Wednesday, July 31, 2019

HGTV DStv channel launch Day 3: IN IMAGES - 8 photos of the Grand Provence media lunch.

Day 3 of Discovery Inc.'s 3-day press tour for the media launch of its HGTV channel in South Africa concluded with lunch at the Grand Provence wine estate in Franschhoek.

The international Discovery Inc. executives who flew to South Africa from different countries, mingled and sat among journalists and editors enjoying the wine-paired three-course lunch that was a highly enjoyable experience.

Everybody talked about ... television of course.

HGTV DStv channel launch Day 3: IN IMAGES - 9 photos of the media breakfast and press screening & 4 sizzle reels including a special Home Town surprise message.

On Day 3 of Discovery Inc.'s 3-day press tour for the media launch of its HGTV channel in South Africa, the day kicked off with a light breakfast and coffee and the Grand Provence wine estate in Franschhoek, followed by a press screening of the content on the channel that included a special video message, a cellar tour and wine blending experience, followed by a gourmet wine-paired lunch.

MultiChoice has added Discovery Inc.'s latest TV channel, HGTV (DStv 177) to its DStv satellite pay-TV service in South Africa for DStv Premium, DStv Compact Plus and DStv Compact subscribers.

On Day 3 the invited media and Discovery Inc. executives all went with shuttles to the luxurious Grand Provence wine estate nestled within the vines of the Franschhoek Valley, about an hour's drive from Cape Town.

The cold and wet winter weather was perfect for a warm cosy indoor day ... watching television!

At the wine estate, Discovery Inc. with the help of the Cape Town-based events solution company Show Works, welcomed media with coffee-to-order and a barista behind the coffee machine alongside a delectable array of breakfast pastries and fruit in the art gallery.

Then media were ushered into the screening room with a choice of luxury popcorn (and various toppings like chocolate).

Tatiana Lagewaard (vice president of lifestyle and pay-TV production for the EMEA region), did the screening presentation and introduced several of the new shows that are part of HGTV's programming schedule to the media and played several sizzle reels.

The first sizzle reel was a promo for HGTV's Flip or Flop, Flip or Flop Nashville, Good Bones, Home Town, and House Hunters, followed by a show reel for My Lottery Dream Home.

After that Tatiana Lagewaard told the media more about the show Good Bones, and then showed an edited episode of about 20-minutes to give the press an indication of how the show looks.

The HGTV screening day was then capped off with a 20-minute edited version of an episode of Home Town that was screened.

At the end Discovery Inc. had a lovely surprise in the form of a specially-recorded video message from the stars of Home Town, Erin and Ben Napier, talking about HGTV being launched in South Africa. "HGTV is coming to South Africa guys! This is so exciting!" said Erin.

After the screening, the media went to the Grand Provence cellar for a wine blending exercise with everybody who went home with their own bottle of wine, followed by lunch. 

ALSO READ: HGTV DStv channel launch Day 2: IN PICTURES - 29 photos of HGTV's official South African media launch event presentation.

SABC3 changes late afternoon schedule with new timeslots for Judge Faith, Afternoon Express and Harry from August; Special Assignment leaves Sundays for Tuesdays.

SABC3 is changing the channel's late afternoon schedule from August with new timeslots for Judge Faith, Afternoon Express and talk show Harry, while Special Assignment that used to be on Sundays is moving to Tuesdays.

According to SABC3, the channel that continues to struggle in the ratings race, "will be implementing timeslot changes for some of your favourite shows from Monday 5 August".

Judge Faith is moved from 14:00 to 16:30, Afternoon Express moves from 16:30 to 17:00 and the American talk show Harry moves from 17:30 to 18:00 on SABC3 on weekdays.

The SABC News (DStv 404) show, Unfiltered, simulcast on SABC3, moves from Sundays at 20:30 to Mondays at 20:30.

The weekly investigate magazine show Special Assignment that was on Sundays before it was moved to other days and eventually back to Sundays at 21:30, is once again moving to Tuesdays and an hour earlier at 20:30.

kykNET renews drama series Sara se Geheim for a 3rd season, comedy series Hotel for a 4th season.

kykNET (DStv 144) has renewed the Afrikaans drama series Sara se Geheim filmed in Cape Town for a third season, while the comedy series Hotel filmed in Centurion has been renewed for a fourth season.

