SABC: THIRD OF OUTSIDE BROADCAST TRUCKS NOT USABLE

Thursday, April 30, 2015

BREAKING. Did the SABC just suspend 4 senior financial staff, including Itani Tseisi, over an alleged leak of SABC financial information to the press?


I've been told that the SABC has apparently immediately suspended 4 top financial staff - including Itani Tseisi, the SABC's head of risk and governance.

I've not been able to get confirmation from the SABC on these suspensions at the start of a long weekend, but I've made a media enquiry, I'm awaiting a response, and I will update this story as more information becomes available.

According to sources the shocking suspensions of the 4 senior SABC financial staff has to do with an investigation by the SABC as to who and what people allegedly leaked to the Sunday Times information regarding the SABC's financial statements.

The suspensions has to do with the story this past Sunday in the Sunday Times, alleging that the SABC's famously matricless COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng is hiding the financial troubles of the SABC.

According to the Sunday Times the SABC faces a loss of R500 million based on documents to be submitted to the auditor-general in May.

SABC News (DStv 404) put James Aguma, the SABC's chief financial officer (CFO) on television after the story appeared, saying the Sunday Times got the financial statements "illegally" and that its a "stolen document".

James Aguma said that its "unfortunate that we're forced to respond to issues in financial statements" which has not been subjected to audit.

Itani Iseisi is according to a source one of the people who has now been suspended by the SABC. Itani Tseisi is the SABC's group executive for risk and governance at the public broadcaster.

Concern over the SABC's flat audience share of 53%; minister of communications Faith Muthambi cautions that SABC will have to grow its audience.


There's ongoing concern over the SABC's audience share which is flat at 53%, with the minister of communications, Faith Muthambi who cautioned that the public broadcaster will have to grow its audience.

Faith Muthambi told parliament last week that she's concerned that the SABC's audience share seems to remain stagnant at 53%.

The minister cautioned that new ways will have to be found for the SABC to grow its audience beyond this number.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago failed to respond to a media enquiry made last week asking the public broadcaster for comment as well as seeking any context and perspectives the SABC wants to share regarding its fight for audience share.

The SABC is well aware that about its viewership challenges and finding and keeping audiences tuned in.

TV with Thinus has an internal memo, compiled by and send to SABC TV executives in June last year, detailing key findings of an audience analysis of the SABC's three terrestrial TV channels - SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 - against the broader TV industry.

The SABC's findings noted "the glaring conclusion of the level to which the network had been shedding audiences over the years".

It shows how the SABC went from 100% audience share in 1976 when the public broadcaster was the only TV player in the country, falling to 49% by 2013 as M-Net launched in 1986, MultiChoice launched DStv in 1995, e.tv launched in 1998, On Digital Media (ODM) started TopTV (now StarSat) in 2010, Sabido started OpenView HD in 2014, and community TV stations like SowetoTV sprang up over the past few years.

Some of the interesting findings of the SABC's audience analysis was that "the SABC2 schedule only survives on two pillar programmes - 7de Laan at 18:30 and Muvhango at 21:00. Other than that the prime time schedule is weak".

On SABC3, the "the soaps Days of Our Lives and Bold and the Beautiful provide strong lead-ins into prime time," the internal memorandum noted.

According to the memo, "the essence of the SABC2 and SABC3 strategies are to reverse the audience declines over the last couple of years, by introducing compelling local content mixed with relevant international content that compliments and is aligned to the channels' new focused value propositions" through better scheduling and content.

In November last year the SABC released its 9th Request for Proposals (RFP) book to South Africa's TV industry, calling for specific local productions. According to the SABC, the value of the latest RFP book is R600 million, making it the largest RFP book issued by the public broadcaster for local content yet.

Bonang Matheba, Jeannie D and Bonnie Mbuli to try and boost SABC3 afternoon ratings with new local weekday TV talker, Afternoon Express.


SABC3 is replacing Three Talk with Noeleen from Monday, 4 May at 16:00 with a new female-centric local talk show in the vein of The Talk and The View, with presenters Bonang Matheba and Jeannie D turning talk show hosts, hoping to bolster the channel's sagging afternoon ratings.

Afternoon Express will take over the 16:00 timeslot on SABC3 from Monday on weekdays, with Bonang Matheba - known as "Queen B" - and Jeannie D, both known as Top Billing presenters, as well as Bonnie Mbuli from e.tv's Traffic who will present the show as a live broadcast.

A 4th woman will join the existing three as a newbie on Afternoon Express within a month when the top 3 winners are announced from the Presenter Search on 3 reality show on SABC3, with the two others going to Top Billing and Expresso respectively.

Afternoon Express, produced by Tswelopele Productions which is also responsible for Top Billing, Presenter Search on 3 and other TV shows, will try to lift SABC3's viewership in the dull afternoon daypart similar to the ratings rejuvenation the morning breakfast show Expresso, also produced by the same company, brought to SABC3's early morning timeslot where viewership lagged.

With the added heavy lifting of the new weekday interactive afternoon talk show done from Cape Town, Bonang Matheba and Jeannie D will be featuring somewhat less on Top Billing in the future.

Afternoon Express, which will have a big social media interactive component in a sense similar to SABC2's afternoon youth block Hectic Nine-9, will cover female interests ranging from cooking and fashion to finance tips and inspirational stories and interviews. The show will also feature live musical performances similar to Expresso in the mornings.

"Afternoon Express is a first for South Africa and for SABC3," says Aisha Mohamed, SABC3 channel head. "To combine fun interaction, practical advice as well as engaging conversation into one show is definitely taking the quality of programming to the next level and we are proud to have this kind of uplifting and empowering content for women as part of our offering".

"The show will give women an opportunity to interact and engage daily," says Bradley van den Berg, Afternoon Express' executive producer, saying the talk show will inspire viewers "to take the courage to try something new and become their best selves".

"I am really excited to be stepping into a new terrain with SABC3 and the opportunity to co-host with Jeannie D and Bonnie," says Bonang Matheba.

"I'm very excited to be part of this experience and to be doing a new show with my Top Billing family," says Jeannie D. "This is a winning formula that keeps growing and growing."

"I'm so thrilled to be one of the hosts; it is a great concept and there is so much to look forward to," says Bonnie Mbuli. "I don't think there has ever been a more exciting time for television in South Africa - I can't wait".

"We hope that making a date with Afternoon Express will be making an appointment to have fun," says Patience Stevens, the managing director of Tswelopele Productions.

"We have three of the country's most talented presenters, we are very excited to have this opportunity and we are looking forward to this challenge".

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Today's interesting TV stories to read from TV with Thinus - 29 April 2015.


The SABC's famously matricless COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng is allegedly hiding the financial troubles of the SABC.
According to the Sunday Times the SABC faces a loss of R500 million based on documents to be submitted to the auditor-general in May.

