Friday, February 23, 2018

BREAKING. Organisers dramatically cut down viewers' choice from 16 to just 7 categories as entries open for 6th Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards; M-Net and MultiChoice's AMVCAs set to take place on 1 September.

Entries for the 6th Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards 2018 will open for Africa's film and TV producers on 1 March and close on 30 April, and South Africans are welcome to enter - while sadly the say that viewers have in deciding winners is being dramatically cut down although it's still called a "Viewers' Choice" awards ceremony.

The 2018 AMVCAs done by MultiChoice and M-Net will take place in the third quarter of this year, on 1 September 2018.

The AMVCA organisers didn't bothered to explain why the viewers' choice has been dramatically reduced. Previously viewers across Africa chose 16 of the 27 categories in 2017. This has been gutted with viewers who will now just choose a shocking 7 of the 27 categories in 2018.

In January TVwithThinus reported that the Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards isn't scrapped despite Nigerian trash reporting erroneously claiming that the AMVCAs has come to an end.

M-Net explained that the AMVCAs didn't take at the beginning of this year but that the annual pan-African award show celebrating the continent's film and television as well as its producers and stars is going ahead.

M-Net said that it deliberately decided to move the AMVCAs to the latter part of this year to unclutter the event television schedule.

"Nearly one year after the last AMVCAs, we are pleased to announce the call to entry for 2018 edition of the awards," says Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, M-Net West Africa director.

"The African movie and television industry is brimming with exciting talent, and at Africa Magic we contribute to the industry by not only giving these talents the platform to showcase their skills and passion, but by celebrating their achievements whilst also encouraging them to continue honing their craft."

The Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards celebrate filmmakers in different categories ranging from acting and directing to script writing and cinematography. 

For 2018 M-Net says "a number of awards in different categories will be presented ranging from acting and directing to script writing and cinematography."

Other categories will include: short film or online video, soundtrack, costume designing, sound and lighting. 

For 2017 there were 27 categories in total with viewers who decided 16 and 11 who were decided by the AMVCA panel of judges.

M-Net and MultiChoice are however dramatically cutting viewers' choice down in the AMVCAs for this year, limiting true "viewers' choice" to just 7 of the 27 categories and with 20 decided by the AMVCA judges.

Its disingenuous from M-Net's Africa Magic and MultiChoice to call it a "Viewers' Choice Awards" when the vote from viewers suddenly count just 25.9%.

It's also very bad from M-Net's Africa Magic and MultiChoice - that presumably want viewers' buy-in for a show premised on a popular vote - but signaling that the very viewers expected to vote and to vote are not actually trusted in their decision-making and choices.

Meanwhile John Ugbe, MultiChoice Nigeria's managing director, in a statement says he is delighted "at the the growing success of the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards".

"We have been inundated by calls from filmmakers across Africa with everyone asking when the AMVCAs would return for another edition. After a brief hiatus, we are thrilled to announce that 2018 will indeed mark the sixth consecutive year of MultiChoice and Africa Magic successfully hosting the AMVCAs and we remain proud of the improvements seen in the industry since the inception of the awards as we know that these cannot be ignored or overstated."

"Furthermore, our continued investment demonstrates our dedication in helping unearth and celebrate talent on continent and we believe that the 2018 edition of the AMVCAs will leave an even bigger impact on the African film production industry than the previous five."

Entry for the 2018 Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards is free and the closing date for submissions is 30 April 2018. 

Films, made-for-television movies or television series previously entered into or nominated for an award, or awarded a prize in another film and television competition are eligible to be entered for the AMVCAs, and all films, made-for-television movies or television series are eligible for entry to the AMVCAs if they are broadcast or publicly screened during the period of 1 October 2016 to 31 March 2018.

Here are the guidelines:
1. Prepare a 2 to 3 minute long showreel for online submission.

2. Log on to www. and navigate to the submission page.

3. Fill out the submission forms and upload the clip. A unique reference number will be allocated to each completed online submission. Depending on their location, participants should send their entries to either of the following addresses, quoting their unique reference number:

Attention: Hadizat Ibrahim (Nigeria)
Mss Local Productions
4 Industrial street, off town planning way, Illupeju, Lagos. 

Attention: Buhle Ngcauzele (South Africa)
137 Bram Fischer Drive, Randburg, 2123, South Africa.

Attention: Margaret Mathore (Kenya)
2nd floor, M-Net Offices
Local Production studio, Jamhuri Grounds off Ngong Road, Nairobi, Kenya.

More information on entry requirements and submission procedures are available at

Thursday, February 22, 2018

ANN7's Midrand headquarters raided by immigration officials from the department of home affairs after Indian worker visas have apparently expired.

The Midrand headquarters of the controversial ANN7 (DStv 405) channel was raided by immigration officials on Thursday afternoon, the department of home affairs confirmed.

The surprise raid comes as the work visas of several ANN7 staffers from India, including several managers, had apparently expired.

Mzwanele "Jimmy" Manyi didn't respond to media enquiries about the home affairs raid on Thursday.

His Afrotone Media Holdings now owns the notoriously biased "Guptanews" channel on DStv that MultiChoice is shutting down at the end of July.

Fugitive Guptas as currently being hunted by South African law enforcement as they continue to evade the law that is looking for them due to their connection to widespread alleged "state capture" in South Africa.

The work permits of several ANN7 staffers from Indian, including multiple managers, have apparently expired, and they allegedly kept working.

ANN7 insiders said Indian workers were herded into the one green room where they were made to wait, while ANN7 staffers looked on.

ANN7 staffers said the home affairs check was "completely unexpected".

The department of home affairs in a statement said that it had conducted a "routine inspection" at ANN7.

"As part of its mandate, the inspectorate directorate of the department undertakes regular inspections on the basis of information provided to them, which information would demand a thorough investigation including in loco inspections."

"In this regard, our officials visited the ANN7 studios to verify information related to visas of certain individuals employed by the organisation".

"Once verified, the department will release the findings of the inspection."

Wendy Williams abruptly ends her BET talk show for a 3 week vacation after Graves' disease diagnosis; tells women to 'stop putting everyone else first'.

Wendy Williams (53) is abruptly taking a 3 week holiday from her The Wendy Williams Show talk show on BET (DStv 129) after last week's sick leave due to flue, with the weekday talk show show that will go into reruns as she deals with her diagnosis of Graves' disease.