The mockumentary Hotel, produced by Nouvanaand Films and following Ferdie Kruger (James Borthwick) and the hapless staffers at Die Fransen hotel, will be back for a 4th season that will start on kykNET in January 2020.

In the new season mayor Stephano Stutterheim plans to demolish the hotel to make way for the Mautrain, while Jony (Simoné Pretorius) falls in love with Gawie, played by Quentin Krog joining the cast that includes Schalk Bezuidenhout (Danny), Beer Adriaanse (Thomas), Martelize Kolver (Brenda), Mila Guy (Malanie) and De Klerk Oelofse (Jaap).

"The cast and crew are very excited about this season. Bennie Fourie, writer and producer of Hotel, makes sure that every season is even better than the last," says kykNET. 

Bennie Fourie says "The writing doesn’t get easier, but the fun multiplies. Viewers can look forward to more hilarious entertainment and pure comedy as well as silly shenanigans from the Fransenburgers. It’s still a privilege to film yet another season at the Fransen home, Kleinkaap Boutique Hotel in Centurion".

kykNET also renewed the drama series, Sara se Geheim (Sara's Secret) for a 3rd season that will also be broadcast in 2020.

Originally developed as a soap but turned into a drama series, the show is set in and around Athlone and Durbanville with filming on the third season that had started earlier this year already.

There are more secrets in the life of Sara Abrahams (June van Merch) as well as in the Cloete, Kiewiets and Vermeulen families.

The third season of Sara se Geheim will include more drama, intrigue, death and even a wedding.

After Kelvin's death, it forces Maggie to look at her own mistakes. His brother's death leaves Aiden with unresolved anger and aggression and he's desperate to find Maggie who's disappearance leads to chaos in her family.

MultiChoice adds a WWE pop-up channel to DStv for 5 months with additional wrestling entertainment content.

MultiChoice is adding a WWE wrestling pop-up channel to DStv for 5 months from August to the end of December on channel 128 for subscribers to watch wrestling shows like Raw, SmackDown Live and special events like WrestleMania and the upcoming SummerSlam on a dedicated wrestling channel.

The WWE pop-up channel that launched on 1 August will be available to DStv Premium, DStv Compact Plus and DStv Compact subscribers until 31 December. DStv Family and DStv Access subscribers will get access to the WWE pop-up channel for 3 weeks until 21 August.

While the WWE is struggling in the United States where it is also facing new upcoming competition in the form of All Elite Wrestling (AEW), the WWE has increasingly been looking to international markets and new territories like South Africa to grow revenue and attract fans and viewership for its content.

SuperSport took over the WWE licensing rights from in September 2017 with WWE content that has been shown on SuperSport channels the past two years.

On the WWE pop-up channel to specifically promote the American wrestling franchise within the entertainment channels block, DStv subscribers will be able to watch the weekly Raw (Tuesdays, 2:00), SmackDown Live (Wednesdays, 2:00) and special events like WrestleMania and the upcoming SummerSlam (airing at the same time as in the United States at 01:00 from Monday 12 August).

Other WWE programming on the DStv pop-up channel will include Total Divas, WWE Vintage, Miz and Mrs, Bottom Line, Afterburn, WWE Main Event and WWE Experience.

"WWE has proved to be a fantastic acquisition for viewers across the continent," says Gideon Khobane, SuperSport CEO. "This is a natural evolution that reflects the excitement and growth around our WWE broadcasts."

Here are programming descriptions of the various WWE shows:

Total Divas
The reality series is an inside look into the exciting lives of female WWE stars from their work within WWE to their personal lives and includes exclusive behind-the-scenes coverage.

WWE Vintage
Classic matches and memories from the WWE archives.

Miz and Mrs
A reality show about the lives of WWE stars and married couple The Miz and Maryse. Cameras follow them at work and play and includes moments from when they become parents for the first time.

