Friday, November 30, 2018

Murderers Qelani Moyo and Masethembe Mbatha sentenced to two life terms behind bars for the killing of Carte Blanche and 50/50 producer and presenter Johann Botha and Werner 'Swazi' Perchtold.

Murderers Qelani Maqhawe Moyo and Masethembe Thembi Mbatha on Wednesday were sentenced to two life terms behind bars for the killing of the Carte Blanche and 50/50 producer and presenter Johann Botha and his friend Werner "Swazi" Perchtold in June 2017.

The South African Police in a statement on Friday said that Qelani Moyo and Masethembe Mbatha were sentenced on Wednesday in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

Johann Botha was a producer of Carte Blanche on M-Net (DStv 101), a former producer, presenter and executive producer of the environmental magazine show 50/50 on SABC2, and also a radio presenter on the SABC's Afrikaans language radio station, RSG, as well a former presenter and producer of of kykNET's (DStv 144) environmental magazine programme Projek Aardwolf.

Qelani Moyo got two life sentences for the two murders as well as an additional 35 years in jail for business robbery, possession of unlicensed firearms and possession of ammunition.

Masethembe Mbatha got 75 years behind bars: 25 years each for every murder, and 25 years combined for business robbery, possession of unlicensed firearms and possession of ammunition.

Qelani Moyo and Masethembe Mbatha were arrested on 14 June 2017 after Johann Botha and Werner Perchtold were shot and killed during an armed robbery armed robbery at the Zebra Inn restaurant in Maboneng, Johannesburg, earlier that month.

Werner Perchtold was the owner of the Zebra Inn and the killers entered the bar and restaurant pretending to be customers after which they pointed guns at the two and brutally murdered them.

Acting provincial commissioner Major General Max Masha applauded the provincial investigating team for its consistent hard work that led to the conviction and sentencing of the murderers.

"Successful convictions and lengthy sentences of this nature are a step in the right direction towards regaining public confidence in the police," says Max Masha in the statement.

"It is therefore important to encourage and keep our members motivated to ensure that their energy levels are sustained in relation to arrests and investigations."

Content from the France24 TV news channel now available on eMedia's OpenNews channel on Openview during twice-daily broadcast blocks.

France24 has signed an agreement for English content of France's 24-hour TV news channel to be shown on OpenNews (Openview 120) on eMedia Investment's Openview free-to-air satellite TV service.

Content from France24 can now be seen twice-daily on OpenNews during morning and afternoon programming blocks.

OpenNews launched on 1 November on Openview and does 6 hours of local TV news content on weekdays between 17:00 and 23:00, with the rest of the day cycle filled with content from international TV news channels.

South African pay-TV subscribers already have access to the linear broadcast of France24 in English on StarSat on channel 261, and on Cell C black on channel 507.

The agreement with OpenNews marks the first time that South African viewers get the ability to watch France24 for free, including viewers in other Southern African countries like Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Namibia and some parts of Botswana who also use buy South African activated Openview set-top boxes (STBs).

France24 in English is now available on OpenNews at the following times in the day's schedule:

> Monday to Friday: 08:00 - 09:00; 16:00 - 17:00
> Saturday: 06:00 - 07:00; 13:00 - 14:00
> Sunday: 06:00 - 07:00; 09:00 - 11:00 and 13:00-14:00

Econet Media's Kwesé iflix plans to roll out more original African programming on its streaming service, starts with Kenya-set drama series, Nganya, to be followed by Tanzania telenovela and Nigerian docu-series.

With Econet Media shuttering its Kwesé TV satellite pay-TV service to focus on its iflix over-the-top (OTT) streaming service, iflix, is planning to roll out more original content for the service.

Kwesé iflix says its working on a programming slate of new localised, scripted drama series, raw docu-series, as well as pan-regional alternative news and live coverage in Africa.

Kwesé iflix has premiered its first Kwesé iflix Original series in Kenya, Nganya. This 13-episode series, produced by Kenya's Assignments Studios production company, is a gritty Swahili drama centred around the matatu business in Nairobi's Eastlands. 

"In a criminal underworld teeming with shady characters, our hapless matatu team soon find themselves tangled in a web of corruption and deceit," says Kwesé iflix

Four episodes of Nganya can be watched weekly for free, with Kwesé iflix users with VIP passes who can watch all 13 episodes immediately.

The Nganya Kenyan cast includes Maina wa Ndung’u, Mbeki Mwalimu, Isaac Kiarie, Peter Oruka, Jerry Mokua, Mwaura Bilal, Tim King’oo and Nice Githinji.

"We are thrilled to be launching Nganya on Kwesé iflix and offering viewers a different way of consuming local content, one that complements both traditional and current viewing habits, expanding opportunities for the Kenyan film industry to grow," says Jeremy K. Muli, Assignment Studios CEO.

Following the launch of Nganya, Kwesé iflix says it will release its Tanzanian telenovela, Nyavu, in December.