SABC News (DStv 404) then puts James Aguma, the SABC's chief financial officer (CFO) on television to say the Sunday Times got the financial statements "illegally" and that its a "stolen document" (the SABC should perhaps go make a case at the police for theft and get a case number?).
James Aguma on SABC TV says its "unfortunate that we're forced to respond to issues in financial statements" which has not been subjected to audit.


Meanwhile, The SABC is stuck in pathological mode.
The public broadcasting civil society pressure group, SOS Coalition, pens an open letter.

After McDreamy is killed off on Grey's Anatomy another big character dies.
Complete with suicide letter.
Speaking of which, there is now a petition going around to get the fired Patrick Dempsey back on Grey's Anatomy.

MUST READ: Dr. Oz (SABC3) and Dr. Phil's (SABC2) gross TV charade.
Dr. Oz continues to be under fire over his "egregious lack of integrity, but he pales in comparision to the fame-whoring of Dr. Phil as they both TV talk shows are a mélange of exploitation, celebrity parasitism and credential mining.

Meanwhile John Oliver of Last week Tonight on M-Net (DStv 101) calls Dr. Oz "the worst person in scrubs who has ever been on television".


BBC Worldwide is fast changing its channels to BBC First, BBC Earth and BBC Brit.
While we're still waiting for BBC Entertainment, BBC Knowledge and BBC Lifestyle on MultiChoice's DStv to change to these three new channels, BBC Worldwide is rolling out and replacing the existing channels with the rebranded new ones across Europe.
BBC First, BBC Earth and BBC Brit are now the new "global genre channels" fast replacing the old ones.
BBC Worldwide says regionalised BBC Brit and BBC Earth channels are coming to Africa and South Africa.


Comedy Central Africa (DStv 122) grabs game show Deal With It.
Of course no announcement from Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa), but the first two seasons of the American game show has been acquired from distributor Keshet International.

MUST READ: Channel 4 News anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy explains the fakeness of the movie junket.
After Robert Downey Jr. got up and walked out of a publicity movie junket interview because he didn't like the question, the reporter explains the fakeness of it all behind the scenes - how the real journalist wants "something serious and illuminating, they just want publicity".

Sky is dropping one of its two arts TV channels.
We don't even have any such channels in South Africa on DStv or StarSat or OpenView HD. Sky will now rather create one "super channel" for the arts with a bigger budget and with less repeats.

Nomination period extended for entries for the South African of the Year Awards 2015.
ANN7 (DStv 405) extends the entry period with an additional 4 weeks with 31 May which is now the new deadline for SATY2015.

There is (real) penis in Outlander on M-Net Edge (DStv 102).
The sexual male organ seen in a new episode during sex and arousal was not a "stunt penis" in the episode entitled "Lallybroch".

TV will survive the web and mobile onslaught.
AdWeek says what is replacing television is, television.

Vice on M-Net is becoming its own TV channel.
Vice Media is taking over A+E Networks' 2nd History channel H2 and rebranding it as the Vice channel.

Miles from Tomorrowland on Disney Junior (DStv 309) renewed.
Cute space show picked up for a second season.

Homeland on M-Net is moving to Germany.
After filming in South Africa the 5th season will be done in Berlin.

SABC ordered to apologise to the EFF political party by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission after Eben Jansen's live on-air rant.


The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) has ordered the SABC to apologise to the EFF political party on-air before tomorrow afternoon following the shocking live, on-air outburts by the now-removed SABC News (DStv 404) anchor and "Grand Inquisitor" Eben Jansen.

The SABC already apologised in writing earlier this month and already made an earlier on-air apology for the interview incident the SABC called "completely uncalled for and unprofessional" and which happened on The Newsroom on 9 April on the SABC's 24-hour TV news channel.

The Newsroom anchor Eben Jansen became confrontational with the EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi who was invited to the show as a guest and was then rudely dismissed after the interview quickly devolved into a FOX News style shouting match.

Viewers described the interview as "petty, childish and unprofessional", wondering why Eben Jansen is using words like "Red Indians" and his attitude described as "embarrassing and unprofessional".

Eben Jansen was taken off the SABC airwaves indefinitely following the verbal on-air outburst which went viral.

Viewer Jarred Cinman laid a complaint directly with the BCCSA, writing that Eben Jansen's on-air behaviour was "biased, unprofessional, rude and embarrassing" and that the on-air fighting "is not news: it is either journalistic incompetence or political bias".

In a hearing BCCSA commissioner Dr. Lynda Gilfillan found that Mbuyiseni Ndlozi was "interrupted and ridiculed" and also denied the opportunity to answer questions.

Dr. Lynda Gilfillan said Eben Jansen's "generally scornful demeanour and bullying behaviour could be described as grossly unprofessional. And the severity of his unprofessionalism puts it in breach of the BCCSA code".

Dr. Lynda Gilfillan said Eben Jansen came across as "apparently relishing his role of Grand Inquisitor" with the interview which was turned into "an inquisition rather than an inquiry".

The BCCSA ruled that the SABC and SABC News "cannot simply be let off with a slap on the wrist".

The BCCSA ruled that the SABC and SABC News must broadcast an apology at the beginning of The Newsroom on the DStv news channel before Thursday.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

BREAKING. SABC Encore to launch on 11 May on DStv 156 as a rerun entertainment channel with content from the SABC's library archives.


The SABC and MultiChoice will launch its rerun entertainment channel, called SABC Encore, on 11 May on channel 156 on DStv at 17:00.

The launch of SABC Encore, which formerly would have been called SABC Entertainment, forms part of a now controversial deal with the public broadcaster under which the SABC is supposed to supply MultiChoice with two TV channels.

The SABC launched SABC News (DStv 404) in August 2013 and now SABC Encore will finally start broadcasting from May. It was supposed to start on DStv a few months after SABC News launched but has been delayed.

SABC News and SABC Encore as TV channels are both essentially a do-over for the SABC.

The SABC had SABC News International as a struggling 24-hour TV news channel and SABC Africa as a general entertainment channel, running on DStv before they were both shuttered after a few years due to non-performance.

MultiChoice terminated SABC Africa as a SABC supplied TV channel on DStv at the end of July 2008 with the SABC and MultiChoice which said the channel "is no longer viable" due to poor performance.

The SABC closed down SABC News International in March 2010 since it became too expensive to operate during the period when the SABC's cash crunch crises and management woes started to escalate.

In a new contract between MultiChoice and the SABC, signed by the public broadcaster's chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the new two channel deal was signed in 2013 with SABC Encore which is now ready to launch.

The launch of SABC Encore was largely dependent on the digitisation of the SABC's archives which MultiChoice is helping the public broadcaster with and which forms part of the overall content supply contract.


Retro gold
SABC Encore will be a retro, "golden oldies" TV channel, similar to what the M-Net supplied Series Channel was when it launched on DStv and what FOX Retro was when it launched on TopTV, now StarSat. Both those channels with a channel proposition of catering to TV nostalgia lovers, have since been closed down.