Bottom Line
A one-hour, on-camera hosted programme that delivers all the highlights from Raw.

Recaps all the exciting events taking place every week on SmackDown.

WWE Main Event
Featuring WWE Superstars.

WWE Experience
WWE Experience is produced by WWE and mainly recaps events that took place on Raw and SmackDown Live.

kykNET pulls new second season of detective show Bolhuis shortly before broadcast as well as first season repeats from schedules due to unspecified contractual problems.

M-Net's Afrikaans channels division kykNET has pulled the new second season of the detective show, Bolhuis, from the kykNET (DStv 144) schedule shortly before broadcast, and also yanked the first season repeats of Bolhuis from sister channel kykNET & kie(DStv 145) due to unspecified contractual problems.

The new second season of Bolhuis, following the private investigator Mike Bolhuis tackling and commenting on various crime cases, was supposed to start on Wednesday night 31 July at 20:00 on kykNET (DStv 144) and episodes would have been made available simultaneously on MultiChoice's subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service Showmax from its Connected Video division.

A rebroadcast of the first season of Bolhuis would have started on Wednesday night 31 July at 21:00 with MultiChoice that said viewers can binge-watch the first season of Bolhuis on Showmax.

Now Bolhuis, with the show covering the detective hunting down international fugitives to apprehending drug dealers and investigating occult events, has been pulled shortly before broadcast from the kykNET schedules and Showmax.

In the new second season of Bolhuis, viewers would have seen how Mike Bolhuis hunts international fugitives and takes a look at drugs targeted at school children, along with shedding light on dark occult activities, as he tries to save a town and even gives romantic advice.

The second season of Bolhuis would also have shown "Mike’s softer side when he releases the flamingos he saved, and there’s even a wedding on the horizon".

MultiChoice still promoted Bolhuis to the press this past Friday in publicity material.

On Tuesday, kykNET in a programming notification a day before the second season was supposed to debut, said Bolhuis is being replaced with a new season of Sandra op 'n Drafstap at 20:00 for the next three months.

On kykNET & kie the first season Bolhuis repeat has been replaced by a rebroadcast of the documentary series Oppie Kassie detailing the history of South African television.

kykNET was asked why Bolhuis was pulled from the schedule at short notice and told TVwithThinus that the show can no longer be broadcast due to contractual issues. kykNET didn't explain what exactly the contractual problems behind-the-scenes are.

Mega-millions for MultiChoice's top bosses who bunker out in Dubai and who don't live on the African continent as pay-TV execs oversee 'Africa's leading entertainment company'.

MultiChoice's top bosses are raking in mega-million salaries overseeing "Africa's leading entertainment company" although some of them are bunkering out in Dubai and not even living on the Africa continent.

The MultiChoice Group that calls itself "Africa's leading entertainment company" released the pay-TV business' first integrated annual report for 2019 which reveals the massive remuneration packages of the MultiChoice executive management who don't all live in South Africa and some getting paid in American dollar in Dubai.

Imtiaz Patel, MultiChoice executive chairman got paid $1.463 million (R20.722 million) in base salary, bonuses, pension and short-term incentives, while Brand de Villiers is rolling in the green in the desert after getting paid just over $1 million - $1.020 million (R14.464 million) for the past financial year.

Neither Imtiaz Patel nor Brand de Villiers is living in South Africa while overseeing the proudly South African company that listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in late-February 2019.

MultiChoice in its annual report notes in the small fine print that "Imtiaz Patel and Brand de Villiers are paid in US dollar which is aligned with The MultiChoice Group's Dubai-based contracts and takes into account Dubai cost of living etc.".

Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice CEO, got R10.623 million, while the remuneration of Tim Jacobs, MultiChoice CFO, amounted to R8.449 million that including a "sign-on bonus" of R3.8 million.

Their pay packages packages exclude share options which further increase the executives' income.

During the past financial year MultiChoice also included and signed a restraint-of-trade agreement with Imtiaz Patel. If he were to step down as executive chairman or leave MultiChoice, it would apply for a period of 3 years.

MultiChoice has 15.1 million DStv subscribers and GOtv subscribers in South Africa and across the rest of sub-Saharan African combined.

