt (Matt Lanter), Lucy Preston (Abigail Spencer) and Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) as three current day time-travelers using a Lifeboat to visit pivotal moments during history to prevent the nefarious Rittenhouse organisation's plans to change the past.

The second season of Timeless, produced by Sony Pictures Television, Davis Entertainment, MiddKid Productions and Kripke Enterprises, with executive producers Shawn Ryan and Eric Kripke, ended on a cliffhanger with Rufus dead.

A rougher, battle-scarred future version of Wyatt and Lucy showed up, ready to go back to the past to save Rufus from dying, saying "You guys want to get Rufus back or what?"

NBC cancelled Timeless after its first season, only to bring it back for a second season, and to then cancel it again.

The producers immediately started looking for a possible TV channel to take over the series, and when that failed, although chances looked slim since the actors' deals have expired, for a possible wrap-up made-for-TV movie, that managed to work out.

It comes after Shawn Ryan in June warned that Timeless might be gone forever since "there are considerable economic obstacles that make it an uncertainty" in terms of a wrap-up finale.

Fans rallied, hiring a helicopter with the banner "#SaveTimeless" that flew over the 2018 Comic-Con held in San Diego recently.

"We’re excited to tell one final chapter to this incredible story," says Lisa Katz, co-president, scripted programming for NBC Entertainment in a statement.

"A huge thank you to all - our cast, crew, producers and partners at Sony - who have worked so very hard, and to the fans who kept us on our toes and made sure we did our very best week after week."

Shawn Ryan and Eric Kripke in the statement say "wile we wish we could've made another dozen seasons of Timeless, this is the next best thing".

The producers say fans can "expect the Timeless they know and love. A focus on the unsung and underrepresented people of history. And most importantly, one final emotional story for the Time Team."

"We're thrilled to take the Lifeboat out for one last spin and bring closure to our story. The studio, network, cast and crew are all doing this for one reason only: the fans. Because they deserve it. Because the fans made this happen and we thank them for their passion, support and helicopters. So? You guys want to get Rufus back or what?"

On Twitter Eric Kripke said "I know you wanted more Timeless. But this 2-hour finale will let us end the story right and save Rufus. Every convo I had with Sony and NBC was about the fans. Giving them the ending they deserve. Cause they spoke so loudly."

Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter, Malcolm Barrett, Goran Višnjić, Paterson Joseph, Sakina Jaffrey and Claudia Doumit will all return for the wrap-up finale.

Siki Mgabadeli also gone from eNCA as the latest high-profile talent exiting the TV news channel.

Siki Mgabadeli is the next high-profile talent exiting the rebranded eNCA (DStv 403) with her last appearance on the TV news channel coming on Tuesday 1 August a day after Justice Malala left following the final episode and cancellation of The Justice Factor on Monday

Siki Mgabadeli that started with Moneyline four years ago on eNCA was moved to the new late night News Hour at 22:00 on the rebranded eNCA the past two weeks but is the next gonner in the ongoing and growing flood of exits in 2018 from eNCA that the eMedia Investment's channel doesn't want to talk about or respond to.

eNCA and e.tv defections have continued unabated in 2018, including senior reporter Karyn Maughan, political analyst Angelo Fick, anchors Marc ChaseJoanne Joseph and Ayanda-Allie Paine, eNCA's former head of current affairs, Debbie Meyers, and Phathiswa Magopeni who was eNCA's business and economics editor and head of terrestrial news services at eNCA.

"Today marks my final broadcast on eNCA. It's been an incredible four years. I am especially proud of the 485 episodes of Moneyline and my superstar team. We did things I had only dreamt of doing. Thank you to these great journalists and producers. And thank you for watching,"said Siki Mgabadeli in a statement.

Mapi Mhlangu, eNCA editor-in-chief and managing director, said "we thank Siki for her contribution to the channel. She helped build a solid economic platform on eNCA and her accomplished and authoritative approach made her a nightly news favourite".

Disney makes Disney XD a 24-hour kids channel on DStv from 1 August as the channel is aligned with the wider Disney XD channels in the region.

Disney XD (DStv 304) is switching to a full 24-hour programming schedule from 1 August on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform with the kids channel that will be offering through-the-night repeats starting Wednesday evening as the channel adjusts to a new regional feed.

Since its addition, Disney XD, Disney's boy-focused by girl-inclusive channel, used to shutter at 22:45 nightly.

It means that Disney XD joins Disney Channel (DStv 303) and Disney Junior (DStv 309) as a 24-hour feed on DStv.

Disney XD was the only kids channel on MultiChoice that closed down until the addition of eMedia Investment's eToonz (DStv 311) that also shutters at 22:00.

Instead of starting at 6:00 in the morning, Disney XD will now be a 24-hour kids channel, similar to Viacom International Media Networks Africa's (VIMN Africa) Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and Nicktoons, BBC Studios' CBeebies, Turner Broadcasting Africa's Cartoon Network and Boomerang, and its sister Disney channels that have all been running non-stop.

Disney Africa told TVwithThinus in response to a media enquiry that "we can confirm that Disney XD (DStv 304) will be extended to a 24 hour feed from 1 August 2018, this is in line with our feeds across the region. The feed is being aligned with the wider Disney XD channels in the region."

Justice Malala the next eNCA exit as The Justice Factor gets cancelled after nearly 10 years.

Justice Malala is the next high-profile exit from eNCA (DStv 403) with his long-running political interview show The Justice Factor that is cancelled.

eNCA on late Monday afternoon abruptly announced five hours before The Justice Factor that Monday night's edition would be the last episode on the rebranded eNCA.

The channel conspicuously left out the political talk show and Justice Malala when it announced its adjusted programming line-up and talent roster in mid-July a month after the channel's 10th birthday.

Industry insiders have been buzzing for weeks that the well-respected political commentator is in the running and part of the shortlisted candidates to start a new TV news channel to rival eNCA and SABC News to replace Mzwanele Manyi's struggling Afro Worldview (DStv 405), formerly ANN7, that will be shut down on 20 August on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform.