SABC Encore will be filled with old local programming from the SABC archives, mostly titles from the 1980s and 1990s in various genres and in various South African languages.

"SABC Encore is a celebration of the SABC content which has been produced over the years,"  Verona Duwarkah, the SABC's group executive in charge of television, told SABC News. "SABC Encore allows us as South Africans to celebrate the past."

SABC Encore as a TV channel will be available on all of MultiChoice's differently priced DStv bouquets, says the SABC.

SABC Encore will run from 17:00 to 23:00 on weekdays with programming spanning children's shows like Pumpkin Patch to Afrikaans drama series like Agter Elke Man, and the sci-fi puppetry show Interster.

Other SABC Encore programming will include Kideo, Lesilo Rula, Shaka Zulu and Hlala Kwabafileyo. SABC Encore will target an audience aged 37 to 70, mostly South African viewers who grew up watching the SABC's then TV1, TV2 and TV3 channels.

"The Entertainment channel as it was contractually called, is actually called SABC Encore. It is a celebration of the SABC's content which has been produced over the years," says Verona Duwarkah.

The channel is made up of all sorts of genres - all from the SABC's archives.

"Sometimes you'll even laugh at the quality of the actual production in the old days, because we've learnt so much".

There was no joint statement from the SABC and MultiChoice on Tuesday, as is usual, when the addition and details of a new TV channel on DStv is announced.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago didn't respond to a media enquiry made on Tuesday afternoon asking about SABC Encore.

MultiChoice spokesperson Jackie Rakitla, asked about SABC Encore on Tuesday afternoon, said MultiChoice welcomes the channel to DStv.

"We welcome SABC Encore to the DStv platform. Viewers can expect to see some of the SABC's classics when it's launched on channel 156 on 11 May. It will be a real trip down memory lane for parents, who will be able to share watching some golden oldies with their children."

The launch of SABC Encore takes the SABC back to 5 active TV channels - the two broadcasting on MultiChoice's DStv exclusively - and SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 as analogue TV channels also carried on the satellite TV platforms of On Digital Media's StarSat and the Sabido owned OpenView HD (OVHD) from Platco Digital.


Controversial contract
The contract of the SABC's supply of the two channels - SABC News and SABC Encore - to MultiChoice's DStv is currently part of a case before South Africa's Competition Tribunal brought by Caxton, together with Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) and the civil society public broadcasting pressure group SOS Coalition.

They say the contract essentially constitutes a "merger" between MultiChoice and the SABC and that the contract not only gives MultiChoice "undue exclusive access to SABC content", but also places MultiChoice in a position to influence SABC policy.

Caxton, MMA and the SOS Coalition is arguing that the deal is not in the public interest and that the deal works against the long-term interest of the SABC as well as the South African public.

MultiChoice says it rejects the allegations and says that there is nothing wrong with its relationship with the SABC. "This is a standard commercial agreement for the supply of two television channels".

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Today's interesting TV stories to read from TV with Thinus - 25 April 2015.


Hlaudi Motsoeneng's lawyer Zola Majavu is put on Morning Live on SABC2.
"Unpacks" the court again ordering that Hlaudi Motsoeneng be immediately suspended by the SABC. Zola Majavu tells Leanne Manas over a massive 8 and a half minutes of SABC air time why his client Hlaudi Motsoeneng isn't suspended.

(At 08:29 we find out that Hlaudi Motsoeneng on Friday morning is at work and having a meeting with MetroFM DJ's.)

(Note the total lack of any explainer from the SABC about why there is a court case in the first place; the complete absence of any background or context to viewers about what is being appealed and why - why the Public Protector and Hlaudi Motsoeneng is involved in this court case.)

Meanwhile parliament takes note of the court ruling on Hlaudi Motsoenen'g suspension.


MUST READ: Why criticism and honesty are profoundly patriotic acts.

Alison Sweeney who was Sami on Days of Our Lives on SABC3, talks about her first Daytime Emmy nomination this year.


Dr. Mehmet Oz from The Dr. Oz Show on SABC3 attacked his critics on his talk show.
Dr. Mehmet Oz this past week launched into an on-air attack on the doctors who say people are allegedly being misled and endangered by the allegedly fake products and medical advice ranging from "rasperry ketones" to other dubious treatments he promotes on his talk show.
"Dr. Oz has repeatedly shown disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine," says the doctors. "Worst of all, he has manifested an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain."
Vox looks at how Dr. Mehmet Oz as an award-winning doctor turned away from science and embraced fame as he is leading people adift who are looking for answers and scientific insight from the world of medicine.
Dr Oz says "I will not be silenced".


Former Top Gear producer attacks the BBC.
Andy Wilman says BBC executives don't care about "the car world". Andy Wilman is a friend of Jeremy Clarkson and resigned a day before then attacking the BBC. Co-presenter James May is also done with Top Gear.

Anger over MultiChoice Nigeria's massive DStv price hike fuels new consumerism.
DStv subscribers are starting to kick MultiChoice Africa, bitter over DStv's huge cost and brands like DStv "should bear in mind that the customer is king".

E! Entertainment (DStv 124) is lifting the ban on negative coverage of the Kardashians.
E! Entertainment and E! News which has been under a ban and strict mandate to only cover the Kardashian family favorably according to insiders is now reportedly set to "lift the ban" as Bruce Jenner changes from a man to a woman. E! meanwhile officially denies that there is such a ban.


NBC staffers are opposed to Brian Williams returning to anchor NBC Nightly News.
In a contentious and "very raw" meeting staffers lashed out, according to The Washington Post, and says he has damaged the reputation of the news broadcast seen nightly on CNBC Africa (DStv 410) across Africa, and that he shouldn't be allowed to return.
Reporters are "embarrassed" to deal with their sources due to his on-air lying which damaged the news broadcast.
The New York Times reports on Saturday that the inquiry into Brian Williams'' lying is set to expand to previously unknown instances of false statements.

Sky is getting ready to fire production staff.
Sky News (DStv 402) as well as staff in sport and entertainment are worried before a meeting schedule for this coming Tuesday and have not been told what is on the agenda.

No more live UEFA Champions League on e.tv.
e.tv no longer has the live free-to-air broadcasting rights. UEFA Champions League semi-finals are moved to OpenView HD's eKasi+ channel and e.tv viewers will have to tune in at 22:00 for delayed broadcasts.

Jake Tapper is the new anchor of State of the Nation.
Announced as the new face of the Sunday show on CNN International (DStv 401).

Netflix is eating into TV viewership.
Ironically by providing rebroadcasts and repeats of old TV shows it acquired from TV channels, which then gives Netflix money to make brand-new, buzzy shows. Another story on ita 3rd one and a 4th one based on the industry report, "Is Netflix Killing TV?" from MoffettNathanson Research.