In a "special message" on Wednesday, Wendy Williams told her audience that the talk show is stopping production for a 3 week break after she has been diagnosed with the autoimmune disease, Graves' disease, in addition to her hyperthyroidism that she was aware of previously.

"My doctor has prescribed ... are you ready? As of today, three weeks of vacation," said Wendy Williams. "What? Who are you? I was pissed."

Wendy Williams suddenly cancelled her show last week from Wednesday to Friday due to flu but now her talk show will again be going into repeats for a longer period.

Wendy Williams however promised that she might be back sooner, saying she could maybe return "in two weeks. I’m not an heiress. Who is going to pay my bills? Are you serious? I’m just saying, I come from working class."

"Graves’ disease squeezes the muscles behind the eyeballs,” Wendy explained, saying that it has made her eyeballs twitch.

Wendy said she also had a message for women. "What I want to say to women, more than men, is stop putting everyone else first because if we're not good, they're not good."

In a statement The Wendy Williams Show says "Wendy is a true champion and has never missed a day of work. But her health and well-being must be put before all else".

"Wendy has been openly dealing with her Graves’ Disease for many years in addition to hyperthyroidism. Yesterday, Wendy’s doctor prescribed a necessary three weeks of rest to get her levels and medication in sync. The show will be in repeats during this unplanned hiatus. A live show was produced today so that Wendy could speak directly to her fans and explain her condition."

MultiChoice cuts Showmax price in half for Compact subscribers; price dropped from R99 to R49 per month.

MultiChoice has decided to cut the price of its Showmax subscriptions in half for its largest group of subscribers with DStv Compact Plus and DStv Compact subscribers who will see a price drop from R99 to R49 per month.

Top-tier DStv Premium subscribers already get access to Naspers' subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service for free until March 2019, with Showmax that was folded in under MultiChoice in September 2017.

"More and more customers are telling us they love to binge-watch box sets on DStv Catch Up and Showmax," says Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice South Africa CEO. "It's the way the world is moving and that's why we're offering all our Compact Plus and Compact customers Showmax at a big discount, so they can enjoy this exceptional experience".

A Showmax subscription gives users access to two concurrent streams on different devices. Parents can watch their shows on a flatscreen TV while the kids watch cartoons on their tablet.

Showmax allows customers the option to download up to 25 TV shows and movies to their smartphone or tablet for viewing later.

A link has been added to the DStv Now app with DStv subscribers who can use up to 4 mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to access the DStv Now app, stream live television channels, and stream or download Catch Up content linked to their packages.

South African television slammed in parliament for its ongoing shabby treatment of deaf and hearing-impaired people.

South African viewers with disabilities are tired of ongoing empty promises by the government and broadcasters to do more and what they're expected to do, like in other countries, to make TV programming more accessible, and on Tuesday broadcasters were slammed in parliament for its ongoing shabby treatment of the deaf and other people with disabilities.

While the rest of the world's TV industry is much further advanced than South Africa with things like instant subtitling, closed captioning (CC) and sign language interpreters for important TV programming, the country is still struggling to meet the very basic needs and mandated requirements for people with disabilities watching television.

While even YouTube now provides automatically provides a toggle for subtitles and closed captioning on videos, South African television lags far behind its now decade-old and hugely hyped promises of digital terrestrial television (DTT) that would offer similar kinds of services for hearing-impaired viewers.

On Tuesday, Wilma Newhoudt-Drunchen, ANC MP and South Africa's first deaf female member of parliament has had enough, and made her frustration known about the ongoing lack of consideration from the government and South African broadcasters when it comes to deaf viewers.

Ironically her speech - available on YouTube - comes with closed captioning in a way that it wasn't provided by the SABC and the Parliamentary TV channel and should be done on South African television according to regulations set out long ago by the broadcasting regulator.

"The deaf people have been watching what's been happening over the past two years. And when the previous president [Jacob Zuma] announced on TV that he would resign, the national director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa got a lot of messages on his phone because there was no interpreter provided," said Wilma Newhoudt-Drunchen. "What's happening? We don't understand what's going on. We also want to know what's going on in the country".

"Unfortunately - fortunately for some people - and unfortunately for a majority of the people. You know, I can go to Sky News (DStv 402) - it's not our channel, it's not South African. It's fully sub-titled."

"Why the president [Jacob Zuma] is talking, and the reason he is resigning - I had an opportunity to film it and put it on Facebook. To send it to other deaf people so that they can have a look and read why their president was leaving."

" had nothing. SABC - our channel - had nothing. And I'm asking you to speak to the SABC. Important national news - people with disabilities need to be included, including deaf people with what is happening in the news."

"I have to applaud DStv. Deafsa has been lobbying with them to make their programmes more accessible through subtitles. And I strongly believe that subtitles is the answer for literacy for children and adults. Literacy is very important."

"Now DStv has added - it's not just Sky News - but they've added a children's channel, Nickelodeon, a channel for children, which is now subtitled. Not all of it, not all programmes, but some."

"Department of communications, you need to lobby with the SABC. I have been on this committee for a very long time and I have lobbied and lobbied for access to information through subtitles. The best part where we can get access to information is on television. So please encourage the SABC to get more things subtitled. More is needed,especially in regard to current news and current events," said Wilma Newhoudt-Drunchen.

Wilma Newhoudt-Drunchen also took the department of communications and the minister of communications, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, to task for saying "the department will publish digital radio directives to address issues of the deaf. Me as a deaf person cannot hear the radio. Deaf people do not hear the radio."

"If it's digital radio that becomes print, oh wonderful, I'm going to be very happy if whatever is said on radio is printed so that I can read it."

M-Net working on a Xhosa king period drama set in the Eastern Cape and a Deon Meyer crime novel adaptation for 2018.

M-Net is adding two new local productions, Trackers, a 6-episode Deon Meyer crime novel adaptation; as well as House of Phalo, a period drama focused on the rise of Xhosa in the Eastern Cape and the rise of King Phalo produced by Mfundi Vundla's Morula Pictures.

M-Net says the pay-TV broadcaster remains committed to local storytelling and that the slate of new productions will provide compelling viewing for DStv subscribers and help to feed the growing global appetite for television drama series.

"This is the golden age of television series – an era marked by a year-on-year increase in scripted content that is eagerly consumed by audiences, both live and through binge viewing," says Yolisa Phahle, CEO of General Entertainment for MultiChoice,

"Audiences are also increasingly receptive to authentic, universal stories and this provides an opportunity for us to take African stories to the world."