Kwesé iflix describes Nyavu as "a captivating love story filled with drama, deceit and traditions".

In Nigeria, Kwesé iflix will be launching a docu-series which will be released in early-2019. Kwesé iflix says it has also greenlit a number of projects to support content localisation and "homegrown talent".

"Our new original content offering underlines Kwesé iflix’s ambition to lead an entertainment revolution in the markets we serve in Africa," says Mayur PatelKwesé iflix CEO, in a statement.

"Deeply relevant, action-packed and with a local antagonists, our original slate pushes the limits. We are thrilled to work with local top tier industry players to offer our users some of the region's top entertainment franchises."

"We want to grow and establish Kwesé iflix as the new home for the region's most talented producers and actors."

Kwesé iflix is currently available in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zambia and Zimbabwe with operations expanding to Rwanda, Botswana, Lesotho and Malawi.

Africa's StarTimes pay-TV operator rebrands its streaming app as StarTimes ON, provides multiple pay-TV channels for free on streaming, including in South Africa.

The Chinese pay-TV operator StarTimes in Africa has rebranded its streaming app as StarTimes ON that is available in several sub-Saharan countries, including South Africa.

The original StarTimes app, now StarTimes ON, provides live streaming of some of the TV channels available on StarTimes and StarSat's channel line-up, some video-on-demand programming, as well as short videos covering news, sports, movies, series, music, entertainment, documentaries, as well as kids and religion programming.

StarTimes ON currently gives access to various degrees to 150 TV channels in 10 languages, with over 140 TV channels that stream through the app for free, although every region, including South Africa, has a different selection.

This includes channels like BBC World News, France24, FOX News, Bloomberg, AMC Movies, FOX Life, Passions TV, Baby TV and National Geographic.

Localised TV channels in various African countries like NTA, ZNBC, TVM, TBC, KTN, RTI and RTs, are available on StarTimes ON in their respective countries.

StarTimes also makes available its 40 self-packaged and branded Star or ST channels, including ST Novela Plus, ST Nollywood Plus, ST Dadin Kowa, ST World Football, ST Sport Premium on StarTimes ON.

StarTimes ON also has multiple sports matches, including World Cup, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, UEFA Europa as well as other boxing, rugby, basketball, cricket matches. Viewers can watch live Bundesliga and Ligue 1 football matches, as well as replays and highlights.

"More excellent international and local channels will be put online, and diverse and rich contents will always be the core of StarTimes ON service," says Ariel Lin, StarTimes ON operational director.

eNCA changes its weekend programming line-up again; Gareth Edwards, Faith Mangope return, Nhlanhla Sehume added.

eNCA (DStv 403) is once again changing its weekend line-up from 1 December and adding new faces after previously introduced weekend programming decisions slowly unraveled as presenters left and blocks failed to gain traction.

eNCA's latest weekend programming shuffle will see Nhlanhla Sehume join Morning News Today between 07:00 and 09:00 on Saturdays and Sundays, co-hosting with Duduzile Ramela.

Between 13:00 and 14:00 Marcelle Gordon will now anchor eNCA's Lunchtime slot over weekends.

Gareth Edwards who stepped away from eNCA anchoring and did stand-in blocks over the past few years is returning to eNCA on-air permanently and will anchor NewsNight from 17:00 to 20:00 on Saturdays and 17:00 to 19:00 on Sundays on eNCA.

He will co-anchor NewsNight with Faith Mangope who is popping up on eNCA after she did Sunrise until she and the show got dumped and replaced with The Morning Show earlier this year.'s investigative magazine show Checkpoint will broadcast on eNCA at 19:00 on Sundays going up against Carte Blanche on M-Net (DStv 101), and the new satire puppet show, Almost News with Chester Missing will follow at 19:30 on Sundays.

About joining eNCA over weekends Nhlanhla Sehume who has done guest presenting on Carte Blanche, says "To be part of the new look programming is a great personal milestone. I am really excited about the challenge." 

Marcelle Gordon says "eNCA Lunchtime will keep you in the news loop on the weekends. It promises to be fast-paced, with lots of live news reportage".

Gareth Edwards says "eNCA has been my home for more than a decade. There was no doubt in my mind when I was asked to join our on-air division in a more permanent capacity again, that this was where I wanted to be".

Faith Mangope says "I am so excited to be joining the eNCA family for NewsNight weekends. Broadcasting and telling South Africa's stories, in particular, is a passion of mine. To do it alongside a talented and highly acclaimed team makes it that much more special".

BREAKING. Wingman Jason Greer is the host of The Bachelor South Africa on M-Net.

TVwithThinus can finally reveal the obvious but well-kept secret: Presenter Jason Greer will be the host of The Bachelor South Africa on M-Net (DStv 101) when the reality dating show kicks off on 14 February 2019.