MultiChoice is looking for Southern African TV content and films.
What it actually is for, is for the new, yet-to-launch Zambezi Magic TV channel which I haven't yet had time to write about, but which M-Net will be launching later this year on MultiChoice's DStv as a Southern Africa movie channel with African content from several Southern African countries like Botswana, Zimbabwe and others.

South Africa is trying to limit the fallout when we miss the DTT deadline.
South Africa will miss the deadline to complete the ITU's switch from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting (DTT) by 15 June 2015. Now the desperate department of communications and minister of communications Faith Muthambi is trying to talk to other Southern African countries to please not interfere with their broadcasting signals in South Africa's space.

India bans Al Jazeera (DStv 406 / StarSat 257) for 5 days.
The Qatar-based TV news channel is banned after showing an incorrect map of (the highly disputed) Kashmir and India. India says Al Jazeera isn't using the government authorised mapsof India, China and Pakistan.

Trevor Noah's biggest problem is becoming clear.
Bloomberg reports on the "increasingly poisonous atmosphere" around The Daily Show on Comedy Central (DStv 122) as Trevor Noah is set to take over from September and why it has become less about being funny and more about people who are into so-called "left-wing" politics.

Deadliest Catch on The Discovery Channel (DStv 121) renewed for a 12th season.

Watch FOX's Wayward Pines globally 2 weeks before it starts.
FOX (StarSat 131 / DStv 125) and FOX International Channels (FIC) is allowing viewers across 126 countries and territories, including South Africa, to watch the first episode of Wayward Pines two weeks before it starts showing internationally on FOX through Facebook, FOX.com, Google Play etc.

Joss Whedon wasn't happy Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. brought Agent Coulson back to life.
"That really came from the television division".

ANATOMY OF A SHOW'S DESTRUCTION: Grey's Anatomy on M-Net kills off Patrick Dempsey's McDreamy as the show jumps the shark.


Showrunner Shonda Rhimes shockingly (and cruelly) killed off and wrote out the character of dr Derek Shepard (Patrick Dempsey) on Grey's Anatomy in the show's 11th season, raising questions about Grey's Anatomy's future and longevity.


Patrick Dempsey gave his short statement to TV Line, saying "It's been a remarkable ride" and that "I will forever be grateful and humbled by the experience".

Shonda Rhimes gives a cryptic statement saying "I absolutely never imagined saying goodbye to our McDreamy".

TV network ABC also releases the usually lame and pandering statement saying Patrick Dempsey "is moving on to pursue other interests" and wishing him "the very best in his future endeavours".

There was definitely bad blood behind the scenes between Shonda Rhimes and Patrick Dempsey who actually had a signed contract to remain on the show for not just the entire 11th season but also a 12th season.

Page Six reported how Patrick Dempsey had become a diva on the Grey's Anatomy set clashed with Shonda Rhimes and how she now wanted him gone.

Daily Mail has how there's very little patience for troublesome talent on the Grey's Anatomy set. The New York Daily News has how Shonda Rhimes is not afraid to pull the plug on problematic actors.

Last year Patrick Dempsey started to signal he is tired, done and over Grey's Anatomy and that he is "not the creator, I'm not the writer". On Twitter on Friday he wrote "I want to thank all the fans, what an incredible 11 yrs, I love you all".

MUST READ: E!'s TV critic Kristin Dos Santos pens a must-read opinion-piece on why the killing off of Patrick Dempsey's character on Grey's Anatomy is NOT OK.

Can the now depressing and broken Grey's Anatomy survive without Derek Shepard?

We're finally done with Meredith's sadness and Grey's Anatomy's fixation on death and done watching Meredith's having to keep experience the same lesson over and over.


Stunned Grey's Anatomy viewers are angry and furious over the senseless killing, saying "Shonda you created a death sentence for your own show,", "Without knowing it, you let your ego get the best of you and you just destroyed the best show you have on TV" and "Years and years we've given to watching this story unfold and you just rip it out from under us? No way! This was horrible".


Watching Grey's Anatomy after Derek's death is now pointless, says the New York Post. CNN calls the Grey's Anatomy death a nightmare. Slate calls it "crushing" and says Shonda Rhimes ripped millions of viewers' hearts out.

E! Entertainment says the show will never be the same. Vulture says McDreamy deserved more. Hollywood Life says Shonda Rhimes and Grey's Anatomy ruined the show. Is Grey's Anatomy dead to you? asks TV Guy.

This is how a McDream dies says USA Today in its review.

The Express Tribute has why I will never fogive Shonda Rhimes for killing Derek Shepherd. TV Insider calls it the end of an incredible era.

Something big happened, says Vox, which explains how it says something about how we think about TV shows that once had big buzz but ultimately faded from the spotlight.

America's People magazine runs an actual obituary for Dr. Derek Shepherd.

Too many bad things kept happening on Grey's Anatomy; where will the show go from here?

MUST READ: Derek and Meredith were one of the most complex and interesting couples on TV. Now it's over.

America's People magazine has a moment-by-moment rundown/recap of what happened in the shocking episode.

How the Grey's Anatomy cast found out that McDreamy is killed off: Shonda Rhimes gathered them together and gave them the shocking news while they "couldn't imagine killing off a character like Derek" - refuses to say whether Patrick Dempsey was present (very likely not).

The news leaked early because the issue of Entertainment Weekly in which Patrick Dempsey gave an exit interview arrived too early in mailboxes before Thursday's episode was going to be shown. It was then leaked on Instagram through a photo.

Read Patrick Dempsey's interview with Entertainment Weekly right here, headlined on the cover of the magazine as "The doctor ... is out" in which he says he is "still processing it".

Entertainment Weekly apologised, saying "We would like to apologise to fans of the show that learnt the news ahead of time". The magazine also debates a Derek-less Grey's Anatomy.

ABC has suddenly announced that next week's episode of Grey's Anatomy is being expanded to 2 hours "to allow creator Shonda Rhimes more time to show the reactions of the other characters".
No word on how M-Net (DStv 101) is going to respond to this which is just a few episodes behind in South Africa.

ABC is clearly in crisis mode and trying to do damage control and want to help Shonda Rhimes "rectify" or minimise the huge damage by re-editing and trying to "improve" and expand on what happens next.

Ratings are predicted to plummet as viewers are now turned off from watching Grey's Anatomy further, and the unimaginable moment which changed Grey's Anatomy forever.

TIME magazine says the unbelievable just happened. Then a grief counsellor tells TIME it's okay to mourn a fictional TV character's death.


And if you missed the quick clue: Meredith Grey was quickly shown throwing up in the episode, so she is now clearly pregnant with what is going to be the child of a dead father.

Bruce Jenner's 'I am a woman' transition picked up by E! Entertainment as 8 episode reality series; will be shown globally from 26 July.


E! Entertainment (DStv 124) has just announced that it will show an 8 episode reality series in which Bruce Jenner, who confirmed on Friday that he is changing from a man to a woman, will look for his "new normal" on the channel from 26 July.