Trackers is an adaptation of the acclaimed South African crime writer Deon Meyer’s international best-selling novel.

The 6-part series is co-produced with SCENE23, a new production hub created by Deon Meyer, Cobus van den Berg and Tim Theron, together with Three River Fiction, a London-based, independent production company.

"It is a real pleasure and privilege to co-produce an international TV series based on my novel, Trackers – with South African talent, textures and accents,” says Deon Meyer.

"Thanks to M-Net and Three River Fiction’s involvement, we are also delighted to have Robert Thorogood, best known for the Death In Paradise TV series, on board as the showrunner, leading our writing team".

"Deon Meyer has been responsible for introducing millions of people across the globe to South Africa, so it made absolute sense to adapt one of his books for SCENE23’s first outing into the great unknown of the international industry," says Cobus van den Berg.

"The global and critical success of Trackers made it the perfect choice to go with. As producers we’re really excited to join the current push to show the world that we’re not just a great place to come and shoot their films and series, but that our own stories deserve to be seen and enjoyed by the global audience. But we can’t do it alone, and SCENE23 is extremely proud to be partnering with M-Net and Three River Fiction to make this project a reality."

"Three River Fiction is delighted to be working with SCENE23 and M-Net on Trackers,” says Jonathan Drake, CEO and co-creative director at Three River Fiction.

"Deon has written a thrilling book, and working with Deon and Robert Thorogood to adapt the story for television is a really exciting opportunity. M-Net is the ideal home for Trackers – a story rooted in Africa but with strong international appeal. It is already generating strong interest from other networks around the world."

A Xhosa Game of Thrones
A uniquely South African historical drama series is also currently in production - House of Phalo, a telling of the first modern history of the Xhosa and the rise of King Phalo.

Mfundi Vundla’s Morula Pictures is behind House of Phalo. Vundla is renowned for his game-changing television, having created South Africa’s first soapie Generations in 1994 on SABC1. House of Phalo will appeal to fans of series like Vikings and Game of Thrones that's on M-Net.

"This story is about shattering the popular narrative that the history of our people began in 1652 with the arrival of Jan Van Riebeek," says Mfundi Vundla. "There is indisputable evidence that Xhosa people have lived in the Eastern Cape since the 15th century."

"It’s only through systematic erasure by colonialists and apartheid that we have lost part of this history. It was crucial for us then to treat this drama with the care and reverence it deserves. We hope we have managed to evoke a sense of pride in our history, a better understanding of the people we are, and a clearer vision of our present and future."

M-Net acting CEO since 1 February, Nkateko Mabaso says "co-productions are on the rise globally and they are certainly playing a huge role in the opportunity to build global audiences for local stories. These days it is common to see productions that are a collaboration between broadcasters operating in different markets."

"This is good for the industry as it has the potential to increase audiences," says Nkateko Mabaso.

"We are thrilled to be working with some of the finest talent, both locally and abroad, to bring an increased focus to the incredible talent in South Africa."

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

SuperSport kicks off coverage of 23rd Vodacom Super Rugby edition with an updated on-screen graphics package.

SuperSport has kicked off its Vodacom Super Rugby coverage with all 127 matches of the 23rd edition that will be broadcast live.

SuperSport's coverage includes include an on-screen graphics refresh in line with the South Africa vs India cricket series look and is implemented both in studio and in match coverage.  

Each Super Rugby team will play 16 matches - 8 home and 8 away - and have to 2 byes. The tournament will conclude on 4 August.

"Super Rugby is still the most vibrant rugby you can watch week after week," says Gideon Khobane, SuperSport CEO.

"There’s nothing to match live sport. In Super Rugby, the action is never less than full-blooded and new stars are to be found everywhere. Our staff have honed their skills on what remains enthralling content and we look forward to reminding people what a great tournament it is."

SuperSport says it will make use of analysts like Nick Mallett, Ashwin Willemse, Gcobani Bobo and Jean de Villiers, along with a commentary team. All afternoon and evening matches will enjoy studio build-ups with select games being presented from game venues.

Travel Channel renews Expedition Unknown with Josh Gates for another 14 episodes.

The Travel Channel (DStv 179 / Cell C black 255) has renewed its Expedition Unknown with the archaeologist and explorer Josh Gates for a further 14 new hour-long episodes.

Production on the new season of Expedition Unknown will start in a few months.

The series follows adventure-laden expeditions, giving viewers insight into the world’s biggest legends and stories.

"Expedition Unknown continues to grow and take on a life of its own and Josh’s passion for adventure is a big part of that," says Courtney White, senior vice president of programming for the Travel, Food Network and Cooking Channel in America in a statement.

"He’s the consummate storyteller whose knowledge of history and culture enhances each expedition and heightens the viewing experience, which is why fans can’t get enough."

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Despite trash reporting from Nigeria's press, MultiChoice Nigeria's DStv and GOtv in the West African country WON'T be shutting down in 2019 and forced to close.

MultiChoice Nigeria and other pay-TV operators in Nigeria won't be shutting down in 2019 and won't be closing or forced to end their services like DStv and GOtv in the West African country next year, despite hugely erroneous and factually wrong trash reports by Nigeria's pathetic press.

Last week one once again one idiot in Nigeria ran a factually wrong story that was quickly copy-and-pasted by the lame duck Nigerian press, clueless about proper background regarding their own country's TV and pay-TV industry, and breathlessly reporting that the Nigerian government is going to force MultiChoice Nigeria, StarTimes Nigeria and others to close down since their pay-TV licences won't be renewed.

Utter sh*t.

But is no longer unexpected from MultiChoice's second largest pay-TV market in Africa where irrational Nigerian resentment and hate against MultiChoice has been steadily building the past 3 years along with a litany of fake news reporting.

Firstly, the Nigerian government needs all the local and foreign investment it can get and hold on to with the tanking Nigerian economy. It's not going to shut out companies and ironically will have to come up with a plan to keep multi-national companies who have been leaving Nigeria one after the other.

Secondly, MultiChoice Nigeria is one of the biggest corporate tax payers and corporate investors in Nigeria. The Nigerian government isn't going to close off this income tap.

Thirdly, MultiChoice Nigeria is a massive source of employment for local Nigerians through the entire pay-TV value chain - think direct employees to installer agents. Take away MultiChoice and you increase joblessness directly.