HGTV DStv channel launch Day 2: IN IMAGES - 20 photos of HGTV's gala rooftop dinner at the Zeitz Museum in Cape Town.

On the evening of Day 2 of Discovery Inc.'s 3-day press tour for the media launch of its HGTV (DStv 177) channel in South Africa, the press went on a guided tour of the Zeitz Museum in Cape Town, followed by a beautiful gala dinner on the 6th floor rooftop.

HGTV has been added on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV service in South Africa for DStv Premium, DStv Compact Plus and DStv Compact subscribers.

On Day 2's evening the invited media were requested to dress formally and taken by shuttles from the Table Bay Hotel to the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa for a guided tour.

The Zeitz MOCAA is the largest museum of contemporary African art in the world and houses an impressive collection of work from all over the African continent and beyond.

Housed in an important historical landmark, the old grain silo at the V&A Waterfront, the museum  has an interior as outstanding as the exterior and the art inside.

The HGTV gala dinner took place on the 6th floor rooftop, with spectacular views across Cape Town's central business district.

Before dinner and after everyone was seated, Discovery Inc. played the beautiful, rush-edit video with music below, of all of the activities of Day 2's HGTV media launch:

ALSO READ: HGTV DStv channel launch Day 2: IN PICTURES - 29 photos of HGTV's official South African media launch event presentation.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

HGTV DStv channel launch Day 2: INTERVIEW - Flip or Flop star Tarek El Moussa: 'I feel like I have a very intimate relationship with HGTV because I feel like I've grown with them'.

The Flip or Flop star Tarek El Moussa who flew from the United States to South Africa for the launch of Discovery Inc.'s HGTV (DStv 177) channel on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV service told TVwithThinus that he feels that he has a very close relationship with HGTV as he's grown with the channel over the past 7 years and 8 seasons of his show.

I had the chance to sit down with the star of Flip or Flop, and who is working on a new spin-off show, Flipping 101, at the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town on the afternoon of Day 2 of Discovery Inc.'s 3-day press tour for the HGTV channel's launch in South Africa.

What are some of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to renovating homes as assets to then sell for hopefully a profit - what is calling "flipping"?
Tarek: There are so many mistakes and I always tell people, the most important thing you have to do is be educated.

It's a big deal. You're talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars and if you don't have the right education, it can be very risky and you can lose a lot of money. And the biggest mistake I see is that people will buy a house just because it's a piece of junk, thinking they can make a profit.

But just because a house is a piece of junk doesn't make it a good flip because you have to get it for the right price.

For people who want to start out - because "flipping" is not really yet that big here in South Africa, but the trend is starting and growing, what would be your advice?
Tarek: You know, when I started I had no capital, I raised other people's money but I was able to raise other people's money by doing extensive research and writing business plans.

So my suggestion for everybody who wants to get into it is to read as many books as you can and use the internet and learn about house flipping. There's so much valuable knowledge out there that you can teach yourself.

In terms of house design and trends, what are some of the latest changes and trends when it comes to home renovation that you've noticed?
Tarek: Marble has been really, really popular over the last few years and I'm starting to see that dwindle off and starting to replace that is we're starting to see cement tiles, a lot of bold patterns. I'm starting to see a lot of black-and-white tiles, and actually really becoming very popular now is black-and-white pattern tiles.

Overall, design-wise I'm seeing a lot of simple designs with really bold accent pieces, so you'll have a simple-looking kitchen countertop, simple cabinets, with a really defined backsplash that pops and it looks it looks like artwork.

What are your thoughts and impressions of South Africa and Cape Town so far?
Tarek: It's different than I thought. It's absolutely stunning.

At the HGTV cocktail party at the house overlooking the ocean, it was the most spectacular house I've ever seen. So I must say that the real estate and the architecture here is phenomenal.

With Flip or Flop and since you joined HGTV, what has that journey been like for you, and what do you think contributes to the success of HGTV as a TV channel?
Tarek: You know, HGTV has grown so much. I first aired season one of Flip or Flop in 2013, and I feel like I have a very intimate relationship with HGTV because I feel like I've grown with them.