Jason Greer was the master of ceremonies during the media event a few months ago for the second season finale of My Kitchen Rules SA where M-Net announced that Lee Thompson will be the bachelor of The Bachelor SA.

Journalists and television intelligentsia immediately buzzed at the event that Jason Greer is clearly the frontrunner to be the host of The Bachelor SA, produced by Rapid Blue.

Filming of The Bachelor SA is nearly done with 24 women from across South Africa who have been cloistered at a lux-de-lux mansion in Johannesburg from where Lee Thompson whisked them away on mystery dates.

The accomplished and well-respected Jason Greer was a presenter on M-Net's All Access and the game show Spellbound and is also the narrator of The Wedding Bashers on M-Net.

"To have been selected as the host for the local version of the most successful internationally recognised reality dating show is an incredible honour," says Jason Greer. "I'm  excited for the show and I look forward to sharing this journey with the rest of South Africa."

Jason Greer's role means that he facilitates the rose ceremonies and being on-hand at the most crucial moments of the elimination ceremonies. In addition to his hosting duties, Jason Greer also serves as the mentor figure to Lee Thompson through his bachelor journey.

"Jason is an industry professional and his warmth, kindness, charisma, and sincerity will stand him in good stead as the host," says Lani Lombard, M-Net's head of publicity. "He is also a mature family man and perfect wingman for The Bachelor. We're excited to have him on board!".

Tax changes for Netflix South Africa, Facebook and Google who will have to pay VAT from April 2019 with the cost to be passed to end-consumers.

Multinational online companies operating their services in South Africa like Netflix South Africa, Facebook and Google will be compelled to register in South Africa for value-added tax (VAT) in 2019 and pay VAT, which could have an impact on their pricing, for instance Netflix.

Netflix on Friday told TVwithThinus that "Netflix is already paying VAT in South Africa".

National Treasury published new regulations for electronic services and changed the definition to "any services supplied by means of an electronic agent, electronic communication or the internet for any consideration".

The result is that places like Netflix South Africa will be subjected to registering for VAT if they haven't yet, and will have to pay 15% VAT in South Africa. The changed regulations are due to be implemented from 1 April 2019.

Similar to the recent sugar tax where the cost is being shifted to the end-consumer as Coca-Cola and other shrink cans and McDonalds blatantly pass on the added cost as an add-on to meal orders, the VAT addition will mean that consumers using certain online services will be charged more to use it.

Daredevil on Netflix done after 3 seasons, 'painful for fans but best we close this chapter on a high note,' says Netflix.

Daredevil has become the next Marvel drama series abruptly cancelled by Netflix with the series that won't see a 4th season.

Daredevil's cancellation follows after the axing of Iron Fist and also Luke Cage last month.

"Marvel's Daredevil will not return for a fourth season on Netflix," says the global video streaming service in a statement.

"We are tremendously proud of the show's last and final season and although it's painful for the fans, we feel it best to close this chapter on a high note."

"We're thankful to our partners at Marvel, showrunner Erik Oleson, the show's writers, stellar crew and incredible cast including Charlie Cox as Daredevil himself, and we're grateful to the fans who have supported the show over the years," says Netflix.

"While the series on Netflix has ended, the three existing seasons will remain on the service for years to come, while the Daredevil character will live on in future projects for Marvel."

The cancellation leaves only Marvel's Jessica Jones and The Punisher as series on Netflix with no word yet on whether they're cancelled or will see further seasons. 

The third season of Jessica Jones will become available on Netflix in 2019 along with the second season of The Punisher.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Oprah Winfrey inspires South Africa and its youth in a stirring Madiba tribute speech: 'Never give up.'

In an hugely inspirational keynote address on Thursday afternoon in Soweto, Oprah Winfrey, who jetted to South Africa for her 36th visit, got several standing ovations for her stirring speech that was broadcast live on television, telling South Africa’s downtrodden youth to never give up, to be resilient and to find their strength in telling their stories.

Oprah Winfrey spoke at a packed auditorium in a Soweto event organised by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, entitled "Is’thunzi Sabafazi" (Dignity of Women).

Speaking about her 10 days she got to spend with Nelson Mandela before she built her Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls school, Oprah Winfrey said "we are Mandela children, and we are his legacy. And his legacy speaks to us each time we choose unity over division. His legacy speaks to us each time we decide that we are going to fight for equality over domination and love over hate".

"The spirit of him abides with every man, every woman who listens with humility; everyone who says yes to breaking down a barrier, and not to putting up a wall. Who educates, rather than retaliates. He is with us every single time everybody casts a vote for democracy and casts a vote for freedom – he lives," said Oprah Winfrey.

About her school she built in 2007 she said "I built a school to give girls who look like me, who came from backgrounds like me, who didn't have the means but had the brainpower and the will to succeed, I wanted to give those girls a chance".