Fourthly, while Nigerians have made trashing MultiChoice and DStv a national pass time, DStv is the best of the available pay-TV providers since it launched DStv there in 1995 and GOtv in 2011.

On a mere consumer leve, imagine the massive outcry when millions of ordinary Nigerian pay-TV viewers and even government fat cats lose their DStv and GOtv and EPL and other international soccer and telenovelas - there is no way the Nigerian government would risk that.

Trash reporting had it that MultiChoice Nigeria will be forced to shut down DStv and GOtv since the pay-TV provider was notified by Nigeria's federal government that its operation in Nigeria will end in 2019 because its licence is expiring.

Apparently its licence issued in 2014 won't be renewed because it was not in line with Nigeria's Digital Switch Over (DSO) White Paper.

The so-called "DSO White Paper" is a policy. It's a regulatory framework and a broadcasting model for Nigeria'a migration process from analogue TV broadcasting to digital terrestrial television (DTT) - a mess that's only slightly better managed than South Africa's DTT disaster.

MultiChoice Nigeria in a statement says "GOtv is provided under a fully licensed and registered entity in Nigeria, and this license comes up for renewal in March 2019".

"As a law-abiding and committed Nigerian operator which has fulfilled and continues to comply with all regulatory requirements and applicable laws, it is not clear how or why this license would not be renewed, and as such the company will investigate further in the best interests of the many customers it serves in the market."

"MultiChoice remains committed to providing its customers with a wide variety of quality entertainment through the usual best standards".

The SABC launches the SABC Education Virtual Academy as a self-help, e-learning system to help matric learners.

The SABC's SABC Education division has launched the SABC Education Virtual Academy (SEVA) as a self-help, e-learning system.

The SEVA at, has been designed to help matric learners with their studies and equip them with skills to work independently.

The SABC says SEVA will provide access to video lessons, flash cards, notes and online assignments on five critical learning areas:  Mathematics, Accounting, English, Physical and Life Sciences for free.

"It was important to create a platform like SEVA because we wanted learners to have easier access to our educational content," says Danie Swart, the head of SABC Education.

Learners will be required to register on, using a smartphone, tablet or computer in order to access the learner support material.

OOH, AWESOME. Ridley Scott's new epic-looking British navy period drama, The Terror, coming to AMC and SundanceTV on DStv and Kwesé TV from 27 March as an Express from the US title.

The amazing looking new premium TV period drama, The Terror, produced by Ridley Scott, will be coming to South African and African viewers simulcast on both AMC (Kwese TV 130) and Sundance TV (DStv 108) from 27 March at 21:00, and as an Express from the US title.

South African viewers will see the big-budget series a whole month before the United Kingdom, where The Terror only starts on 24 April, as the first of 2018's most anticipated new premium TV series of the year.

The terrific new limited-series period drama from Scott Free Productions, Emjag Productions and Entertainment 360 in association with AMC Studios, is based on Dan Simmons's 2007 book by the same name.

The Terror will start on 26 March in America, and literally at the same time in South Africa and Africa where pay-TV subscribers will be able to see the 10 episodes it in high definition thanks to AMC Networks International that in 2016 snapped up the drama series for an exclusive premiere playout next month on AMC Global's channels in territories across Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America.

The Terror will have with new episodes every Tuesday until 29 May, with a cast including Jared Harris, Tobias Menzies, Ciaran Hinds, Matthew McNaulty and Nive Nielsen as the enigmatic Lady Silence.

The Terror's teaser trailer looks incredible and tells the tale of the British Royal Navy's perilous voyage in 1847 into unchartered territory and the various crews' desperate attempt discover the Northwest Passage sea route in the frigid Arctic Ocean through the Canadian Arctic archipelago.

The Terror, playing out as a bit of a horror story since it's done by Alien director Ridley Scott, is inspired by a true story with the drama series that will have viewers really at the edge of their seats with treacherous conditions, dwindling and limited resources, dwindling hope, fear of death, somewhat of a supernatural mystery and several secrets and shocking revelations as crews are pushed to the brink of extinction.

While everything starts out fine, soon the ships are trapped in the ice and people start dying. Frozen, isolated and stuck at the end of the world, The Terror shows all that can go wrong when a group of men, desperate to survive, struggle not only with the harsh elements, but with each other.

While desperately searching for a way through, the crews are attacked by a mysterious predator that stalks the ships and their crew in a suspenseful and desperate game of survival.

Meanwhile various in-fighting and political, naval intrigue are playing out aboard as each of the top-ranking naval officers are scheming for various reasons, while Lady Silence is trying to protect her land and her people.

The real expedition to discovery the Northwest Passage led to more than 120 crew members inexplicably disappearing. That of course has led to a lot of speculation over the year of just what exactly happened on board.

After almost 175 years of searching, the ships were discovered by arctic research groups in 2014 and 2016.

The Terror was filmed in Budapest and is named for one of the two British ships, the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror that undertook the perilous journey.

"The Terror captures a rare combination of fascinating history, complex and flawed characters, the inextinguishable human spirit and the horror and promise of an uncharted world,"says executive producers and co-showrunners David Kajganich and Soo Hugh in a statement.

"We are looking forward to bringing viewers into this world."

Here is the teaser trailer for The Terror:

Here is a fascinating, must-watch, pre-season behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Terror:

TV CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK: Such a yawn 3 episodes in, I can literally not give a proper review of the 8th season of Clover's Tropika Island of Treasure Maldives on SABC3 due to the show's slow start.

Three episodes in, the lethargic and white-washed, over-exposed 8th season of Clover's Tropika Island of Treasure on SABC3 is such a yawn to watch (nobody has even been eliminated yet. Don't ask.) that I haven't even been able to do a review about this weird slow-burn, no-burn advertiser-funded production (AFP) yet.

What I've already noticed - and remarked on - is how Clover and Tropika's communication around the show to the press has been worse than the previous season in my opinion, and how it hasn't done Tropika Island of Treasure any favours with the media in creating a good impression.

In fact it's created somewhat of a bad impression with this TV critic, and I think also with others covering the medium of television who I've spoken to since and who shared their thoughts with me.

As I've said, we're now 3 episodes into this "Survivor-lite" type product placement show from Cardova productions. I wanted to specifically wait (which I usually don't do) to sample more of the show before I give an honest impression in terms of a review of the new Tropika Island of Treasure season).