MultiChoice has however refused to announce the names of the shortlisted candidates for public scrutiny, with MultiChoice SA CEO Calvo Mawela who said the Naspers-owned pay-TV service plans to announce the winning local TV news channel bid before Afro Worldview's termination date.

Justice Malala's eNCA exit after nearly a decade of hosting The Justice Factor with its "Loser of the Week" closer segments, is the latest in a flurry of well-known and respected on- and off-screen news and actuality talent that have left the eMedia Investment's Hyde Park hangout this year - some after having been at e.tv for many years.

eNCA and e.tv defections have continued unabated in 2018, including senior reporter Karyn Maughan, political analyst Angelo Fick, anchors Marc ChaseJoanne Joseph and Ayanda-Allie Paine, eNCA's former head of current affairs, Debbie Meyers, and Phathiswa Magopeni who was eNCA's business and economics editor and head of terrestrial news services at eNCA.

Over the past almost 10 years Justice Malala and The Justice Factor often created buzz-worthy moments with Malala's unrelenting probing of politicians who were willing to do sit-down interviews, as well as trainwreck spectacles with the likes of Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Justice Malala, well-versed in the visual power of television to demonstrate a point more powerfully than words can, in October 2013 drove home the shocking corruption and mismanagement in the South African government when the production crew bought R1 000 of KFC and stacked it on the anchor desk to show the shocking waste of the R53 000 in fast food including KFC that the then Northern Cape premier Sylvia Lucas bought during just 10 weeks in office using her government credit card.

In a statement Justice Malala said "I started my TV career at e.tv and will forever be grateful to have been there 10 years ago to see eNCA being born and grow to become the national treasure it is today. It is a voice that has enriched this democracy and has become a pillar of our society. I have no doubt it will continue to be vigorous and to report without fear or favour. It is a voice that must not be stilled".

Justice Malala will apparently be going overseas with his family for a sabbatical.

Mapi Mhlangu, eNCA editor-in-chief and managing director, said "we would like to thank Justice for so many years of consistently great television. He has made an enormous contribution not only to eNCA but also as a powerful voice in the political landscape of our country. We wish him and his family all the best as they embark on this new adventure".

Friday, July 27, 2018

eMedia Investment's Openview free-to-air satellite TV service finally launches its first PVR capability with an Open PVR USB.

e.tv's satellite TV service has launched its first personal video recorder (PVR) decoder functionality, the Open PVR, making it possible for users in South Africa and neighbouring countries to now also record and store free-to-air content shown on e.tv and the SABC's channels to watch later.

The Open PVR, activated through inserting an Openview PVR USB into the latest NA9200 Openview decoder model, allows viewers to record and store content, as well as pausing a live linear TV channel for up to 15 minutes, and then unpause and continue.

Viewers can also record one TV channel while watching another TV channel on Openview's channels offering.

The Openview PVR USB is sold in two sizes - 32 GB that can record up to 8 hours of high definition (HD) content, and a 64GB USB that can record up to 18 hours of HD content.

Openview - formerly known as OpenView HD (OVHD) that eMedia Investments originally launched in October 2013 under its Platco Digital hub - has quietly been rebranded by eMedia Holdings with a new red logo doing away with the pink and purple, and dropping the "HD" moniker.

Vasili Vass, eMedia Investment's group head of corporate affairs, and e.tv publicist Michael Pocock didn't respond to media enquiries about Openview.

Patrick Conroy who took over from Maxwell Nonge in March 2016 as Openview's managing director has since left, with e.tv not responding when asked who took over this year in running its Openview platform business.

eMedia that is now pushing the new PVR functionality of the Openview set-top box (STB) to market is following StarSat operated by China's StarTimes Media SA and On Digital Media (ODM), that finally launched its first PVR capable decoder in June 2017 in South Africa.

Openview: Small audience but big plans
Openview remains a loss-making operation with about 35 000 new STB activations monthly.

It attracts only a meagre 3.5% of the total television audience in South Africa but although it incurred an operating loss of R255 million for the financial year that ended March 2018, eMedia Holdings said it remains focused on funneling money into the service to drive it to success.

Openview reached 1.1 million activated decoders by the end of March 2018. It means that eMedia Holdings still has to almost double the Openview audience (6%) to reach its projected break-even point. At the current Openview growth rate, that will take another 4 years.

Interestingly, while Openview is only meant for South Africa, activated STBs taken outside of the country's borders, are also being sold, although illegally, in neighbouring Southern African countries, giving viewers in places like Zimbabwe, Swaziland and elsewhere access to e.tv, SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 that they find to be much better content that their own censorship-heavy state broadcaster offerings.

Within months eMedia Investments plans to launch OpenNews as an in-house sister channel on Openview.

OpenNews will also serve as a rival TV news channel to its existing eNCA (DStv 403) news channel that eMedia supplies to MultiChoice's DStv. The plan is also to do an additional daily Afrikaans TV news bulletin on Openview's eExtra channel, including new local Afrikaans TV shows.

eMedia's plan with this is not just to bolster the existing Openview content proposition and to attract bigger uptake, but also to create a content fallback fail-safe in the possible eventuality that the MultiChoice and M-Net contracts for eNCA, and eNuus supplied to kykNET (DStv 144), are not renewed should channel carriage renegotiations at some point in the future fail and eNCA get dropped.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

SABC3 channel head Aisha Mohamed quits as the SABC explains the channel's latest course correction after years of 'schizophrenia', asks producers to return, says that SABC3 is now targeting 'progressive aspirant millennials'.

SABC3 is once again rudderless after Aisha Mohamed quit as SABC3 channel head, with the SABC admitting that the multiple programming shake-ups on the public broadcaster's only commercial TV channel the past few years had failed and explaining the struggling channel's latest course correction to try and regain audiences.

"Aisha Mohamed has left us and very soon we will announce a replacement," said the SABC.

The "quality shows" SABC3 - once sought out by viewers as the free-to-air "freemium" competitor to M-Net - will now once again be charting yet another new programmatic and scheduling course to try and restore its erstwhile luster.