HGTV as a channel has become so big over the last few years and my show Flip or Flop has risen with them. So, I feel like we're a team and I just love the network. They've just been really amazing and been really good.

Then, finally, you're good at or have become good at "flipping" properties but I think you started out as, or still are a real estate agent? In terms of bringing that expertise and background knowledge to HGTV is there other types of shows that you would like to do or consider or do you see "flipping" as your domain?
Tarek: Oh, there are so many different shows!

I would be open to do anything - design shows, challenge shows, competition shows, talk shows. You know, I've been through a lot in my life, outside of real estate, so anything entertainment-world related I'm interested in.

ALSO READ: HGTV DStv channel launch Day 1: IN PICTURES - 37 photos of HGTV's beautiful cocktail party at sunset at the infinity pool of a Upper Clifton mansion in Cape Town.
ALSO READ: HGTV DStv channel launch Day 2: IN PICTURES - 29 photos of HGTV's official South African media launch event presentation.

HGTV DStv channel launch Day 2: Executives press conference - HGTV's surprising answer on design trend-spotting and staying ahead of the curve with what viewers want to see next.

Who knew that tiny homes would become a thing? HGTV.

By perpetually being on the cutting edge of the latest trends in television programming, spotting them, adjusting, and incorporating them, America's home and garden channel has itself bucked the trend in a pay-TV world marked by sliding viewership and so-called "cord-cutting".

With its finger constantly on the pulse of what viewers want to see and rolling out content about whatever is next while at the same time staying true to tried-and-tested home design and renovation content, Discovery Inc.'s HGTV (DStv 177) has kept growing and adding viewers (or "fans" as HGTV calls them).

HGTV has continued its viewership expansion to become the third most-watched channel in all of pay-TV in the United States.

MultiChoice just added Discovery Inc.'s HGTV (DStv 177) for DStv Premium, DStv Compact Plus and DStv Compact subscribers and for that Discovery Inc. held a HGTV press conference at the Table Bay hotel in Cape Town.

Kathleen Finch, Discovery Inc.'s chief lifestyle brands officer, was one of the TV executive panellists on the afternoon of Day 2 of the 3-day press tour for the channel's launch in South Africa.

TVwithThinus asked her how HGTV as an aspirational TV channel determines what the trends are and will be, for instance the "tiny house" movement for which HGTV just "suddenly" had shows ready, and how HGTV executives trend-analyse before being able to programme according to that.

"Well, we don't do it before we programme," explained Kathleen Finch in her surprising answer.

"What we really like to do is - because we make 800 hours of new content a year, we cover everything - so, we do modern programming, we do country chic, we do farmhouse chic. We do all these different styles. Big homes, little homes, mega-mansions, tiny homes."

"We have so much content and every talent that we bring, bring their expertise. So we don't just want to hire designers who will have the 'HGTV look' because there is no 'HGTV look'. It's personal. And it's a real reflection of the different talent that we have and we try to personalise it so that the viewers can take an idea from here, a trend from there," said Kathleen Finch.

"We don't dictate, we don't want to dictate, because it's a personal decision. Instead, we want to make sure that we have people who are at the top of their field who talk about trends, who reflect trends, but they empower viewers to do what they want and to make their own decisions."

"I think trying to spot trends is sort of a dangerous business because it's a trend today and it's gone tomorrow."

"Instead, what our goal at HGTV really is, is to inspire and to encourage viewers to find their style and to take from our channel and our experts what they can do to translate their style to their own home - as opposed to going 'okay, from now on every appliance is stainless steel, that's the new thing'. We don't do that."

"We let you decide by sharing a little bit of everything," said Kathleen Finch.