The as-yet-untitled series with hour long episodes will be shown on E! Entertainment in the United States, as well as on E! Entertainment on MultiChoice's DStv in South Africa and across Africa, as well as on all the other international versions of E!.

The reality docuseries will explore how Bruce Jenner, now calling himself a woman and how his transition from man to woman, affects his relationships with all the people in his life, while at the same time attempting to offer a better understanding of his challenges.

The former Olympic gold medal winner is already linked to E! Entertainment through the Keeping Up with the Kardashians reality show over eight seasons and its various spin-offs, and now his own show will look at how he is changing, living and interacting as a transgender woman.

Bruce Jenner will leave Keeping Up with the Kardashians at the end of the current 8th season of the show and appear only in his own show, saying that "the one real, true story in the family was the one I was hiding and nobody knew about".

There's been speculation for months that Bruce Jenner would chronicle his change to a woman in front of the reality cameras, separate from the Kardashian clan who are not all approving of the gender transition.

"Bruce is incredibly courageous and an inspiration, and we are proud to be entrusted with this deeply personal and important story," says Jeff Olde, the executive vice president of programming and development at E!.

"This series will present an unfiltered look as Bruce boldly steps into uncharted territory and is true to himself for the first time". The reality show is produced by Bunim/Murray Productions with Bruce Jenner as one of the executive producers.

On Friday night in a 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer, Bruce Jenner (65) told her that "I am a woman" and that "As of now, I have all the male parts and all that kind of stuff, so in a lot of ways we're different, OK? But we still identify as female".

South African viewers just saw the revelation and start of the transformation of American football Coach Beiste (Dot-Marie Jones) in the 3rd episode of the 6th and final season of Glee on VUZU AMP (DStv 114) in which the character revealed that she's been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and will be undergoing imminent surgery to transition and become a man.

Friday, April 24, 2015

HLAUDI & STORMY: News coverage after the court orders the SABC to suspend its ontroversial Hlaudi Motsoeneng again.


After the Western Cape High Court yesterday ordered (for a 2nd time) that the SABC immediately suspend the controversial Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the SABC's famously matricless chief operating officer (COO) once again found himself mired news headlines.

The Herald reports that for a brief time yesterday it looked as if the SABC might suspend Hlaudi Motsoeneng. But the matricless COO wearing a purple suit, smiled and digged in, apparently paying his own way for the case of which the legal costs are already between R4 and R5 million.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) political party issued a press release saying it won again in getting a court order to have Hlaudi Motsoeneng suspended. The Cope political party says Hlaudi Motsoeneng must pay for his own appeal.

Today will apparently be "a normal day" for Hlaudi Motsoeneng who is ignoring the court ordered suspension and who told Pretoria News "for me it's a normal day".
In a great must-read opinion piece in the Independent, Craig Dodds asks: Has Hlaudi Motsoeneng's luck has run out?

Meanwhile Hlaudi Motsoeneng now appealing the Western Cape High Court's decision for a second time, meaning that it will go to the Supreme Court in Bloemfontein, means that it will become a landmark case to settle the debate on the powers of the Public Protector's reports says the Cape Times. "It's not over," says Hlaudi Motsoeneng's lawyer.

According to The Times Hlaudi Motsoeneng is battling for survival. Hlaudi Motsoeneng is exhausting all legal options to dodge his ordered suspension says Eyewitnessnews (EWN).

The Citizen says Hlaudi Motsoeneng is "stubbornly clinging to his R2.4 million job" with mock-fake humility: "I am just an employee of the SABC".

Take a look at the dramatic difference in the TV news reporting between how the SABC and SABC News (DStv 404) reported on its own news, and how much eNCA (DStv 403) and ANN7 (DStv 405) covered it on television.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng latest court saga is splashed across the front pages of several newspapers, like The Citizen and The Star - something which is hugely damaging for the image and brand of the SABC.

HLAUDI DRAMA: The biased SABC News coverage of the court ordering Hlaudi Motsoeneng be suspended, compared to eNCA and ANN7.




Media students, journalism pundits, public broadcasters experts, and anyone interested in media will enjoy this self-revealing and very telling exercise in the propaganda machine the SABC's news division has become insofar as reporting on its own management and executive troubles are concerned.

The SABC is supposed to be objective, fair and unbiased in its news reporting. Watch, compare and decide for yourself who is spinning the news and who is blatantly giving TV viewers a distorted view of a news event that happened.

First take a look at how the SABC as South Africa's public broadcaster put a spin on the Western Cape High Court judgement that its chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng must be suspended immediately on Thursday 24 April.

This is the news package the SABC carried on SABC News (DStv 404) as well as across SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 with the same strange angle, framing it as "Hlaudi Motsoeneng has successfully launched an appeal against this morning's Cape High Court appeal ruling."

Note the inclusion of the words: "Adding to the DA's legal woes..." It's actually Hlaudi Motsoeneng who is mired in legal woes and who is being taken to court.

Note how the SABC lawyer is saying the judgment is putting the SABC in crisis. The reality is actually that its the SABC refusing to act on the Public Protector's report on Hlaudi Motsoeneng and to suspend him which has been putting the SABC into a crisis.

Note how the SABC News story on Hlaudi Motsoeneng flat-out ignores and doesn't have a single word or why the court case exists, why and what Hlaudi Motsoeneng is appealing, why Hlaudi Motsoeneng was taken to court.

The SABC News insert makes not a single mention of the implications, there's not a single source or opposing view who is not part of the SABC, and not a single talking head in the piece not linked to Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Somebody watching this with no prior knowledge of what the story is about, will not have any real sense of the real news watching this badly done and blatantly slanted SABC News insert.



Now look at how eNCA (DStv 403) covered the court ordered suspension of Hlaudi Motsoeneng - the second time the court ordered the SABC to suspend Hlaudi Motsoeneng immediately.

It's a much more "real", balanced, "truthful", objective, longer and more comprehensive.

The eNCA story gives background, history, perspective. It explains what is really going on. It also gives the other side. eNCA also had a guest in studio from an independent public broadcasting pressure group to weigh in.


ANN7 (DStv 405) did a great, balanced story about Hlaudi Motsoeneng's latest court suspension order, just like eNCA (DStv 403), with tons of actual, factual background and perspective.

A viewer who've never heard of the drama, the court case or the issues and who had no prior knowledge of what is going on, would be completely clued in with a well-structured, great story which almost borders on the academic - not that that's a bad thing at all.

Like eNCA, the ANN7 story says why there is a court case in the first place - unlike SABC News which blatantly censors and is shying away from giving viewers actual background and facts on the case.

The ANN7 story could have been a bit more fair by including an opposing viewpoint or guest in the story, but all in all a very good story.


End tally: eNCA best with multiple guests from various sides shedding light on the issue. then ANN7.