"And I will say that the experience of watching these daughters of South Africa find their voice and find their grace has made me think long and hard about the universe that our young leaders and graduating into today."

Some of the girls, many of whom were in the audience on Thursday, she said have gone on to graduate from universities in the United States, two graduated at Oxford, some from the University of Johannesburg, from NMMU, UCT, Wits, Pretoria, Stellenbosch and one just graduated as the first doctor from the University of Stellenbosch who got a standing ovation.

"I have right now 191 girls in college," Oprah Winfrey said, "20 of them in the United States".

"So here is my hope – not just for my girls, but for South Africans and human beings everywhere: I hope that we are able to continue to create a culture that recognises the responsibility that we have to one another."

"I know everybody can't build a school but you can take care of the person who is closest to you. You can help."

"You can ask the question how can I be used for something greater than myself? And in doing that, you align with Madiba's vision – both compassionate and practical. He knew that if one of us is wounded, all of us bleed. He knew that if one of us is lacking, all of us are somehow affected."

"We all need to roll up our sleeves wherever you are, whatever you can do, and begin to build a new future."

Never give up
"I want to say a word to the young dreamers of this nation. Madiba said a winner is a dreamer who never gives up," said Oprah Winfrey.

"I realise that the statistics are abysmal, that you're still the most vulnerable in the labour market with more than one in every three of you out of work. Do … not … give … up. Find a way,” she stressed amidst loud applause.

"I want you to know that your day will come. It's coming, it’s on its way, because of you. And I want you to know that I applaud your resilience."

Oprah Winfrey said it's one of the things she admires most about South African and the country's youth.

"The remarkable thing about every single girl who come to my school is all the trials and traumas they've been through. Most girls have experienced 6 major traumas by the time they get to my school and in spite of that they still rise."

"And so I say to all the young people, you too can rise. You are capable, you are brimming with the wisdom of all who came before you."

Tell your story
Oprah Winfrey said "tell your story. One of the things I've learnt from all of the girls at my school is when they came to my school they had such shame about their stories."

"Now we have a policy at my school that we are a trauma informed school, that knows and recognises that there's power in the story – that the story can liberate you: That everything that has ever happened to you, no matter how devastating, how matter how sorrowful, now matter how challenging – there is not one thing that happened to you, that did not also happened for you."

"Everything that has ever happened has happened to build your strength. And that strength equals power."

"So when you've been so so many trials and so many tribulations, what it does to you if you allow yourself to open up to the story that has come before you, what happens is it gives you power."

Netflix South Africa is the 5th cheapest place worldwide to use the global video streaming service, although the available library catalogue is also smaller.

A Comparitech study comparing the subscription prices of Netflix worldwide shows that South Africans are paying more and getting less when it comes to the content on offer from the global streaming service in South Africa, although Netflix South Africa is overall the 5th cheapest in the world.

In September Comparitech analysed the library size and monthly cost of Netflix subscriptions in 78 countries worldwide, and found a massive disparity. South Africans using Netflix are not getting the best value for money compared to other countries, but are far away from being the worst.

MultiChoice earlier this year said Netflix is responsible for the loss of DStv Premium subscribers in South Africa and Africa.

According to Comparitech "Which countries pay the most and least for Netflix?" report that was released on Monday, American customers may have the largest choice of titles on Netflix but don't get the best value for money.

Due to the cheap price and number of titles available, Canada is actually the most cost-effective country to watch Netflix in.

South Africa comes in at the the 5th place and doesn't have a very large Netflix library of content - only 4 291 titles (2 792 films, 1 499 TV shows).

That is likely because MultiChoice, M-Net and others pay-TV services already snapped up the rights to shows, including Netflix originals like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black that are broadcast on M-Net and are not available on Netflix.

Netflix South Africa does however have the biggest Netflix library catalogue out of all African countries causing the per title cost to be $0.00160 (or R0.02 or 2 cents) given the cheapest monthly Netflix subscription fee of R99.

Comparing just the monthly cost of Netflix, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Chile are the places where it's cheapest to subscribe to Netflix, then followed by South Africa in 5th place, Canada, India, the Philippines, Japan and Pakistan rounding out the top 10.

These cheaper countries like Brazil and South Africa do suffer however from smaller content libraries.

Following failed series like Origin, filmed in South Africa, YouTube stops with original scripted series development.

YouTube is done for now with commissioning further original scripted series.

It follows the roll-out of failing attempts like the recently released drama series Origin produced by Left Bank Pictures and Sony Pictures Television that is now on YouTube Premium and that was filmed in Cape Town and the Western Cape in South Africa.

YouTube now plans to rather grow its ad-supported business by making all future original YouTube placed programming free to people visiting it, instead of placing it behind the subscription pay-wall on service YouTube Premium.

YouTube is done with trying to make scripted shows and will now focus on unscripted programming and specials.