ALSO READ: HGTV DStv channel launch Day 1: IN PICTURES - 37 photos of HGTV's beautiful cocktail party at sunset at the infinity pool of a Upper Clifton mansion in Cape Town.
ALSO READ: HGTV DStv channel launch Day 2: IN PICTURES - 29 photos of HGTV's official South African media launch event presentation.
ALSO READ: HGTV DStv channel launch Day 2: Press conference - Why Discovery Inc. launched it so quickly in South Africa after acquiring Scripps and Africa's growing importance as a pay-TV market among global content suppliers.
ALSO READ: HGTV DStv channel launch Day 2: INTERVIEW - Flip or Flop star Tarek El Moussa: 'I feel like I have a very intimate relationship with HGTV because I feel like I've grown with them'.
ALSO READ: HGTV DStv channel launch Day 2: IN IMAGES - 20 photos of HGTV's gala rooftop dinner at the Zeitz Museum in Cape Town.
ALSO READ: HGTV DStv channel launch Day 3: IN IMAGES - 9 photos of the media breakfast and press screening & 4 sizzle reels including a special Home Town surprise message.
ALSO READ: HGTV DStv channel launch Day 3: IN IMAGES - 8 photos of the Grand Provence media lunch.
ALSO READ: HGTV DStv channel launch press tour - An overview.

Media24's lifestyle TV channel VIA expands into scripted genre producing a new Afrikaans streaming soap Die Testament for Netwerk24.

Netwerk24 is adding a new video streaming soap in Afrikaans, Die Testament (The Will), with the 65-episodes that will run for 5 minutes each and that will be released, one per day, from Monday 2 September.

Die Testament, produced by Wolf Baby Productions, is primarily being filmed at Maison Noir in Hout Bay, Cape Town, with production oversight by Media24's Afrikaans lifestyle channel VIA (DStv 147) as executive producer.

Die Testament was created by Nicole Bailey, Gerhard Mostert (director) and Alex Burger, with Alex Burger as head writer.

The story revolves around a wealthy family shocked by the death of the patriarch. An ambitious older brother, a peacemaker sister and a rebel brother come together with their dad's young lover for the reading of the will - and a flurry of unexpected surprises await.

Die Testament will run for three months until 29 November behind Netwerk24's paywall with the cast including Nico Panagio (as "perfect" son Bastian Weyers), Rolanda Marais (sister Annchen Weyers) and Andahr Cotton (younger musician brother Jacques Weyers), Amrain Ismail-Essop (the patriarch's lover Sandra Maritz), including appearances by actors like Sandra Prinsloo as the loan-shark Natasja Ludick.

A new episode will be released at 08:00 on weekdays, with users who will be able to binge-watch or catch up over weekends.

"Out of all of our projects this one excites me most," says Henriëtte Loubser, Netwerk24 editor. 

"More people are streaming TV entertainment and it just makes sense that we also offer it as part of our package - in a flash format of 5 minutes per episode in order for people to fit it into their day and can watch it in any place on their computer or smartphone".

"I couldn't put the script of Die Testament down when I started reading it. Our partner VIA, together with the production company, is ensuring a first-class product."

Henriëtte Loubser says "Digital platforms offer so much more opportunities than just the written word. Worldwide digital news services are using these opportunities to talk to their audiences through audio, video and the like".

"Netwerk24 is a platform for breaking news, but it is also an Afrikaans destination site - showcasing the content of popular Afrikaans magazines in digital format. We are not only about news, we are also about lifestyle and entertainment."

"It made sense to use the expertise available within Media24’s Afrikaans TV channel, VIA, to broaden our offer to include TV-like entertainment in the form of a soapie, a genre that is very popular among Afrikaans audiences."

"The soapie is produced specifically for Netwerk24, taking into account our audience’s preferences and habits, and the episodes of 5 minutes each is ideal for a digital platform, making it easy for people to watch anywhere and anytime, on any device."

Izelle Venter, VIA channel head, says "because VIA is limited to content in the lifestyle genre, we thought of a plan to spread our wings in the wonderful world of scripted television".

"Week after week TV ratings show how people love soaps. We created this online soap to fit in with the fast world of digital content. With Netwerk24 as one of our media sisters if was unavoidable synergy."

"The enormous amount of television and video content available online make viewer choice almost more difficult. We want to make it easier and more enjoyable for Afrikaans audiences - here is a fun story of 5 minutes every weekday that you can watch while you're waiting for the water in the kettle to boil or waiting for the kids at rugby practice," says Izelle Venter.