The well-respected and well-liked Aisha Mohamed joined SABC3 as the channel boss in March 2014 from 5FM where she was station manager. She inherited a channel mired in a financial, management and identity crisis four years ago that she tried her best to rebuild.

Unfortunately the SABC's former chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng made it all but impossible, with unilateral decrees over banishing international content and demands for more cheaply-produced local content.

It led to a flurry of widely panned and low-budget content on the once-prestige channel symbolised by programming like Divas of Jozi, haphazardly introduced and badly unplanned, as part of the notorious "80/20" rule that was introduced from July 2016 on SABC3 and that saw even more viewers flee.

Internal SABC havoc saw SABC3 lose Days of Our Lives to e.tv, ratings plunge for The Bold and the Beautiful after multiple timeslot moves and viewership tumble for the SABC's flagship news broadcast, the English news bulletin, that was once the most watched in the country.

SABC3 also shocked the local TV production industry and damaged relationships with brutal and abrupt moves like cancelling multiple-award winning series like High Rollers mid-second season despite a signed contract and without explaining why. It made producers reluctant to work with SABC3.

The past few years saw SABC3 lose signature shows like Strictly Come Dancing SA and Ultimate Braaimaster to rivals like M-Net and e.tv and would announce programme acquisitions like Come Dine with Me SA and Expedition Impossible only to embarrassingly backtrack and see those shows start on BBC Brit (Dstv 120) and M-Net (DStv 101)instead. 

During Aisha Mohamed's tenure she oversaw two SABC3 channel rebrands, steered and implemented multiple programming line-up changes to try and revive SABC3's lackluster ratings, and had to weather multiple scandals - the last one being the controversy in January with Real Talk that eventually saw the departure of talk show host Anele Mdoda when it was revealed that the SABC engaged in pay-for-play after a government department paid for a minister to do a 2-episode interview on the channel.

While SABC3 is supposed to be the money-spinner to cross-fund the SABC's public mandate channels SABC1 and SABC2, the opposite has been happening the past few years with the public channels keeping SABC3 afloat. It led to speculation, that the SABC denied, that SABC3 should be spin-off and sold so the public broadcaster can concentrate its available resources on SABC and SABC2. 

According to sources who spoke to TVwithThinus, Aisha Mohamed has left for Sony Music. Her last day was last week Thursday. 

David Makubyane, general manager for TV channels looking after the SABC's three channels, will be acting SABC3 channel head for the time being until a replacement can be found.

'The problem with SABC3'
"In the past few years we've had challenges with the channel really changing too many times," said David Makubyane.

"There was this 80/20-rule where there was an introduction of local content for the channel. Once again the schedule had to change. At the time Aisha Mohamed was the head of SABC3. The issue with SABC3 a lot of the times has been the schizophrenia around the channel - people are saying what does it stand for?" said David Makubyane.

"Even if SABC3 stands for a certain position, when you switch on, you find that the content doesn't quite reflect what you're talking about. And one of the things that we want to do is to change that perception - and we want to do that with content that actually says that."

"So we don't want to say verbally, we want SABC3 to speak for itself. When I joined the SABC at the beginning of this year, I went through the whole content with the team, looking at what does it mean when we talk about 'The stage is yours' [SABC3's current slogan], looking at the content on this channel."

"What do we do to actually make sure that the content actually speaks to what the proposition of this channel is? And I found actually, that when we went through the research, and looked at the target audience that SABC3 wants to speak to, that target audience is there."

"The problem with SABC3 is that for many years I think that SABC3 had a hole because the industry wasn't that big. Ten years ago we had SABC1, SABC2, we had e.tv and DStv and now the likes of Mzansi Magic, we've got Netflix, we've got over-the-to (OTT) platforms. The competition at the time was not that big," said David Makubyane.

"So SABC3 could afford to have international programmes, first-run programmes and have an audience that doesn't have pay-TV but will be able to access it."

"But as time went on, around 2010, there was the unbundling of bouquets from MultiChoice, Randburg's acquisition of local sports, so that's when SABC3 I think started to almost lose identity. A lot of audiences that SABC3 was targeting could now afford pay-TV and in this day and age we now have people even moving from pay-TV and getting into the likes of the Showmax and Netflix and so on."

SABC3 now for 'progressive aspirant' millennials
"So currently what we're saying with SABC3, based on the research, is that there is an audience. There's an audience that we are not catering for on SABC1 that's a youth channel. There's an audience we cater for on SABC2 that's the family. But then on SABC3 there are these new millennials - there are these South Africans that are trying to also get content, quality content, that's original."

"They also don't want to watch a programme for the same of 'bubblegum-dance' and so on. They want to engage with the content and they also don't necessarily want to spend too much money. There is an audience as well that is aspirational, that's progressive."

"That's why we say SABC3 is now for the progressive aspirant - that's the target audience. And it's not necessarily based on race. It's not necessarily gender or colour."

"We need to grow with our audiences, move to a stage where we no longer just talk about black or white. We've got this millennial, but not an international millennial. So we go into the psychographics of what does this individual want."

"They want to grow, they're concerned about themselves, they're concerned about their family. They're quintessentially South African, they're proud to be South African but they're very globally inclined. They're globally in touch."

"So what drives them is new technology, lifestyle. They aspire to travel. So it's all of these things that will inform the content that you will see on SABC3 as we move forward, and we would like to talk to that audience."

"The SABC3 audience epicentre is around 30," said David Makubyane. "We're talking to the person who believe that they can achieve whatever."

SABC3 to production companies: Come back to us
"We want to reset the agenda on this channel and move South Africa to the next stage and move away from the typical box and ghetto-ising of audiences. When we say 'the stage is yours' we're saying to production companies, we're saying to those who have licensed products - we're saying to everyone who's got content - we're saying this is also your stage," said David Makubyane.

"Over and above it being a public broadcaster, we really need to make it your stage. So we're going to look at ways of and models of getting content on SABC3 that are not standard. So the pre-sale models, sponsorships - we want to sell out blocks to commercial entities."

"We want to be able to say when we say 'the stage is yours' it needs to be real. You can literally come on SABC3 and own a piece of the channel and feel reflected but within that aspirational, progressive, lifestyle type."