SABC News is on the whole other side of the spectrum with deplorably bad "journalism" if it can even be called that. Slanted "propaganda" as far as this specific issue is concerned is probably a better term. Also keep in mind that it directly affects, and involves the SABC, its executives and management.

It's probably too much to ask or expect from the SABC to do an unbiased story; but then again the SABC is the public broadcaster, and should be impartial and unbiased in its news reporting. This story is an example of how it's not.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

BREAKING. SABC News channel goes off the air on MultiChoice's DStv platform at 7pm; channel off the air for 12 minutes, outages continue.


You're reading it here first.

SABC News (DStv 404) abruptly went off air on Thursday evening at 19:00 on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform.

DStv displayed a message that it's working on the problem.

MultiChoice on Thursday evening didn't immediately respond to a media enquiry on what is wrong and where the technical problem is.

SABC News suddenly resumed at 19:12 - starting with a slanted story about the court ordered suspension of the SABC's controversial and famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

At 19:16 there was again a signal loss of SABC News on DStv.

At 19:20 the SABC News channel again went dead on DStv for a third time, flickering off for a few seconds.

At 19:21 SABC News again buzzed off DStv erratically. Something was clearly wrong somewhere.

On Friday morning MultiChoice said in response to Thursday evening's media enquiry that "there was a problem with the feed to MultiCHoice and the channel was back on-air approximately 5 minutes later".

Samsung in South Africa to add VIDI and Simfy Africa as video streaming and music streaming apps to its new range of Tizen TV sets.


Samsung will be adding Times Media's VIDI video streaming service and the music streaming service Simfy Africa to its new range of Tizen TV's as apps.

The apps are in development and Samsung gave no date of when the apps would be launched on the TV sets.

Times Media launched VIDI in September last year.

"VIDI, a video-on-demand (VOD) application is being developed which will provide consumers with 30 days of free access and Simy Africa, an online music streaming service, with more than 20 million songs for 90 days for free access," Matthew Thackrah, the deputy director and head of consumer electronics at Samsung Electronics SA said on Wednesday night at a product launch.

"Details of these value-adds will be made available once all development and testing has been concluded," said Matthew Thackrah.

The apps will make it easier for Samsung users to stream video and music through their TV sets.

Samsung is apparently also working with eNCA (DStv 403) to get news and weather content for users. Samsung is also working with Vonetize to launch Aflix, offering Hollywood movies, TV series and other video entertainment content to consumers in 30 African countries.

Samsung unveiled a new range of curved SUHD TV sets for South Africa. From this year, all of Samsung's Smart TV's, including the new SUHD, will be powered by Tizen, an open-source platform that supports web standards for app development.

SUSPENDED. High Court orders the SABC to immediately suspend Hlaudi Motsoeneng; controversial COO to appeal judgement again.


The Western Cape High court has just ordered the SABC for a second time to immediately suspend the SABC's controversial and famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng as chief operating officer (COO).

The Western Cape High Court has again ordered the immediate suspension of Hlaudi Motsoeneng and ordered the SABC to immediately start disciplinary proceedings against Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago didn't immediately respond to a media enquiry on Thursday afternoon regarding the High Court's re-affirmed suspension judgement.

Later on Thursday the SABC said in a statement on behalf of Prof. Obert Maguvhe, the SABC's acting chairperson that "the SABC will lodge an immediate appeal on today's ruling by the Western Cape High Court to suspend its chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng".

Later on Thursday Hlaudi Motsoeneng's lawyer, Zola Majavu, confirmed that Hlaudi Motsoeneng would appeal the judgment.

In October Judge Ashton Schippers in the Western Cape High Court ruled that Hlaudi Motsoeneng be suspended immediately by the SABC.

It followed after the Democratic Alliance filed the application, demanding that Hlaudi Motsoeneng be suspended by the SABC following the Public Protector's scathing report on the SABC and Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

The Public Protector's report implicated Hlaudi Motsoeneng in maladministration and corruption at the public broadcaster, finding that "Hlaudi Motsoeneng should never have been appointed at the SABC" and that he should be suspended.

According to the Public Protector, Hlaudi Motsoeneng lied about having a matric certificate and made up symbols for a matric certificate he knew he didn't have and couldn't produce.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng was implicated as having been involved in getting rid of everyone who testified against him in an earlier disciplinary hearing at the SABC, and his salary increased from R1.5 million to R2.4 million at the SABC in one year.

The Public Protector's report advised the SABC to appoint a new COO within 90 days. Instead the SABC appointed Hlaudi Motsoeneng in the position permanently.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng appealed the court decision ordering the SABC to suspend him.

Judge Ashton Schippers said that "organs of state cannot ignore the Public Protector's remedial action".

The court ordered the SABC to start disciplinary proceedings againt Hlaudi Motsoeneng to be conducted by an independent person.

"Good administration of the SABC and openness and accountability, demand his suspension," Judge Ashton Schippers ruled, saying that the allegations against Hlaudi Motsoeneng is serious.

Judge Ashton Schippers ordered the SABC and the minister of communications, Faith Muthambi, to pay the legal costs of the court application.

In today's judgement again ordering Hlaudi Motsoeneng to be immediately suspended, Judge Ashton Schippers granted the leave to appeal‚ but said that Hlaudi Motsoeneng should immediately be suspended pending the outcome of the appeal.

"It is common cause that the appeal process might take a considerable period of time and that a suspension of the order will mean that Hlaudi Motsoeneng will remain in the position of chief operating officer whilst the appeal process runs its course.

"[Therefore] the disregard of the Public Protector's findings and remedial action by the SABC and the minister will remain unremedied. In my view‚ this state of affairs also constitutes irreparable harm to the public interest."

"By contrast‚ Hlaudi Motsoeneng will not suffer irreparable prejudice. As stated in the judgment‚ any prejudice that he might suffer will be significantly contained - he will suffer no loss of remuneration and the suspension is of a limited period."

"And he may be found not guilty on the allegations of misconduct that have been hanging over him for years. Such a result could only serve the interests of Hlaudi Motsoeneng‚ as well as those of the SABC."

Judge to rule today on whether SABC COO and famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng should be suspended by the public broadcaster.


A judge will today rule whether the urgent court interdict should be enforced against the SABC's chief operating officer and famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng and whether he should immediately be suspended by the SABC.

In October Judge Ashton Schippers in the Western Cape High Court ruled that Hlaudi Motsoeneng be suspended immediately by the SABC.

It followed after the Democratic Alliance filed the application, demanding that Hlaudi Motsoeneng be suspended by the SABC following the Public Protector's scathing report on the SABC and Hlaudi Motsoeneng, implicating him in maladministration and corruption at the public broadcaster and saying that "Hlaudi Motsoeneng should never have been appointed at the SABC".