Of course Clover and Tropika didn't bother to do anything to try and show or preview Tropika Island of Treasure to TV critics and media who it didn't invite to Sun City or even told either beforehand or afterwards about the media event held there in January.

This lack of help to even show the show - part of the list of why I said the communication is way worse than before - of course meant that there was no way to actually see the show before it started airing. It signaled to me and others covering television, that it didn't matter to Tropika to actually get the show in front of the eyes of TV critics - something programmes actually do do when they believe in their shows and want to let viewers know through letting those covering television know.

Also note that because it's an AFP, SABC3 publicity isn't responsible for communicating about the show, but Clover and Tropika's marketing and publicity are and the people they designate to do so.

I decided to watch Tropika Island of Treasure Maldives old school - as a linear broadcast, but 3 episodes in, I'm flummoxed by how uneventful and borderline boring it is.

Nothing much has been happening in Tropika Island of Treasure, and that says a lot in this modern TV era where viewers need a pay-off per episode or a hook to lure them to watch the next one.

I truly thought that after 3 episodes TVwithThinus would be able to post a review. But no. So little of substance has been happening - nobody has been voted out, there's been no big challenges, (there's has been a lot of Tropika bottle shots), that it's all been pretty "blah" with apparently more lower grade "celebs" than in the much better 7th season.

Of course nobody has explained the change of more initial "set-up" type episodes, and the change in approach.

Of the Sun City press briefing and what was said there - as I've remarked before - there's been nothing. If there have been stories about the quotes and answers that originated from there - if actually anything of substance was asked and answered there - it passed me by.

Where is the game master introduced in the previous season? Why has this role suddenly been eliminated?

Why is the season set in the Maldives - a place that tourists are warned about and that nobody wants to travel to at the moment while it is in the grip of political unrest?

How is the bad political situation in the Maldives impacting on the show that is, one would suppose, once again being done in conjunction with Maldives Tourism that presumably wanted Tropika Island of Treasure to make it look good and is now somewhat wasted effort?

It also feels as if there's more D-listers on the show than before, except for Melinda Bam. How exactly were these people chosen? None of these questions and others that I would have loved to ask at a media briefing, there's been any opportunity to ask.

It's striking how different and badly Clover's Tropika of Island of Treasure compare with M-Net's Survivor South Africa Philippines currently filming in the East Pacific. Months before its May broadcast, as a TV critic I've already had a huge amount of access, did interviews, was invited for an actual set visit and met the crew and producers and banked stories for Survivor SA. The same happened for other media.

Last year Tropika Island of Treasure was way better in my personal opinion (for the first time!) in how it actually handled the media, communicated and was in tune with what was needed after many years of just not getting it and not knowing how and what to do properly.

And it's not just this TV critic who the show created a bad impression with.

Two weeks ago at M-Net's Dancing with the Stars SA cocktail party a member of the media came to me and without me even asking, started to dish about the Tropika Island of Treasure Sun City media day and media briefing. I just listened and shook my head as I took another sip of my wine.

The person told me: "I did a lot of coverage and did a lot of tweets until I discovered other media are VIP and I'm not VIP. The moment I discovered some media are even staying over at Sun City but I have to go back, I decided I'm stopping the tweeting. I decided no more coverage and I haven't since".

The person told me: "We had to wait in a shuttle for other media to arrive and it was so warm. Not even like a cooler box with drinks." And then made big eyes: "And you know ... It's Tropika!"

Here's is someone who actually was at Clover's Tropika Island of Treasure media day and who was still left with a very negative impression at the end of the day because of how the person was made to feel about the brand.

It's anecdotes like these - and there's others but one is example enough - that just made me wonder why Tropika Island of Treasure didn't keep to what it did last year and how much better everything was.

It's the second year that the show is on SABC3 after jumping from SABC1 to SABC3 for the first time last year. Yet, somehow Clover isn't fitting in with SABC3's way of doing professional programming publicity at all.

I was even told that Clover and Tropika didn't invite me to the Tropika Island of Treasure Sun City media event because Tropika Island of Treasure would be at SABC3's recent programming media event and would be highlighted there. Awkwardly and badly it didn't happen.

Tropika Island of Treasure wasn't discussed, the show wasn't highlighted, and there was nobody appearing in the show or who produced the show there. There was nobody from Clover or Tropika even there as far as I could see.

There was nobody to meet, and nobody appeared on stage like the other shows' talent. Absolutely nothing - and I mean nothing - from Tropika Island of Treasure came out of the SABC3 event - and that after I was told there would be an opportunity to ask questions there and which is why I wasn't told about the Sun City media event.

How is a TV critic supposed to cover a "no-show"?

Well, I will give my time and watch a 4th episode of Tropika: Islands of Treasure - Maldives next week on SABC3 and then share thoughts. But more time and attention than that I'm definitely not going to give a show and brands that in my opinion failed to bother and should have done much more and better, much earlier in the game.

Yet another new SABC News blooper as SABC2's Venda news tells the nation: Nkandla saddened by the resignation of 'Jacob Ramaphosa'.

The SABC's SABC TV News division keeps slipping up with amateur and embarrassing mistakes, with the anchor of its Venda TV news bulletin on Monday on SABC2 suddenly referring to "Jacob Ramaphosa" during a story about former president Jacob Zuma and Nkandla.

The on-air slip-up came just after Peter Ndoro was sent on indefinite leave "to rest" after botching the English news on SABC3 and SABC News saying "Cyril Ramaphosa has passed away" instead of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai who died earlier last week.

The SABC is working hard to try and restore credibility and viewers' trust in its news offering following Hlaudi Motsoeneng's infamous censorship decree and undue editorial interference into the SABC’s newsroom but the public broadcaster keeps having to apologise for mistakes.

In the latest SABC News on-air blooper, the Venda news anchor said told the nation that "After the resignation of president Jacob Ramaphosa, the residence of Nkandla was saddened".

In August 2017 the SABC in its lower third banner referred to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as "mini-Zuma".

Just last week the SABC said in a statement that it would “like to ensure all its audiences that it remains fully committed to delivering news that is fair, balanced and accurate".

INTERVIEW. SABC3 channel head Aisha Mohamed on the channel's new schedule, The Amazing Race, Real Talk with Anele, Top Billing and Bollywood - and what's happening with the news and Supernatural.