YouTube in a statement says "By any measure, 2018 was a breakout year for YouTube Premium and YouTube Originals. We expanded YouTube Premium to 29 countries, launched over 50 scripted and unscripted shows, and collected eight Emmy nominations and over 30 industry awards".

"As we look to 2019, we will begin making all of our YouTube Originals ad supported to meet the growing demand of a more global fanbase."

"This next phase of our Originals strategy will expand the audience of our YouTube Original creators, and provide advertisers with incredible content that reaches the YouTube Generation."

Netflix creates an animation programming slate based on Roald Dahl's books, production to start in 2019.

Netflix will start production in 2019 on the first in a new programming slate of animation programming based on Roald Dahl's famous books, that will include series adaptations of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG, and others.

"Our mission, which is purposefully lofty, is for as many children as possible around the world to experience the unique magic and positive message of Roald Dahl's stories," says Felicity Dahl, Roald's widow, in a statement.

"This partnership with Netflix marks a significant move toward making that possible and is an incredibly exciting new chapter for the Roald Dahl Story Company. Roald would, I know, be thrilled."

The animated series will range from The BFG, The Twits, Charlie and the Great Glass ElevatorGeorge's Marvellous Medicine, Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Netflix says the series will "remain faithful to the quintessential spirit and tone of Dahl's work, while also building an imaginative story universe".

"Immersing ourselves in the extraordinary worlds of Roald Dahl stories has been an honor and a massive amount of fun, and we are grateful for the trust the Roald Dahl Story Company and the Dahl family have placed in our team to deliver more moments of shared joy to families around the world," says Melissa Cobb, Netflix vice-president for kids and family content.

"We have great creative ambition to reimagine the journeys of so many treasured Dahl characters in fresh, contemporary ways with the highest quality animation and production values."

M-Net Movies Zone adds Kids Club movie festival for December, kykNET returns fliekNET pop-up channel with Leon Schuster's Schucks! catalogue.

The M-Net Movies Zone on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV service is adding a Kids Club movie festival for the December holidays while kykNET is returning the fliekNET pop-up channel that will do a film festival featuring the funnyman Leon Schuster's Schucks catalogue.

M-Net Movies Zone (DStv 139) is adding a Kids Club movie festival on the TV channel from 7 December and will be showing movies for kids, daily during the end-of-year holiday period into January.

The M-Net Movie Zone Kids Club movie festival will kick off on 7 December and run until 6 January 2019. From Sundays to Fridays M-Net Movie Zone will show films aimed at a youth audience between 06:00 and 17:00.

On Saturdays M-Net Movies Zone will run youth-focused films between 05:00 and 19:00.

M-Net says parents and older viewers are welcome to watch the films with younger viewers, with the film line-up that includes movies like Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl, Problem Child, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective Jr, Stuart Little 2, Mirror Mirror and Muppets from Outer Space.

Oh Schucks, fliekNET
Meanwhile kykNET is returning the fliekNET (DStv 198) pop-up film channel that will once again be running from 16 December to 6 January 2019.

Comedian and hidden camera prankster Leon Schuster's film catalogue will be on fliekNET, including films like You Must be Joking, There's a Zulu on my Stoep, Sweet 'n Short, and Oh Schucks, it's Schuster!

fliekNET will also broadcast films like Faan se Trein, 'n Paw Paw vir my Darling, Mooirivier, Pad na jou Hart, Klein Karoo, Vir die Voëls, Vaselinetjie, Treurgrond and Noem my Skollie

Kids films on fliekNET include Khumba, Heidi, Die Sneeukoningin, Maya die By, Jou Romeo, Die Pro and Strikdas.

Classic Afrikaans films on fliekNET include Die Storie van Klara Viljee, Katrina, Liefste Madelein, Ma skryf Matriek and Agter Elke Man.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

BREAKING. eNCA news boss Mapi Mhlangu quits as editor-in chief; out with immediate effect citing academic work pressure; Jeremy Maggs to take eNCA into 2019 election year coverage.

Mapi Mhlangu has abruptly quit eNCA (DStv 403) as editor-in chief and is out with immediate effect after a year and four months, with senior anchor Jeremy Maggs who is also eNCA editor-at-large who will be overseeing the South African TV news channel in the interim.

Jeremy Maggs who anchors during afternoons on eNCA will stop that for now to manage the news channel, but will likely continue anchoring his Sunday show Maggs on Media.

According to insiders the parting wasn't amicable, with well-placed insiders who gossiped that higher-ups allegedly had "lost confidence in her long ago" and that she was pushed out.

eNCA and Mapi Mhlangu who became editor-in-chief in July 2017 in a statement however cite "the onerous demands of the job along with the workload of her MBA" for her abrupt departure, saying "the tension between these two commitments was raised a couple of months ago leading to a difficult decision for both parties".

Mapi Mhlangu was at eNCA for 8 years and eNCA and Mapi Mhlangu say the decision to leave "is by mutual agreement".