More international content on SABC3 again
'With the financial situation we are in, we need to balance our SABC3 schedule - and that's just the reality - especially SABC3," said David Makubyane.

"So we will be pushing international content slightly up but that's not forever, that's just to make sure that we build back our audiences. As time goes on we really want quality content that is the line to the international content."

"We need to be able to have the budget that will speak to that type of [quality local content]."

"Moving forward we're also going to try and retain the timeslots, just so we can grow habitual viewing on SABC3."

"So we don't want to change the schedule for at least the next two years. Yes, we want to introduce new programmes, but we want to make sure that our 19:30 slot remains stripped for reality, 20:30 is magazine. We've got our 21:30 Thursday night, Friday night - those are the dramas."

"Top Billing is still on. Survivor [Cambodia] is coming back. We've also got a new Top Gear. So there's great content that's coming on SABC3. We really want to make sure that we deliver to this proposition and this is just the beginning."

"By the end of next year - when Aisha left I said to her - it's such a pity because I believe that 12 months from now, SABC3 will be complete and all the slots should be speaking to this type of audience and should be speaking to a South African."

"We want someone to say 'I can tune to SABC3 and get the latest local and international content at the quality that you can get on any other platform in South Africa," said David Makubyane.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Netflix trolls DStv again in a video commercial starring Jason Goliath and Jonathan Boynton-Lee.

Netflix is trolling MultiChoice's DStv and StarTimes' StarSat satellite pay-TV operators - again.

On Monday Netflix South Africa posted a video commercial, starring Jason Goliath as Bevan Jacobs, a Netflix installer in a "Netflix Installer Van" spoofing the satellite home installers that companies like MultiChoice and StarSat send out to customers to install a satellite dish and decoder.

Bevan makes as if he's going through an installation process, even spraying water in his face to appear sweaty as a result of all of the "work" a Netflix installation requires.

Bevan also takes out a big Premium HD box out of his installation van - which is of course completely empty - as he quietly whispers later: "There is nothing in the box".

And look closely - the SABC3 Top Billing presenter Jonathan Boynton-Lee makes a quick guest appearance as someone getting Netflix installed.

The Netflix commercial ends with the tag line: "No installation required".

This is the second time that Netflix is openly trolling MultiChoice.

In May this year Netflix literally shaded MultiChoice during the broadcasting regulator, Icasa's, public hearings into pay-TV regulations in South Africa by flying a helicopter in circles over DStv with a banner proclaiming "Netflix is Here!" overhead.

"From the observations that we have been making in the market is that they've taken Africa very seriously, Calvo Mwela, MultiChoice South Africa CEO told TVwithThinus in May after the incident.

"Netflix for instance have started advertising in Sandton. They had a helicopter even circling during our public hearings at Icasa; the helicopter even made rounds around the campus as well to show that they are here and that they want to get a piece of the action."

"So that demonstrates that they're realising that this is a good market for them and they should be able to get in and compete."

"From what we're seeing, they're taking the market very seriously, they're heavily invested in it, they've started to market strongly around their product offering, and we think it will continue to grow.  They're actively participating in the market and trying to capture as much market share as possible," said Calvo Mawela.

Since mid-2017 several South African TV executives, including visiting Amazon Prime Video execs have all told TVwithThinus in unsolicited, separated interactions that they're to various degrees "worried" about the Netflix ads appearing inside the O.R. Tambo airport in Johannesburg at the international arrivals terminal greeting people flying in to the country.

"I was surprised and found it disturbing that Netflix is the first entertainment brand people see who are landing here and that Netflix is 'here' in such a way. I didn't expect it. We will have to do more to bolster our own presence in terms of visibility," one TV executive said in late-2017.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Survivor South Africa Philippines on M-Net set for a 2-hour season finale on Thursday 16 August at 7pm.

The latest season of Survivor South Africa on M-Net (DStv 101), Survivor SA Phillipines is set for a 2-hour season finale that will be broadcast on Thursday, 16 August at 19:00.

The episode of NCIS: Los Angeles will be pre-empted next month on M-Net on the evening of Survivor SA Phillipines season finale, with the conclusion of the island set local reality format show that will stretch from 19:00 to 21:00.

The 19:00 first hour of the Survivor SA: Philippines season finale will likely still be a recorded episode with either the entire or the last part of the 20:00 second hour being a live broadcast reunion/winner announcement studio set show. 

M-Net tells me it doesn't have more details surrounding the exact nature of the Afrokaans produced finale yet and what chunk of the last hour will be a live broadcast.

It will very likely include all 18 of this season's South African castaways with host Nico Panagio once again playing devil's advocate during flashback clips, leading up to the eventual vote counting and reveal of this season's winner.

Survivor SA Philippines will then have an off-TV post-show press conference with the winner, M-Net and producers.

Contemporary War of the Worlds science fiction drama series commissioned by the FOX Networks Group for 2019.

The French pay-TV operator Canal+ and the Fox Networks Group Europe & Africa (FNG Europe & Africa) are going to work together on a new TV series based on HG Wells' War of the Worlds science fiction novel.

War of the Worlds will be broadcast in 2019 on Canal+ in France, as well as on FOX (DStv 125 / StarSat 131 / Cell C black 201) in South Africa as well as 49 other countries across Africa and Europe.

Production will begin around September 2018 with War of the Worlds that is the second original regional scripted commission for FNG Europe & Africa after the Deep State spy thriller with Mark Strong.

War of the Worlds, dealing with aliens attacking Earth in strange tripods, will be set in present day Europe and is written, created and executive produced by Howard Overman

There will be a first season of 8 hour long episodes and the series is produced by Urban Myths Films in association with StudioCanal. Pre-production has already started.

"In many ways HG Wells' novel is a cautionary tale of racial superiority and ethnic conflict," says Howard Overman. "It is these themes that I wanted to explore more fully in my modern re-imagining.I look forward to bringing our bold, fresh and relatable version, inspired by this much-loved story, to a new audience."

In 2017 the BBC announced that it is also producing a War of the Worlds miniseries that will be a Victorian era set, 3-episode story.