At the beginning of February SABC3 once again changed its schedule, with SABC3 channel head Aisha Mohamed saying the channel's ongoing prime time evolution "is not the beginning nor is it the end. It's definitely the start of much more. It is our journey".

TVwithThinus sat down with Aisha Mohamed, to hear why the new schedule change happened and what it means, why Top Billing moved to Saturdays and why the news and Real Talk with Anele moved to later timeslots.

Aisha explains how SABC3 is trying to catch up with The Amazing Race, those Supernatural episodes that got cut and new seasons coming, what viewers' response are to the Bollywood content and how SABC3's schedule is responding to viewer feedback.

Why did SABC3 decide to change its schedule again from the start of February?
The changes have been coming for a while and we thought it would be really great to start a new year.

The changes are definitely part of our thinking and our strategy and we've spent a lot of time so that the changes we put forward from February are sustainable but also come with longevity. We decided to launch it in February and it can sustain itself to as soon as May when we get new titles in again, and then in the next 3 months again, we get new titles in again. So it made sense for me to start a new year with a new, fresh feeling.

We also had a lot of feedback and time to get feedback from viewers. So we've spent time reading that feedback, researching that feedback, having a look at what people actually want - you know, what are they saying to us.

What is nice about our audience is that they're very vocal. So they will tell you exactly what are the things that they like and that they don't like. And that actually assisted us in this process, with simple things like Real Talk with Anele that we've moved a little bit later. They're very much a part of those decisions, telling us things like "I'm not home when this is on" and SABC3's schedule is very much about those decisions - so we considered all of those things.

The thing is that you're never going to make everybody happy all the time. It's a competitive schedule for us as a channel, so we can compete aggressively but also make our viewers happy in the same vein.

Can you talk a bit about Top Billing and its 25th anniversary and what a show and a brand like that and its longevity means for South Africa and for the SABC and SABC3 and why did you decide to move it to Saturdays at 18:00?
That Top Billing has been on the air for so many years is a testament to the kind of product that it is and the fact that it has such high value. It is regarded in the viewers' mind as something that's really unique.

Top Billing is a very unique property. It encapsulates a little bit of everything. But also we found that in the viewing experience we're moving into a very different age. So as Top Billing is changing and evolving - and you would have seen if you've watched it for the last couple of months - it's definitely moving to a different direction.

It's moving to the direction that SABC3 is moving, but it's also moving in a digital age, it's savvy about how it's responding to it's viewers from a social media perspective, but it's also about ensuring that we give it a home that it can really shine.

And we felt that Thursdays are definitely our home for reality and for drama and that kind of thing. We found from a viewer perspective those people appreciated watching it over the weekend, so it's about giving Top Billing the opportunity tor really shine on a Saturday, and with a repeat on a Sunday. So we're really hoping to see good things in the new timeslot.

The move of the SABC's English TV news bulletin from 18:00 to 21:00, is that to make a less interrupted flow?
That's exactly what it is. So it was about flow and balance, and also allowing our viewers the opportunity to have news and lifestyle strands where they are.

We've got a 2 minute bulletin at 6 o'clock that's you'll still get that's very much the headlines. And then a very detailed bulletin at 9. So it's 2 minutes at 6 and then a very detailed bulletin at 9 encapsulating what's been going on the day.

Also our viewers are very savvy. They're aspirational. They are aware. They are aware of what's happening around them. Often a lot of the news stories, they've seen what's going on around them, they know what's happening. So it's about bringing it all together for a more detailed conversation at 21:00, which I don't think we could have done at 6 o'clock.

And then the rationale for moving the talk shows Afternoon Express and Real Talk with Anele to early prime time, is it to leverage the more viewers that potentially available later?
So definitely, definitely in terms of Real Talk with Anele that has been the feedback from viewers who told us "I have to catch it on YouTube", "I can't believe I missed it again today", "I can't believe I missed so and so" - it's all of that feedback.

So the later timeslot is a testament to the show's success?
Yes. Absolutely. Also, it's a SABC3 production. So we're invested it in. And we want to give it the best possible opportunity to shine. So 6 o'clock makes a lot of sense.

And I hoping that people are comfortably at home then and can enjoy the viewing experience as opposed to being still at work, which is the feedback we got.

Also Afternoon Express has sustained itself over time. It came on as a new show, we weren't sure how it was going to do, and it really has improved our schedule tremendously.

A lot of viewers have been scared about the possibility of Survivor and The Amazing Race disappearing from SABC3's schedule?
We've kept Mondays as adventure, so our reality and adventure on Mondays sustain itself. So Survivor is definitely still on a Monday.

We chose to put The Amazing Race on a Wednesday because we want to bring our seasons forward. So we're looking at what's happening with how many seasons there are and where we are at, and to bring things forward so that we can give viewers the next season sooner rather than later.

So we've got season 25 of The Amazing Race on Wednesdays and then we've got Survivor coming in shortly. And we've got further seasons actually. So there'll be a one and then a break and then another one. But again, just to make sure that we maintain interest and make it relevant, because we find that the gaps otherwise are a bit too far apart.

Will SABC3 ever show the last four episodes of Supernatural's stopped season?
We are still playing the last 4 episodes out. In the schedule change one of the shows that were affected was Supernatural on a Sunday night.

Unfortunately it is a little bit later, so it's not in the same timeslot that it was at, but we are most definitely showing it a bit later, so we are finishing the season. And it's nice that we also have the next seasons of Supernatural coming.

Do you know which ones?
I think its 11 and 12. So they're coming in and will come in on a drama slot on a Wednesday.

What has been the feedback in terms of the Bollywood content and will there be more of that?
So we're very excited about that. The viewer feedback has been well around Bollywood, also the pairing of Mela and Bollywood together was also very much in favour. The movies feedback was really great. So we got a lot of feedback around the types of movies.

We've also got really good titles, and we've got a good combination of for instance Hindi, Tamil and how we can pair them together and can ensure that both communities can enjoy that equally. So it is a bit of a touchy area sometimes. So we are very careful how we schedule them; so that we ensure we have enough titles, pair them nicely.

Also we try to get latest movies, we've just acquired a lot of new ones with some new titles coming on as well. I think we acquired 20 or 25 new ones.

Producer Donald Clarke joins Rapid Blue as commercial director and executive producer.

Producer Donald Clarke has joined production company Rapid Blue as commercial director and an executive producer.

Donald Clarke who started the production company Lucky Bean in 2007, and produced shows ranging from Survivor South Africa and MasterChef South Africa for M-Net to Fear Factor and several others, is jumping to Rapid Blue.