According to the Public Protector, Hlaudi Motsoeneng lied about having a matric certificate and made up symbols for a matric certificate he knew he didn't have and couldn't produce.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng was implicated as having been involved in getting rid of everyone who testified against him in an earlier disciplinary hearing at the SABC, and his salary increased from R1.5 million to R2.4 million at the SABC in one year.

The Public Protector's report advised the SABC to appoint a new COO within 90 days. Instead the SABC appointed Hlaudi Motsoeneng in the position permanently.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng appealed the court decision ordering the SABC to suspend him.

Judge Ashton Schippers said that "organs of state cannot ignore the Public Protector's remedial action".

The court ordered the SABC to start disciplinary proceedings againt Hlaudi Motsoeneng to be conducted by an independent person.

"Good administration of the SABC and openness and accountability, demand his suspension," Judge Ashton Schippers ruled, saying that the allegations against Hlaudi Motsoeneng is serious.

Judge Ashton Schippers ordered the SABC and the minister of communications, Faith Muthambi, to pay the legal costs of the court application.

Food Network's celebrity chefs Jenny Morris and Reza Mahammad teaming up to present new show, Jenny & Reza's Fabulous Food Academy.


The Food Network (DStv 175) celebrity chefs Jenny Morris and Reza Mahammad have teamed up and are filming a brand new edutainment cooking teaching show Jenny & Reza's Fabulous Food Academy in South Africa which will be broadcast on the channel from later this year.

It's the first TV production in which Jenny Morris and Reza Mahammad, both beloved and recognised faces on the Food Network in their own shows, are starring and working together as co-presenters of the new show teaching would-be chefs how to create a delicious feast while passing on cooking tips.

Jenny & Reza's Fabulous Food Academy, a first season which will consist out of 25 half hour episodes, was commissioned by Scripps Networks UK & Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) with filming which recently started at Okuhle Media's studios in Cape Town.


Jenny & Reza's Fabulous Food Academy was commissioned by Gareth Williams, the vice president for commissioning at Scripps Networks UK & EMEA, with Louise McClelland of Okuhle Media as executive producer.

In Jenny & Reza's Fabulous Food Academy Jenny Morris and Reza Mahammad help amateur chefs across South Africa in their custom-designed studio with tips and techniques on how to cook like a professional.

From basics to Mediterranean and Asian-inspired dishes, the chefs bring their unique and now combined sense of humour to this new show as they put the participants through their paces.

"We are proud to be launching a new format with Jenny and Reza who have been a huge hit with our audiences across the region," says Phillip Luff, the managing director for Scripps Networks UK & EMEA.

"Our continued investment in our talent and original commissions has allowed for us to expand our portfolio as one of the world's leading producers of engaging lifestyle content."

A sprinkling of new content on SABC2 from May as Abo Mzala moves from SABC1; also adds Pretty Little Liars, The Jamie Foxx Show.


SABC2 is finally adding a sprinkling of new content to its schedule from May, with a new season of Abo Mzala jumping from SABC1 to SABC2, the American drama series Pretty Little Liars and The Jamie Foxx Show.

SABC2 says in a press statement the channel is "excited" to share highlights coming to the channel in May with the second season of the local sitcom Majakathata Records starting on 3 May at 20:00. The sitcom is set in the small town of Hammanskraal where an old bakery has been turned into a music studio.

Sibongile Nojila replaces Gladys Tshabalala in the role of Ous Dipsy and Sello Zikalala takes over the role of Nkadimeng from Daniel Maphatseng who died.

The 4th season of Gospel Classics continues and will still feature gospel singer Sfiso Ncwane, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and The Bala Brothers.

The American drama series Pretty Little Liars shown on VUZU on DStv and which finished its 5th season last month will start on SABC2 on 4 May at 20:00. It follows four teenage girls - Spencer, Hanna, Aria, and Emily - who are tormented by a mysterious stranger known as "A" who knows all their secrets.

Four years since the first season of sitcom Abo Mzala was shown on SABC1 the sitcom is now revived and jumping to SABC2 starting Saturday 9 May at 20:00. The sitcom revolves around four single domestic workers - Thuli, Ella, Zodwa and Thandi - doing whatever they can to find Mister Right.

The 90's American sitcom The Jamie Foxx Show will start on SABC2 on 28 May at 20:00.

SABC2 will broadcast the 90th Comrades Marathon live on Sunday 31 May from 05:00 until 18:00.

No police charges filed in Big Brother Mzansi's alleged rape incident but matter reported to the police; M-Net releases contestants.


No official police charges have yet been laid in Big Brother Mzansi's alleged rape incident which plunged the low-brow reality show shown on MultiChoice's DStv into scandal last week, but the matter has been reported to the police.

Big Brother Mzansi is produced by Endemol Shine Africa, and broadcast on M-Net's Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) as well as two 24/7 Big Brother Mzansi TV channels on DStv channels 197 and 198.

Scandal once again engulfed the show last week when Endemol Shine Africa booted the male contestant Adams (Siyanda Ngwenya, 24, Estcourt) and also removed the woman, Bexx (Axola Mbengo, 26 from Queenstown) "for her well-being" from the voyeuristic reality show last Monday evening, following alleged "sexual misconduct" which took place on Saturday night.

It came after Adams bragged to other contestants that he "dipped her but I don't think she remembers because she passed out". The distraught woman later told fellow contestants that she didn't consent to any sex with the man on Saturday night.

Earlier on the same night, she was pressed in-between the same man and another male contestant and were kissed and groped against her will. Both men were then cautioned by the producers about their inappropriate behaviour but were left in the house.

An evening of heavy drinking followed - the show regularly plies contestants with alcohol who booze it up into the late hours - after which the alleged rape incident occured. 

Although the reality show house is filled with cameras, M-Net says it is not certain of exactly what happened. It's also not clear why Endemol Shine Africa producers didn't step in to intervene immediately when they could no longer see what is happening to the contestants.

Last week M-Net appointed the law firm, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr - paid by M-Net, to investigate the incident of alleged sexual misconduct.

During last year's season of Big Brother Mzansi, M-Net called a man hitting a woman in the show "an isolated incident".

M-Net tells TV with Thinus that Endemol Shine Africa has reported the matter to the police. At this time however no charges have been laid.

M-Net says it "views the incident in a serious light" and is reiterating that "the well-being of the contestants remains of utmost importance". 

M-Net confirms that both contestants are now back home. "Any possible further action will be informed by the findings of the investigation," says the pay-TV broadcaster.

The Sunday Times on Sunday reported that Axola Mbengo who was allegedly kept away from her family in the hotel she was placed in after she was removed from the house, made a secret call to her family to say that she "wasn't supposed to talk to the outside world".

A family member said Axola Mbengo was getting legal advice, but was worried that the lawyer "could be working for the Big Brother Mzansi people, trying to fix the matter for themselves so that their name is not ruined".

M-Net didn't respond to specific questions put to the pay-TV broadcaster asking whether the contestants were indeed held against their will in the hotel and not allowed to communicate and call family members, how long the investigation is expected to take, and when there would be a report.