Actor Andrew Lincoln confirms that he's done with zombie drama, The Walking Dead, after the upcoming 9th season on FOX.

Actor Andrew Lincoln, emotionally confirmed the speculation that started swirling last month that he is done with the zombie drama The Walking Dead after the upcoming 9th season.

At Comic Con 2018 in San Diego during a panel discussion, he said "this will be my last season playing the role of Rick Grimes. I love this show. It means everything to me. I love the people who make this show. I'm particularly fond of the people who watch this show".

Andrew Lincoln said "I don't want this to become an Oscar acceptance speech or a obituary".

"My relationship with Mister Rick Grimes is far from over." The actor said he is leaving The Walking Dead to spend more time with his family in the United Kingdom.

The 9th season of The Walking Dead with 16 episodes will start on 7 October and will broadcast on FOX (DStv 125 / StarSat 131 / Cell C black 201) from 8 October in South Africa and across Africa.

The second half of the 4th season of the spin-off drama series, Fear the Walking Dead will start on 12 August in America with episode 9 and will broadcast on Sundance TV (DStv 108) from Monday 13 August at 21:00.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

What happened after the daring trapeze act of the blind Duo Transcend acrobats went wrong on America's Got Talent.

Without knowing beforehand that someone was going to accidentally fall, the judges and audience on the latest season of America's Got Talent first had to sit through the unbearable tension - and then got a big fright - when the on-stage trapeze act of a married acrobat team, Duo Transcend went wrong.

In an extended clip released from the latest episode of the current season of the talent competition show, people can see how married acrobats, Tyce Nielsen - basically blind - and his wife Mary Wolfe-Nielsen decided to perform a daring act for the judges while their 2-year old son and Wolfe-Nielsen's mother sat in the studio audience.

Everything went fine up to a point.

Tyce - already struggling with his eyesight, put on a blindfold before the next move after the judges and audience gasped when his wife slipped through his hands and fell with a loud thud on the TV stage.

In the clip Wolfe-Nielsen gets up to show she's okay and waves to the shocked judges and audience. Then she says: "We would like to try the blindfold trick one more time".

Her husband Tyce suffers from Keratoconus, an eye disorder of the cornea, and is legally blind.

Guest judge Ken Jeong was the first of the flabbergasted judges to speak. "This isn't America's Got Perfection. It's called America's Got Talent. It's okay. It's okay."

Judge Simon Cowell said "I don't think there's ever been a singer on any of our competitions who's been note-perfect. It still doesn't make them not amazing. It makes them human. The consequences of this are slightly worse than slightly falling off key, where you nearly broke your neck."

Mary told the judges that the couple is struggling.

"We work on the road a lot and we have a 2-year old son and we have to leave him at home most of the time. So the dream is to be in Las Vegas so that our family can be together again."

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight the couple explained "that in practice everything went fine and then during the audition the worst possible thing happened."

"We wanted to step up our act so we added some new elements that we've never worked with before - the fire and the blindfold," said Mary.

"Because I can't see - I'm blindfolded, we have to go off of a verbal cue, so we have a music cue that I'm waiting for, but I also give Mary a verbal cue. I was kind of freaking out because I knew right away. I could feel her slipping through my hands and that feeling is just terrifying. It felt like it lasted so long," said Tyce.

Star Trek: Discovery on Netflix South Africa releases a teaser trailer for the 2nd season; first 4-part characters-driven miniseries will be entitled, Star Trek: Shorts.

One of the several planned miniseries of the revived Star Trek franchise with Star Trek: Discovery will be called Star Trek: Short Treks, with the science fiction drama series that unveiled a teaser trailer for the second season that will start in early-2019 on Netflix South Africa.

With CBS Television Studios that last month expanded its Star Trek: Discovery franchise contract with the series' co-creator and executive producer Alex Kurtzman into a new 5-year deal that will include several possible miniseries, animation and spinoffs, Alex Kurtzman at Comic-Con 2018 in San Diego on Friday during a Star Trek: Discovery panel revealed that the first miniseries will be entitled Star Trek: Short Treks.

Similar to Star Trek: Discovery that is on the CBS All Access in America and available on Netflix outside of the United States, Star Trek: Short Treks will also become available on Netflix South Africa.

Star Trek: Short Treks will have 4 episodes - between 10 and 15 minutes each - and will roll out monthly as it tells specific character-driven stories. Rainn Wilson who appeared as Harry Mudd in the first season of Star Trek: Discovery will be the subject of one of the episodes and will also direct it.

Another episode will introduce Craft (Aldis Hodge) who discovers that he is the only human on a deserted starship.

Another episode will reveal more about the backstory of the Kelpien Saru (Doug Jones), and a 4th episode will chronicle the character of Tilly's (Mary Wiseman) friendship with an unlikely partner aboard the USS Discovery.

"There is no shortage of compelling stories to tell in the Star Trek universe that inspire, entertain and either challenge our preconceived ideas or affirm long-held beliefs, and we are excited to broaden the universe already with Short Treks," said Alex Kurtzman.

"Each episode will deliver closed-ended stories while revealing clues about what's to come in future Star Trek: Discovery episodes. They'll also introduce audiences to new characters who may inhabit the larger world of Star Trek."

The show also released a new teaser trailer for the upcoming second season of Star Trek: Discovery with episodes that will roll out weekly from early-2019, although no specific date has yet been released.

Anson Mount has joined the show as Captain Christopher Pike who takes command of the USS Discovery due to a new mystery - the appearance of red flares across the galaxy - with Rebecca Romijn who will make guest-appearances as the new version of the USS Enterprise Starfleet character Number One that was originally portrayed by Majel Barrett Roddenberry.

Amazon renews science fiction drama series, The Man in the High Castle, for a 4th season before the debut of the 3rd season in October.

Amazon has renewed its science fiction drama series, The Man in the High Castle, for a 4th season on Amazon Prime Video before the debut of the 3rd season on 5 October on its global video streaming service.

Amazon made the announcement on Saturday at Comic-Con 2018 in San Diego.