"We are delighted that Donald Clarke has agreed to join us at Rapid Blue as he brings deep experience of producing award-winning content in South Africa and across the continent, including some of the world’s most-recognisable formats as well as compelling, original shows and branded entertainment," says Duncan Irvine, Rapid Blue CEO.

"Donald’s first job out of university was with Rapid Blue and so we have a long-established relationship with him. I can think of very few people other than Donald that I would like to have alongside me as we go out into the market to secure new projects and explore exciting new markets with clients who are looking to produce innovative content across Africa," says Duncan Irvine.

Donald Clarke says "For over 25 years, Rapid Blue consistently produced compelling content of a world-class standard. I was fortunate to spend my formative years at the company and thoroughly enjoyed the work and the company culture."

"In deciding to take up the position I am acutely aware that the world of production is rapidly changing. It is a topic I have discussed at length with Duncan and Kee-Leen Irvine and we have a shared vision for television and content in Africa."

Rapid Blue is currently producing Dancing with the Stars South Africa for M-Net, did a new season of Come Dine with Me South Africa for BBC Worldwide South Africa, and does SA's Got Talent for

Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) orders SABC to remove its sexist Only Your Man Can Pay Your SABC TV licence advert (because women can't manage).

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ordered the SABC to immediately take a sexist (Only Your Man Can) Pay Your SABC TV licence advert off the air that suggests that only men can pay SABC TV licence fees since women apparently can't manage.

Jesse Kaplain complained to the ASA about a SABC TV Licence commercial on the public broadcaster's commercial radio station 5FM that she found extremely sexist.

The ad told listeners that "Luckily you now no longer have to subject the man in your life to the horrors of a shopping mall when TV licence payment time comes around. The new site let him pay from cellphone, tablet or laptop wherever he may be even from the comfort of the couch, while you get to follow the sound of those heels calling your name. Seems fair‚ doesn't it? The new TV licence website - quick‚ convenient‚ secure".

Kaplan told the ASA in her complaints that women are self-sufficient, can pay their own bills and that men are not needed to do that.

The ASA agreed with the complainant and said "in essence, the complainant found the advertising sexist and gender stereotyping", saying that the commercial "makes reference to men hating malls, but now the men can stay at home and can pay while a woman just goes shopping for pretty shoes. Because clearly she has nothing else to do and he's the bread winner and makes all the important decisions and payments in life."

The ASA ruled that "The storyline of the commercial is reliant on an assumption that the man has to pay the TV licence. Previously, he would have had to go to the mall to do so, and his female partner would have had to persuade him to do this."

"Now, he can sit on the couch and pay it. But either way, the man has to pay the TV licence. The idea that the woman could have simply paid the licence while she was at the mall is not entertained. The communication is, as the complainant highlights, dependent on an assumption that women are financially or mentally incapable of paying the TV licence if a man is around to do the job."

The ASA that that what it finds "untenable is not the humorous stereotyping of the genders, but the underlying assumptions regarding the role and ability of each gender."

The ASA ordered the SABC to withdrew its SABC TV licence fee ad with immediate effect and not to use it again in future.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Former CNN International correspondent Diana Magnay joins Sky News; meanwhile Sky's technology correspondent Tom Cheshire moving to Beijing as new Asia correspondent.

The former CNN International (DStv 401) correspondent Diana Magnay has joined Sky News (DStv 402) as Moscow correspondent while Sky News; technology correspondent Tom Cheshire has been appointed as Sky News' Asia correspondent.

Tom Cheshire (right) will be based in Beijing, China.

Diana Magnay is replacing John Sparks who is Sky News' new Africa correspondent replacing Alex Crawford who is moving to Istanbul, Turkey to set up a new news bureau for Sky News there.

21st Century Fox that still wants all of Sky, says it would put up 'firewalls' to prevent Fox meddling in Sky News and would continue to keep the loss-making Sky News on the air for at least 5 years after a Sky takeover.

21st Century Fox continues to work towards trying to acquire Sky News (DStv 402) and is offering up more guarantees to try and secure backing for its takeover of Britain's pay-TV operator Sky, including "firewall" guarantees and saying that it would continue to keep the loss-making Sky News on the air for at least 5 years after a takeover.

Britain's competition regulator in January ruled that Fox' plan to buy the 61% of Sky that it doesn't yet own, should be blocked and prevented.

Interestingly Sky has told the regulator that if it blocks the Fox deal, Sky might shut down Sky News completely because it's loss-making anyway and no longer an important part of Sky's future going forward.

"The combined effect of the Proposed Firewall Remedies is that there could be no circumstances in which, post-transaction, the MFT (Murdoch family trust) or members of the Murdoch family could influence, whether directly or indirectly, the editorial line or policy of Sky News," says 21st Century Fox.

It suggested the possibility of creating a fully independent board to oversee Sky News, including the appointment of the head of Sky News who would be"sole responsibility for setting editorial strategy and direction for Sky News’ digital, television and radio output, including the appointment and dismissal of senior Sky News employees".

Fox also promised that it would keep the loss-making Sky News around for at least 5 years if it took over Sky, and keep investing in it.

Fox says "no Fox employee or member of the board would "influence or attempt to influence" editorial choices at Sky News.

Andi Mack on The Disney Channel, that DStv won't show in Africa or South Africa because Kenya banned it, renewed for a 3rd season.

Disney has renewed its hit tween series, Andi Mack, banned from MultiChoice's DStv in Africa and Africa, for a 3rd season.

Episodes of the third season of Andi Mack with Peyton Elizabeth Lee, Lilan Bowden, Joshua Rush, Sofia Wylie and Asher Angel will be broadcast later in 2018 in America.

Filming on the 3rd season, produced by Horizon Productions, will start soon in Salt Lake City in America.

Disney says Andi Mack tells the heartwarming, diverse coming-of-age story about the most important things in any young person’s life - life and friends, and the journey of self-discovery.

"A series about a girl discovering that her sister is really her mother was new territory for Disney Channel, but Terri’s honest, authentic storytelling allowed our audience to connect deeply to these characters and their journeys of self-discovery," says Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide.

"What she has crafted stands as a high-water benchmark for kids and family storytelling around the world."

That's of course not true for Africa where Andi Mack is banned from being broadcast with MultiChoice that rolled over for the Kenya censorship board and is going along with its misguided decree to ban the show in Kenya and across Africa on The Disney Channel (DStv 303).