"I leave eNCA in a strong position as South Africa's television news leader but this is the right time for me to leave and hand over the reins," says Mapi Mhlangu in a statement who earlier this month attended the launch event of eMedia's latest TV news channel OpenNews on its Openview free-to-air satellite TV service.

"I've enjoyed the myriad challenges I've dealt with during my leadership tenure and know that I leave the operation in safe hands. My only wish is that eNCA continues reporting the news fearlessly and without favour; continues to set the agenda and ask tough questions South Africans deserve answers

eNCA will now be overseen by Jeremy Maggs heading up the newsroom until a permanent replacement is made, with Ragani Achary, head of input; Jody Jacobs, head of output; and Sally Burdett, story editor and head of anchors.

"The company acknowledges Mapi's contribution and would like to thank her for her unwavering loyalty to our newsroom and the huge part she has played in its success," says Khalik Sheriff, the new incoming eMedia Investments CEO.

"We believe the time is right ahead of the election period to make this change, allowing the
existing management team a chance to focus and prepare for 2019."

Jeremy Maggs says "I'd like to pay tribute to Mapi's exemplary leadership. Under her guidance she has cemented eNCA's position as the first source of television news in South Africa."

"I look forward to leading the station into 2019 and through the election. We have an extraordinarily strong product; a dedicated and talented team of over 500 people who collectively work tirelessly to bring news and analysis to South Africa in the fairest and most impartial manner."

Jer-ry!, Jer-ry! Jerry Springer goes from trash talk to TV judge in new show as Wendy Williams starts a Judge Wendy segment.

After the cancellation of The Jerry Springer Show in June after 27 seasons, the talk show host will start Judge Jerry in 2019 that will be distributed by NBCUniversal Television Distribution.

The new hour long Judge Jerry will likely make its way to South African shores on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV service eventually, similar to The Jerry Springer Show that started on M-Net, moved to M-Net Series and eventually the M-Net City channel.

"Judge Jerry will merge Jerry's talent for connecting with people, his incredibly relatable and funny personality and his legal training and governing experience to bring viewers a more entertaining court show," says Tracie Wilson, NBCUniversal Television Distribution executive vice-president of creative affairs, in a statement.

"We are so happy to continue our fantastic partnership with Jerry, who is a proven TV icon with a dedicated and broad fan base."

"For the first time in my life, I am going to be called honourable," says Jerry Springer. "My career is coming full circle, and I finally get to put my law degree to use after all these years."

Meanwhile Wendy Williams of Debmar-Mercury's The Wendy Williams Show carried on the South African and African version of BET (DStv 129) of Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa), looks as if she's also angling for a possible judge show spin-off.

Wendy Williams told her audience her newly introduced "Judge Wendy" segment "went over huge", saying "some people like it better than Hot Topics, others went they liked it better than Ask Wendy".

"So we are going to feature Judge Wendy often and a lot here on this show," she said.

M-Net and Fremantle partner up with new 8-episode KZN sugarfields set crime drama thriller, Reyka, produced by Quizzical Pictures and Serena Cullen Productions.

M-Net and Fremantle have announced a new jointly done crime drama series, Reyka, that will be filmed in South Africa and distributed internationally, and that will be co-produced by Serena Cullen Productions in the United Kingdom and South Africa's Quizzical Pictures.

Reyka as a contemporary crime thriller in 8 episodes, will be shown on M-Net (DStv 101) will be distributed globally by Fremantle.

M-Net tells TVwithThinus that production of Reyka will start in early-2019, with a local broadcast date on the M-Net 101 channel that has to be confirmed. 

Reyka, titled after the lead character Reyka Gama, is set against the tropical coastline and vast sugarcane fields of KwaZulu-Natal, and will follow the story of a flawed by brilliant female detective, haunted by her past.

Reyka will start in 1994 at the end of apartheid and a new dawn in South Africa as Reyka, the 11-year old daughter of African and British parents is abducted. Having escaped her tormentor, she now lives her life as a mother and investigative detective.

Reyka returns to her home town to lead the investigation into a serial killer who is behind a string of brutal murders where victims' burnt bodies are being found in sugarcane fields. 

"Caught between hope for new beginnings and living with the horrors of the past, Reyka's worlds collide and reveal a dark secret of her own," says M-Net and Fremantle in a statement.

Reyka is created by screenwriter and showrunner Rohan Dickson, with the UK-based Jake Riddell as story consultant and writer.

Reyka will be jointly produced by Serena Cullen for Serena Cullen Productions in the United Kingdom and Harriet Gavshon of Quizzical Pictures in South Africa. 

The executive producers are Serena Cullen, Harriet Gavshon and Rohan Dickson. Jan du Plessis will executive produce for M-Net and Sarah Doole for Fremantle.

Yolisa Phahle, CEO of general entertainment at the MultiChoice Group, says "This partnership with Fremantle is the perfect way to shine the spotlight on the African film and television industry and provides compelling new stories for global audiences beyond African shores".