The Man in the High Castle is based on Philip K. Dick's novel that's set in an alternate history in which Germany's Nazi's and Japan rule over parts of the United States after America lost World WarII - although some characters are aware of a parallel universe where the United States won.

All 10 episodes of the third season of The Man in the High Castle will become available on 5 October.

Amazon released a teaser trailer for the 3rd season of The Man in the High Castle:

Science fiction drama series, Colony, on Universal TV, cancelled after 3 seasons after big fall in ratings.

The science fiction drama series, Colony on NBCUniversal International Networks' Universal TV (DStv 117) has been cancelled after 3 seasons following a big fall in viewership.

The series with Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies started in 2015 in the United States, with NBCUniversal International acquiring and scheduling the first and second season back-to-back on Universal TV since March this year for South Africa and Africa.

The show's ratings fell during the third season that saw the production move from Los Angeles to Vancouver. Colony was produced by Legendary Television and Universal Cable Productions and was created and executive produced by Carlton Cuse and Ryan Condal.

The third season of Colony finally introduced a first-look at the "aliens" who took over Earth and segregated populations - but it turned out to be a ... robot!

It wasn't "aliens" who invaded Earth but robots - scared and fleeing from an even more threatening as-yet-unseen alien race. With Colony's abrupt cancellation there won't be any conclusion to the story.

SABC1 expands the gospel show genre with new music and lifestyle show, Gospel Unplugged, that aims to spice up TV praise and worship.

SABC1 says the channel is trying to expand the gospel music TV show genre with its new weekly gospel show, Gospel Unplugged, with presenter Mmatema Moremi that will include interviews, performances as well as a karaoke insert.

Gospel Unplugged from Sunday 22 July at 17:30 on SABC1 is a new local, contemporary gospel music show that will have both talk and lifestyle elements to it.

The show will cover urban gospel music from hip hop, to house and R&B gospel music. The show has a karaoke insert, while invited guests will open up about their life journeys with God and singing their favourite songs.

"It's really fresh. It's really young. We've spiced it up. There will be a karaoke session, we do interviews with gospel singers, we sing along with them. It's hip, it's young, it's authentic," says Mmatema Moremi. "As young Christian people we can find a space where we praise God however we want, appear however we want in a young contemporary and urban way. Gospel Unplugged is that platform."

Friday, July 20, 2018

SABC1 on its new 'quite different' format music competition show The Remix SA that will be taking on Idols: 'For us it's a test actually'.

SABC1 says the public broadcaster's latest bet on a local version of a format music reality competition show, The Remix South Africa, is going to be a new test for the channel.

It comes as SABC1 gears up to do battle with pay-TV channels supplier M-Net and its Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) channel's long-running juggernaut reality singing competition show Idols on Sundays at 17:30.

SABC1 has scheduled The Remix SA's "performance episode" - the second episode of every week's two-parter edition, for Sundays at 18:00 in a testing-the-waters counter-programming move.

The Remix SA that is not from the United Kingdom or America but from Turkey sees contestants having to "remix" and come up with new versions of popular songs in a different genre.

In The Remix SA - with two weekly episodes on a Friday at 18:00, starting 20 July, and on Sundays at 18:00 with a half hour "performance" episode in front of a live audience - the SABC and SABC1 is hoping to find its own Idols after years of losing all of its big reality competition shows to e.tv and M-Net and not following up initial investments in other format competition shows with further seasons.

The past decade the SABC has seen a flurry of marquee tentpole shows from SA's Got Talent to Strictly Come Dancing SA and others switch from SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 to e.tv and M-Net, while the broadcaster failed to do further second seasons of show like The X Factor SA on SABC1 that it would mount for a first season but not cultivate further.

Now SABC1 hopes to try again with The Remix SA, with co-presenters Rouge (Deko Barbara-Jessica Wedi) and KG (Kgaugelo KC Mokholwane) with Mo Flava and Kelly Khumalo as the judges, and Relebogile Mabotja as the show's musical director.

"The Remix South Africa for us is part of our continued commitment in unearthing and investing in youth talent and trying to be on par with where the culture is at," says Sane Zondi, SABC1 head of programming.

"It's a different format from all the other talent reality formats that have been in the landscape and that we're used to in that the formation of groups - although I don't want to call them 'groups' since they're not quite groups - that are on the show and competing to be South Africa's next big entertainment offering.

"It is quite different, structurally. It's quite a variety of skills within the entity that we're looking for - there's DJ skills, there's producing skills, mixed with vocal skills, and just general entertainment," says Sane Zondi.

"When you watch the show on a Sunday, which is the live performance, entertainment aspect of it, you'll see that there's quite a big production value that's expected of each of the ensembles that are entering and who are competing."

"So it feels like a concert that is being delivered on-air, on television, week in and week out."

"We're very excited about how it's actually going to be received. For us at SABC1 it's a test actually. Traditionally we've looked for formats in the typical territories of the TV world which is the United Kingdom and the United States, and we've gone and we've done something different."

"The Remix South Africa is a format that comes from the Asian part of the world, from Turkey specifically, and when we found it, we automatically and instinctively, we knew The Remix would make sense for SABC1," says Sane Zondi.

"This is where the trend is at. It's been a 2-year journey to have this thing on air so we're very excited about that."

'Have you ever heard that song this way?'

"You see groups of very talented people in groups of 3's and I look at these groups and think, 'Man, you can literally be the next best thing in South Africa," says co-presenter KG. "And that takes me back to my auditions standing in long queues where you're hoping to be the one".

"The contestants will have to remix songs that are already big and they have to come and go, 'Hey man, have you ever heard it this way?' Like you get a soul song and have reinterpret it as a gqom song."

His co-presenter, the hip hop artist Rouge says she can empathise with the contestants that viewers are going to see on The Remix SA.

"It's really, really tough purely because you are trying to do something that's almost impossible by remixing songs that are really out there and massive and making them yours so that people can really find your sound".

"So we let them know that it's really not easy, but when you get it right, you really get it right. Everyone's got to take songs that are original right now - whether it be hip hop, gqom or whatever genre - and they have to remix it within the genres that we tell them to remix it into."