Africa's censorship problem of TV and film keeps expanding and growing due to the lack of public push-back against misguided African censorship boards who have become more and more emboldened in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa as they ban more and more content from being seen, instead of simply classifying it with proper parental guidance advisories.

After it's been in cinemas for weeks already in South Africa, South Africa's misguided Film and Publication Board (FPB) suddenly reclassified the film Inxeba as X18 last week - the same as hardcore pornography, although it contains none - without giving any reasons.

The FPB, funded by South African tax payers' money, now refuses to answer specific media enquiries about the exact reasons why the award-winning film suddenly got given a new classification months after it was given another one.

The multiple award-winning film that has a gay storyline - South Africa's official entry to the 90th Academy Awards and that made the top 9 shortlist in the Best Foreign Film category - has now effectively been banned from being shown in cinemas.

Inxeba can't even be shown with that classification on channels like M-Net (DStv 101), or the SABC during its pay-TV window licensing and free-to-air broadcast run.

So far in 2018 no further additional TV shows have been banned in Africa but Kenya's dictatorial government did shut down several entire TV channels who were slapped with a censorship blackout before they could broadcast the symbolic inauguration ceremony of opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Fox Networks Group Africa's new deal with 20th Century Fox Television Distribution brings shows like The Gifted, The Resident and Ghosted to South African viewers - although with a big gap.

FOX Networks Group Africa (FNG Africa) and 20th Century Fox Television Distribution signed a new contract for exclusive TV series as well as regional premieres to broadcast on FOX (DStv 125 / StarSat 131 / Cell C black 201) in South Africa and Africa.

FNG Africa was asked for the period of the deal but Fox Networks Group Africa told TVwithThinus it's confidential - although deal duration is usually announced in these types of agreements and the value is kept under wraps.

"The timing of the conclusion of this deal could not have been more perfect, having just launched the second season of Lee Daniels’ Star on the FOX schedule on Thursday nights," says Tracey Gilchrist, FOX Africa programming director.

"Empire season 4 Part B returns in March, filling the schedule with absolutely the best in class from 20th Century Fox Television content and we are thrilled to be able to bring to our fans this variety of content to ensure there’s something for every taste on the schedule and a thrilling start to 2018."

New shows that will be rolled out on FOX include The Gifted, Ghosted and The Resident, although FNG Africa is quite far behind America with all of these shows.

The Gifted that started in October 2017 already finished its entire 13-episode first season on FOX in America.  A year ago in February 2017, FOX Africa announced that FOX will have The Gifted and that it would be a Express from the US title that never happened.

The Gifted, set in the X-Men universe, will now start on FOX on 23 April at 21:00. A family who has children with supernatural abilities, go on the run.

The new series Ghosted will also be on FOX as part of the new deal but this show too will be old.

Ghosted with Craig Robinson and Adam Scott already started on 1 October 2017 on FOX in America and will start on 14 April 2018 at 20:25 on FOX in South Africa and Africa - half a year later.

Ghosted is a single-camera comedy and revolves around a cynical skeptic and a genius “true believer” in the paranormal who are recruited by a secret government agency, known as The Bureau Underground, to save the human race from aliens.

The 3rd new series won't have such a big lag between episodes shown in America and in South Africa.

The Resident is a new medical drama series that started on 21 January on FOX in America and will start 2 months later in South Africa on 27 March  at 21:00 on FOX. Matt Czuchry (The Good Wife), Emily VanCamp (Revenge), Shaunette Renée Wilson (Billions), Melina Kanakaredes (CSI: NY) and Merrin Dungey (Big Little Lies) are some of the stars in this series following doctors' drama.

The animation shows Family Guy and American Dad are part of the 20th Century Fox Television Distribution deal and FOX will now play these two shows out starting with The Simpsons, stripped daily, from 18:00.

What FNG Africa is doing very well currently is showing episodes of the very good drama series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story on FOX, within 24-hours after the US premiere on Fridays at 03:00, and available for DStv subscribers an hour after broadcast on DStv Catch-Up.

The latest and final season of The X-Files, is also on FOX.

Atmosphere Communications takes over the publicity contract of BBC Worldwide South Africa's BBC channels from Total Exposure.

Atmosphere Communications has taken over the PR account of BBC Worldwide South Africa's set of BBC branded pay-TV channels and content from today, from Total Exposure.

Atmosphere Communications is now responsible for communicating to the media regarding BBC Worldwide Africa's channels - BBC First, BBC Brit, BBC Earth, BBC Lifestyle and CBeebies - and the BBC Worldwide brand.

The BBC Worldwide South Africa switch to Atmosphere Communications from Total Exposure is noteworthy in that within South Africa's TV industry the BBC's PR representation by Total Exposure was a record.

While various TV channels, shows, even streaming services like Netflix South Africa, as well as pay-TV channels are repped by different external PR agencies and boutique publicists across South Africa, the set of BBC channels made use of Total Exposure for the longest time.

No other TV channel, show or channels set with a presence inside South Africa had been continuously represented by the same external publicity agency for such a long time as what Total Exposure had the BBC contract.

Now it has switched to Atmosphere Communications.

"We are excited to partner with a significant global brand such as BBC Worldwide and look forward to keeping local audiences updated on all the exciting British television content coming their way," says Megann Outram, atmosphere regional director: Johannesburg, in a statement, announcing the BBC contract switch from Total Exposure to Atmosphere.

"With choices like Come Dine with Me South Africa, brand new Top Gear as well as a range of popular drama’s and of course the phenomenal Blue Planet II voiced over by Sir David Attenborough, and much more, viewers will continue to be spoilt for choice".

Atmosphere Communications, a partner firm of PROI Worldwide, has offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg and says it is "the most awarded public relations consultancy in the country".

BBC Worldwide Africa's office in South Africa is headed up by Joel Churcher, the general manager and vice president, BBC Worldwide Africa.

Besides its content being accessible on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV service, BBC Worldwide shows are also licensed to Cell C black's where a raft of titles are available on an on demand basis, as well as Naspers' subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service, Showmax.

BBC Worldwide formats are also being produced in South Africa like Dancing with the Stars SA currently on M-Net (DStv 101), while BBC Worldwide Africa is also producing local content from other formats holders like Come Dine with Me SA from ITV Studios, and Great South African Bake Off from Love Productions.