"With more than 13.5 million subscribers in Africa and several international awards for our scripted content, we are already the leading African storyteller on the continent. With an esteemed distributor like Fremantle at our side, we can now share our talent and unique content globally."

Sarah Doole, Fremantle's director of global drama, says "We are proud to partner with MultiChoice Group for our first South African drama. A compelling story, Reyka brings modern day South Africa and its rainbow nation of different communities and cultures to the global stage".

"Reyka is a very distinctive lead and watching her complex life unfold in this diverse landscape adds a new dimension to the crime drama genre."

Monday, November 26, 2018

eNCA deeply concerned after caustic and combative minister Bathabile Dlamini bans eNCA from covering her at a women's event.

eNCA (DStv 403) says its "deeply concerned" after the South African TV news channel was banned by Bathabile Dlamini as a South African government minister, from the 16 Days of Activism event that was held on Sunday.

The controversial, caustic and combative Bathabile Dlamini struggling to cope with media scrutiny in Cyril Ramaphosa's government, on Sunday decided to bar eNCA from covering her.

eNCA reporter Thubalihle Vilane and camera operator Bongumusa Mkhize were barred by Bathabile Dlamini and her media-hating gaggle from entering the KwaNzimela Anglican church hall where she was attending the 16 Days of Activism event.

The eNCA crew was filming Bathabile Dlamini's arrival in KwaMagwaza in Melmoth, KwaZulu/Natal when her shocking media banning occured.

The sunglassed Bathabile Dlamini went to eNCA and had the audacity as a South African minister to tell eNCA she is offended at being filmed.

Thereafter the seemingly clueless Palesa Mphamo, Bathabile Dlamini's chief or staff who doesn't appear to understand the media or what the press does, told eNCA that they should not enter the hall where the event was being held.

The eNCA crew was told that Bathabile Dlamini refuses to speak to eNCA and would only answer questions from SABC News (DStv 404) "as they know the parameters".

eNCA in a statement says it "would like to put on record our deep concern at being barred from an event of national importance by a government minister".

"We reserve the right to ask questions of any publicly appointed representative, indeed we see it as our duty to do so. As a member of the media, it is our constitutional right to operate freely and without harassment".

"To be gagged in this way is of great concern, particularly as we head into an election year."

So far no word from Cyril Ramaphosa or his government on why one of his ministers are banning media from public events and from covering them.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Thembsie Matu is The Queen of the 2018 DStv Mzansi Viewers' Choice Awards.

Thembsie Matu was The Queen of the 2018 DStv Mzansi Viewers' Choice Awards on Saturday night at Mzansi Magic's (DStv 161) second annual awards show that took place as a live broadcast from the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg with a beautiful black lacquered stage.

Bonang Matheba with multiple outfit changes including sparkling gowns and figure-hugging dresses was the host of the 2018 DStv Mzansi Viewers' Choice Awards for the second time, with 13 awards handed out during the live broadcast of two hours of which she won Favourite Personality of the Year.

The Queen actress Thembsie Matu portraying the mouthy housekeeper Patronella won the night's big award, the Ultimate Viewers' Choice award, while Rebecca Malope who also performed during the night, was bestowed the Legend Award.

The 2018 DStv Mzansi Viewers' Choice Awards included music performances by Kwesta, Sjava, Bucie, Sun-El Musician, Mlindo, Sho Madjozi, Dumi Mkokstad, Ntokozo Mbambo and Khaya Mthethwa, Mafikizolo with vocalist Nhlanhla Nciza, DJ Maphorisa with Moonchild and Zulu Mkhathini, among many others.

The Life Changer Award went to the mechanic Moss Lehlokoa teaching young people panel beating in Diepsloot.

Here are the complete list of winners:

Favourite Song of the Year
Prince Kaybee & LaSoulmates with Zanda Zakuza & TNS – Club Controller

Favourite TV Presenter
Pearl Modiadie

Favourite Comedian

Favourite Personality of the Year
Bonang Matheba

Favourite Rising Star
Distruction Boyz

Favourite Radio Personality
Ntate Thuso Motaung

Favourite Actor
Warren Masemola

Favourite Actress
Thembsie Matu

Favourite Music Artist or Group

Favourite DJ
Black Coffee

Favourite Sports Personality
Caster Semenya

Life Changer
Moss Lehlokoa

Ultimate Viewers’ Choice
Thembsie Matu

Legend Award
Rebecca Malope

Former SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago gone from the South African public broadcaster after 13 years, 2 months before end of his contract.

The former SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago has left the SABC ahead of the expiry of his contract after 13 years.

In mid-August Kaizer Kganyago was moved to a new role and no longer handling media enquiries on behalf of the crises-riddled South African public broadcaster after 13 years.