"The beautiful thing about it is that the contestants are so talented. We have guitarists, we have people who play saxophone, we have amazing vocalists. We have amazing rappers. It just goes from one genre to the next."

Animation series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, revived for a new season by Lucasfilm and Disney for Disney's new video streaming service in 2019.

The Force is strong with this one: Like out of carbonite, Lucasfilm and Disney are reviving the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars that was abruptly cancelled in 2013, with creator and writer-director Dave Filoni stunning the audience at Comic-Con 2018 in San Diego with the announcement that the show will return.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars will be back in 2019 with 12 new episodes that will become available on Disney's new as yet unnamed video-on-demand streaming service.

"It's an anniversary - it's 10 years," Dave Filoni told the audience who waited with breathless anticipation as he continued: "And you guys deserve something for being so great - a present, if you will. We got together and thought, 'If there is one thing we could give you, what would it be?'"

His announcement at the panel discussion about the show's 10th anniversary was met by standing applause.

The beloved animation series that won several Emmy Awards came to an abrupt end after 5 seasons on Turner's Cartoon Network after it started in 2008.

It will now seamlessly resume where the unresolved storylines left off with the same characters like Ahsoka Tano, Captain Rex, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, the same voice actors and at the same time period in that galaxy far, far away, set between the period of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

"I honestly didn't think we would ever have the opportunity to return to The Clone Wars," said Dave Filoni.

"Thanks to the relentless fan support and the team behind Disney's direct-to-consumer streaming service, we will now get to tell more of those stories. We feel a tremendous responsibility to make something that lives up to the legacy that George Lucas created with the original series, and I think our team, many of whom worked on the show from the beginning, has risen to the challenge."

A new Star Wars: The Clone Wars teaser trailer was released at Comic-Con.

The teaser trailer starts with various members of the Clone army talking and then text saying: "A war left unfinished ... until now." At the end of the trailer Ahsoka Tano, the then-padawan learner of Jedi Anakin Skywalker appears. She says to him through a hologram: "Hello master, it's been awhile."

China's StarTimes and StarSat in South Africa adds the BRICS TV channel as a permanent addition just before the 2018 BRICS summit of the 5 emerging economy nations.

StarSat has added the BRICS TV channel to the pay-TV operator's line-up, with the channel that will be covering events, news and showcasing trade opportunities between the 5 emerging economies group of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Besides StarTimes and On Digital Media's (ODM) StarSat, the BRICS channel, done by Moja Media, will also be carried by StarTimes in the rest of South Africa, StarSat's pan-African Chinese parent group.

The BRICS channel is a permanent addition to StarSat and StarTimes on channel 509, although its launch on Friday, 20 July at 13:00 comes just before the 2018 BRICS summit taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa, between 25 and 27 July that will surely be covered on this channel.

StarTimes says the BRICS channel will have various shows dedicated to "the vision of the BRICS countries" and is a "communication and advertising platform" for businesses and brands and for the latest business news from the various BRICS nations.

The channel will "strengthen peoples to peoples relations" and will showcase trade and industry and business opportunities, show bilateral agreement and conferences and events, have entertainment, culture and sport aspects related to BRICS, and highlight investment opportunities as well as what development funds there are from BRICS and the BRICS bank.

"ODM is a broadcaster dedicated to a developmental paradigm in the broadcasting space. We believe that access to information to the most ordinary and rural communities will ensure a better educated society," says Debbie Wu, ODM CEO.

"In order to bring such information and opportunities in reach to everyone, StarSat is delighted to work with Moja Media to deliver this important channel."

Laurence Mitchell, Moja Media business development executive, says "For years the people of Africa in general, and in South Africa in particular, raised concerns that BRICS is a concept only understood by government people".

"It is for this reason that Moja Media decided to initiate the first-ever BRICS channel on a TV-platform, so that we bring opportunities closer to the people and not only decision-makers of BRICS and its governments. This open the door for the creative arts and for filmmakers and producers to come forward to us with their concepts."

Skolopad warns artists about exploitation after she's shamed to cut her appearance fee: 'Start knowing how much you're worth'.

The South African artist Nonhlanhla Qwabe, known as Skolopad, told an amateur promotor to take a hike after she was shamed into lowering her appearance asking fee for an event, making the discussion public and warning South African entertainers that artists shouldn't allow this type of exploitation that often start with event organisers.

An unidentified event organiser contacted Skolopad on Whatsapp to do an event appearance and amateurishly then started complaining after she stated that her appearance fee was R8 500.

The promotor then tried to get her to lower it to R4 000, and then proceeded to try to emotionally blackmail her in accepting less than half her asking fee, by saying  things like "I am happy to remove you from this event" and "It's either you take R4 000 or the deal is off".

The famously underwearless Skolopad, known for her buzzworthy performance art and racy outfits on South African red carpets, says exposure doesn't pay artists and performers' bills and that local entertainers need to stop the shameless exploitation that often start with event organisers themselves.

Before trying to get her to lower her price, the amateur event organiser foolishly wanted Skolopad to also post about the event on social media, after which she reminded the person "thanks, but I can post on my timeline after the [payment of the] 75% deposit of the amount agreed upon".

She was then asked her fee and after she said R8 500 - excluding accommodation for her an her style team entourage of 4 people in 2 hotel rooms - was told the event organiser can't afford it.

That's where it all should have ended, but the promotor then started to try and "shame" Skolopad down in her price and doing so in a message discussion instead of a personal call - two things that proper professional promotors and event organisers simply don't do.

'It's either you take R4 000, or the deal is off'
"I don't think you were being reasonable and fair to me. How do you charge me R8 000 and still expect me to book 2 rooms for you and your entourage and still feed and entertain all 4 of you? The other 3, what is going to be their role playing in this event, nothing!"

"So, you think I will pay R8 000 and still book hotel rooms for the 4 of you. That will never happen and I am happy to remove you from this event," the organiser told Skolopad.

The organiser had the audacity to tell Skolopad further that she should be happy with less money because "You might be a brand ambassador for it and we are all happy". 

"Not so long ago you came to perform in the Vaal for R1 500 and yet you charge me R8 000, please don't. It's either you take R4 000, or the deal is off".