Auditions open for new 6th season of SA's Got Talent on e.tv; Tats Nkonzo back as presenter with DJ Fresh, Lalla Hirayama and Shado Twala as judges.


Auditions have opened for SA's Got Talent with the reality show returning for a 6th season.

It will mark the 4th season of SA's Got Talent on e.tv since the show, produced by Rapid Blue, jumped from SABC2 after the first two seasons to e.tv.

House DJ, Thato "Fresh" Sikwane and Lalla Hirayama who joined as new judges the previous season will both be back again with longtime judge Shado Twala, and SA's Got Talent presenter Tats Nkonzo also remains.

Auditions for the 6th season of SA's Got Talent will take place in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town during May.

Contestants can pre-register and register for SA's Got Talent by emailing talent@rapidblue.com and ask for an entry form and send in a completed entry form which will secure a spot at the nationwide auditions. Contestants can also show up on the day at 07:00 and fill in a form at the various audition venues.

Contestants need to bring their ID, must "dress like a star", and bring all their props and whatever they need for their act to impress the judges with them on the day.

SA's Got Talent auditions will take place at the following venues:

Durban (16 May)
Olive Convention Centre (81 Somtseu Road)

Johannesburg (23, 24 May)
Focus Rooms (1, The Core, Leeuwkop Road & Kikuyu Road, Sunninghill)

Cape Town (30, 31 May)
Belmont Square Conference Centre (Belmont Road, Rosebank)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Today's interesting TV stories to read from TV with Thinus - 22 April 2015.


Deplorable. A subscriber of Sky's satellite pay-TV service struggles for 90 minutes to cancel.
Sky operator simply refuses to help him; focuses on attention of how pay-TV subscribers of Sky struggle to cancel their contracts.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng wants SABC to make doccies to unite Africa.
After the xenophobic violence rocking South Africa, the SABC's famously matricless chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng says the SABC will now make documentaries "to sensitise the nation" and dramas to promote unity among Africans.

Meanwhile Hlaudi Motsoeneng was in Cape Town to meet with advertisers and investors of the SABC. "You need to ask those difficult questions," Hlaudi Motsoeneng tells advertisers.

Paramount Television is working on a TV series spin-off of the movie Galaxy Quest.
The film spoof will likely become a new TV series.

Held against her will in hotel and prevented from calling her family?
The Sunday Times reports that the Big Brother Mzansi contestant who was allegedly raped in the Endemol Shine Africa and Mzansi Magic reality show has been kept against her will, allegedly, in a hotel and she allegedly "sneaked" in a call and told a family member she was told not to talk to "the outside world".

Nominations asked for 2 new SABC board members.
Apparently the 2 recently fired SABC board members Rachel Kalidass and Ronnie Lubisi by minister Faith Muthambi using the Companies Act instead of the Broadcasting Act, are really fired.

Jon Stewart's will say farewell on The Daily Show on 6 August.
The Daily Show host on Comedy Central (DStv 122) will say goodbye on 6 August after which the show will go on holiday and Trevor Noah will take over sometime in September only when the new American TV season starts.

Full House revival as Fuller House gets picked up for 13 episodes.
Fuller House will be shown on Netflix with most of the original cast returning.

Dramatic global growth fro Netflix.
Netflix had 16.8 million paid subscribers at the end of 2014 across the world.

KwaZulu-Natal actors feel entitled to get roles in SABC1's telenovela Uzalo.
Angry KwaMashu actors who are from the township where the show is filmed say they feel its their right to be in it.

Two men were arrested for stealing from the SABC News' crew in Durban covering the xenophobic violence.

"Faketopia": A drunk producer stumbles into Germany's Utopia and gives contestants directions.
Drunk producer fired after scandal, production company says contestants are never told what to say or do or what stories to act out in the reality show and that the "incident was due to human error".

Creator of the Teletubbies warns about a funding crisis with kids' television.
Says traditions of producing great children's content are being eroded; warns about a crisis in the funding of the United Kingdom's children's content on TV and a "North American mono-culture creeping over everywhere".

Patrick Dempsey might be out of Grey's Anatomy.
The actor has allegedly turned into "a diva" behind-the-scenes at the longrunning medical drama infuriating creator Shonda Rhimes.

StarSat blackout caused by problem at the uplink site in Slovenia used by the operator; caused different problems on different StarSat decoders.


The StarSat blackout which hit on Monday afternoon and Tuesday and saw the satellite pay-TV service in South Africa go dead was caused by a problem at the uplink site in Slovenia used by the operator.

Subscribers of the struggling StarSat, run by On Digital Media (ODM) and China's StarTimes Media SA, lost their channels on Monday afternoon, with no word or explanation from the Woodmead-based company as to what happened, why or when their service would be restored.

Angry StarSat subscribers also complained about being unable to get through to StarSat's call centre on Monday and Tuesday, only getting a recording saying the number is "unobtainable".

On Monday and Tuesday morning email and faxes to StarSat also didn't go through.

The transmission was restored on Tuesday afternoon. StarSat subscribers complained about the lack of communication from StarSat during the crisis and being unable to get any answers as to what is happening and what they have to do to restore their service.

A StarSat spokesperson told TV with Thinus that the problem with the signal loss was caused due to a broken fibre link to the uplink site in Slovenia.

The StarSat signal loss also caused different problems on the different StarSat decoders - the original TopTV branded ones, as well as the never HD capable StarSat branded ones imported from China.

StarSat explained that the email problem was a separate one and has been sorted out.

StarSat said its call centre was overloaded with calls, which is the reason why its subscribers battled to get through.

Scared and confused StarSat subscribers who engulfed StarSat's Facebook page, wondered whether StarSat has gone "belly up" since the company is still in business rescue and didn't get any answers on Monday. On Tuesday there was only a single short message, almost a day after the problem first started.

"Please be assured that StarSat is not going out of business but is still in operation," a spokesperson told TV with Thinus.

After StarSat said the transmission was restored, StarSat subscribers are still reporting problems and being unable to get the signal and their TV channels back through their decoders. StarSat has not publicly posted or informed subscribers how to go about resetting or rebooting their decoders.

Several StarSat subscribers complained of wasting a lot of money waiting on hold trying to get through to the call centre in an attempt to hear what they have to do.

"Do we get credit for the time that we can't get service? After all you are quick to cut service if the subscription lapses," asked Evan Davies.

"StarSat. What is going on?" said Michelle le Roux on Tuesday, echoing the shock, frustration and anger of many StarSat subscribers.

"This is the poorest service I have ever experienced in my life.Your service is the poorest," said Thea Botes.

"How about answering a phone! Or giving one that actually goes through to a consultant. I have wasted R150 on calls last night," said Charmaine Vorster.

"My mom is a pensioner and has spent sooo much money on airtime trying to sort her problem out. StarSat your service is pathetic," said Jeshika Maharaj.