In a brief statement on Saturday, made after Kaizer Kganyago left on Friday with no prior notification that it was happening, the SABC said it's announcing "the departure of Kaizer Kganyago from the SABC".

"Kaizer Kganyago's contract expires at the end of January 2019 and he requested to be released from his contract effective Friday, 23 November 2018 instead of serving his contract until the end of January 2019."

The SABC said Kaizer Kganyago became "the face and voice of the SABC".

Kaizer Kganyago notoriously was the PR spin tsar during the tumultuous "reign of terror" of the fired, and famously matricless former SABC chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng who wreaked havoc and destruction at the SABC that is now once again on the brink of financial collapse.

Kaizer Kganyago staunchly defended Hlaudi Motsoeneng and several controversial and shocking SABC decisions the past three years.

Some of these ranged from defending SABC News visuals censorship, the firing of SABC News staffers, Hlaudi Motsoeneng's manic and ranting behaviour during SABC press conferences, ending the SABC's practice of reading and showing newspaper headlines and front pages, and advertising of positions in print and other media outside of the SABC.

In just four years the SABC lost R2.3 billion on paying for sports rights that it failed to monetise properly with advertising and sponsorships for broadcast, says Bongumusa Makhathini, SABC chairperson.

The SABC has lost R2.3 billion in paying and acquiring sports rights but not properly working at monetising it through broadcast with proper selling of advertising and acquiring sponsorships, Bongumusa Makhathini, SABC chairperson, told the Sunday Times.

The SABC failed to work at securing sponsors and advertisers to make back the money and more it paid for sports rights the past 6 years.

Bongumusa Makhathini told the Sunday Times that the SABC board is under huge pressure from "political and commercial interests" without explaining and naming the political parties and names pressuring the SABC, or naming the commercial interests pressuring the SABC.

Bongumusa Makhathini said the SABC will continue to be devoid of any coverage of South Africa's national football team, Bafana Bafana, because for the public broadcasting acquiring the sports rights from the South African Football Association (Safa) doesn't make "commercial sense".

"The sports rights are overpriced and we are not able to commercialise these sports rights. After you have paid for sports rights, you then need to cover costs for production."

Between 2012 and 2016 the SABC the SABC spent R1.6 billion on rights to broadcast Premier Soccer League (PSL) matches live on television, in addition to R522 million on production costs. The SABC only made R466 million in revenue.

The SABC also paid Safa R462 million during 2012 and 2016 for the broadcasting rights to Bafana Bafana matches, spent R65 million on production costs, and only made R48 million in revenue.

Between 212 and 2016 the SABC paid E269 million for the broadcasting rights to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) football rights, another R14 million on production costs, and only made R20 million.

Bongumusa Makhathini said he and the SABC are pushing ahead with the retrenchment plan at the SABC and that he doesn't care about being popular or liked.

The SABC's highly controversial retrenchment plan will see up to 981 SABC staffers getting fired - a third of the entire full-time workforce - as well as 1 200 of the 2 400 freelancers being let go by February 2019.

Bongumusa Makhathini said the SABC board has ended the practice of free biscuits and bottled water for SABC staff, and that the printing of documents are now also strictly monitored as part of cost-cutting efforts.

Friday, November 23, 2018

DStv SHOWCASE 2018: PRIMER - MultiChoice doing its 2018 press day as MultiChoice, M-Net, SuperSport talk about their content and execs explain about the future of its pay-TV business.

MultiChoice is holding a DStv Showcase 2018 media event on Friday at its MultiChoice City headquarters in Randburg where MultiChoice, M-Net, SuperSport and other TV executives will do presentations around its content, upcoming content for the rest of 2018 and 2019, and content strategy plans.

More than 70 journalists from various publications and media outlets from across South Africa have been invited and will be attending - and the day and some of the news and announcements might be "trending" during the course of Friday under the hashtag of #DStvShowcase2018 on social media.

TVwithThinus asked and MultiChoice said the DStv media showcase is to give journalists a single, aligned view of the key content viewers can look forward to seeing in the first 6 months of 2019, to give the media an opportunity to interact with key leaders within MultiChoice.

It's also to hear from MultiChoice about the future of the company and its view on key issues impacting the company - within limits of what can be shared ahead of MultiChoice's upcoming listing during the first half of 2019.

MultiChoice will be using the MultiChoice City Green Room area.

Set to attend, among others, are Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice Group CEO; Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice CEO for general entertainment; and Niclas Ekdahl, the head of the Connected Video division.

The DStv Showcase will have sessions in which MultiChoice will cover its local in a session entitled "How we're telling Africa's stories" and after lunch that ends at 13:30 the third session will include "What is who watching?", SuperSport doing a presentation, as well as a Factual slot and a Kids content slot.

The 4th session of the day is planned for 15:30 and will include a movie quiz, and how MultiChoice is bringing the best international stories in an International series slot.

Journalists will get the opportunity throughout the day to ask questions.