Skolopad responded with a perfect Bye, Felicia: "It's ok my dear".

After making the discussion public, Skolopad wrote "The exploitation thing start from the event organisers. Not knowing when they exploit us, the other people automatically get exploited. Start knowing how much you're worth, then people will respect you. Building a brand is not easy."

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

AMC says Yvette Nicole Brown is taking over as interim host of Talking Dead on Sundance TV.

Yvette Nicole Brown is taking over as the interim host of the Talking Dead aftershow series on AMC and Sundance TV (DStv 108) after AMC last month pulled Chris Hardwick and Talking Dead off the air  following allegations of abuse from one of his ex-girlfriends.

Shows like Talking Dead about The Walking Dead seen on FOX (DStv 125 / DStv 131 / Cell C black 201) and Fear the Walking Dead seen on AMC and Sundance TV, have been shown on AMC and Sundance TV.

Yvette Nicole Brown will host the Talking Dead season 9 preview on 5 August and the regular Talking Dead season when it returns following the premiere of the second part of the 4th season of Fear the Walking Dead on 12 August (from Monday 13 August at 21:00 in South Africa and Africa).

"Yvette Nicole Brown will step in as an interim guest host of The Walking Dead season 9 preview special and Talking Dead when it returns following the premiere of Fear the Walking Dead as we work to complete our assessment related to Chris Hardwick," says AMC in a statement.

Yvette Nicole Brown is a well-known fan of The Walking Dead and has made numerous appearances so far on Talking Dead.

Interior design reality competition show, Win a Home, returning to SABC3 for a 5th season, will again be a stand-alone show during prime time, now looking for design pairs.

The interior decorating and design reality competition show, Win a Home, is returning to SABC3 for a 5th season and will once again become a stand-alone show during prime time at 19:30 from 20 September.

The first two seasons of Win a Home were stand-alone shows, after which the 3rd season folded into SABC3's Afternoon Express as a weekday insert.

Win a Home then became a stand-alone Friday afternoon show for its 4th season on SABC3 in 2017.

Win a Home producers are now looking for 3 pairs of aspiring interior designers to participate as contestants in this year's design challenges.

The 5th season of Win a Home produced by Cardova Productions will be based in the Western Cape, with the 3 design duo contestants who will be tasked with decorating 3 identical "white-box" penthouse apartments at the Paardevlei Lifestyle Estate in Somerset West as the compete for the grand prize of R100 000.

People older than 18 can enter if they have less than 5 years' professional experience working as a designer and at least one contestant of the design duo must hold a tertiary degree in design or a related creative field like architecture, fine art,production design, interior decoration, fashion design or art direction.

Contestants must also live in Cape Town or relocate to Cape Town, and be able to transport themselves to the Somserset West development for the duration of the competition and be available during 13 August to 10 December 2018 for the show.

Applications for Win a Home's 5th season will close on Friday 27 July at 12:00 and interested people can email a photo, a 10-page document portfolio of design work you have done, a short bio and contact details to winahome@cardova.tv.

The Cape Town based production company, Okuhle Productions, reaches a new milestone with 7 concurrent shows on TV across SABC2, SABC3 and e.tv.

The Cape Town based production company, Okuhle Productions has reached a new milestone in its 15-year history, with the concurrent broadcast of 7 TV shows at one time on South African television across SABC2, SABC3 and e.tv.

Okuhle Productions is now responsible for Neill Anthony - Private Chef (SABC3), the daily live youth strands Hectic on 3 (SABC3) and Hectic Nine-9 (SABC2), the game show Beter Assie Bure (SABC2), the children's programmes Yum.Me (SABC3) and Siyabonga Gogo (e.tv), and the teen drama series, Signal High (SABC2) currently in its 3rd season.

Meanwhile Okuhle Productions is also busy with the production of the second season of the small-town talent search competition show, Showville, that will be returning to SABC2 within months.

"We are very proud of this accomplishment," says Wilna van Schalkwyk, Okuhle Productions managing director and executive producer.

"It's not easy to provide a consistent level of production quality, creativity and attention to detail across 7 shows, all in production at the same time.This is a testimony to an extraordinary team of dedicated writers, creatives, producers and, of course, the functional life blood - our line producers and administrative team," says Wilna van Schalkwyk.

Okuhle Productions says that a strategic growth plan, started in 2017, has seen the production company achieving significant success across many aspects of its business that operates in the tough and volatile industry that is South Africa's film and TV industry.

"The South African film and TV industry, provider of local and international quality entertainment,is a valuable and vital source of job creation, social upliftment and skills development. Okuhle remains committed to its values and vision of contributing significantly towards the film and television industry's growth and success," says Wilna van Schalkwyk.

SABC News press corps covering the president furious that they've been sidelined, also complain about the leadership style of the alleged 'Hlaudi enforcer' Sophie Mokoena.

The SABC press corps that used to cover the South African president are reportedly furious that they've been sidelined by the South African public broadcaster that is now making use of an international wire service.

They're also angry over the abrasive management style of the caustic Sophie Mokoena.

In 2017 Sophie Mokoena was identified during parliament's inquiry into the SABC as one of the alleged so-called "Hlaudi Motsoeneng enforcers" at the broadcaster.

The Sunday Times first reported that SABC News reporters Mzwandile Mbeje, Ntebo Mokobo and Tshepo Ikaneng are angry that they've been sidelined from covering president Cyril Ramaphosa in favour of the SABC using the Foreign Service Network.

In a meeting they also complained to Phathiswa Magopeni, the SABC's head of news and current affairs, Nothando Maseko, the head of SABC TV news, and to Sebolo Ditlhakanye, the head of SABC radio news, about the leadership style of Sophie Mokoena.

Sophie Mokoena who is the SABC's foreign editor has apparently also resigned as the SABC's acting political editor.

The SABC declined to comment when asked for a response.

Sophie Mokoena told The Sunday Times "I am tired of you South African men, in particular you South African journalists, for mistreating and conniving against me since 1994 because I'm the first female to be in that political field and to this day you men are fighting me".