DStv CULLS DISCOVERY'S ANIMAL PLANET

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Disney buys majority of 21 Century Fox in historic $52.4 billion deal that will not just reshape Hollywood but also the TV and content production landscape internationally including Africa and South Africa.


On Thursday morning the expected announcement was made that The Mouse House has taken over the Fox Hole when The Walt Disney Company said that it's buying the majority of 21st Century Fox in a historic entertainment biz deal that will have not just massive ramifications for Hollywood but a rippling effect internationally and that will also impact content and TV channels as seen in Africa and South Africa.

The Disney-Fox deal will change Hollywood and the content production and distribution landscape internationally forever.

Disney is doing it so that it can start its own, well-populated subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service that would be able to successfully compete against the growing global dominance of Netflix.

In the deal worth $52.4 billion, Disney will gain control of Fox Networks Group International and its 350 TV channels ran globally in 170 countries, several of which are seen in Africa and South Africa on several pay-TV services ranging from MultiChoice's DStv and StarSat operated by China's StarTimes Media SA and On Digital Media (ODM), as well as Cell C's new video streaming service, black.

Disney in the deal is also taking in what will amount to a seismic shift in Hollywood's content business.

Diseny takes over Fox's 20th Century Fox movie studio (Avatar, The X-Men, Fantastic Four, Deadpool) and the Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000 film studios.

Disney also gets Fox's TV production studios called 20th Century Fox Television and FX Productions that produces shows for both the FOX channel like The Simpsons but also for other channels like This is Us seen on M-Net (DStv 101).

Disney also gets the pay-TV channels like National Geographic and Nat Geo WILD through taking over National Geographic Partners - something that quickly became evident during early negotiations, but also all of the FX channels, and the 39% stake in the Sky pay-TV operator in the United Kingdom and Europe.

Disney also takes over Star India that operates 69 channels reaching 720 million viewers a month across India and more than 100 other countries, with some of the Star pay-TV channels that are also being distributed in South Africa and Africa.

Disney also takes over the international Endemol Shine Group that also operates in Africa and South Africa and Endemol Shine Africa and Endemol Shine South Africa.

In relation to South Africa and Africa, Disney gets things like the nascent production unit, FOX Networks Group Original Productions, that the FOX Networks Group Africa headquartered in Johannesburg for instance conceptualised last year and got off the ground just this year.

Disney will also gain a majority share in Hulu since it will be taking over Fox's 30% share and added to its own existing 30% gets a 60% controlling stake in the American streaming service.

Fox will keep the FOX broadcasting channel in America (but in America only), the FOX News Channel, the FOX Business Channel and the FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 channels.

It creates the very awkward situation where, although the FOX channel in America belongs to Fox, the FOX channel as seen on DStv and StarSat and FOX and FOX+ on Cell C, will actually belong to Disney that already runs its own set of channels in South Africa and Africa.

In a statement released by The Walt Disney Company, Robert Iger, Disney chairperson and CEO confirmed that Disney is acquiring National Geographic Partners and FOX Networks Group International.

"The deal will also substantially expand our international reach, allowing us to offer world-class storytelling and innovative distribution platforms to more consumers in key markets around the world."

"Bringing on board 21st Century Fox's entertainment content and capabilities, along with its broad international footprint and a world-class team of managers and storytellers, will allow Disney to further its efforts to provide a more compelling entertainment experience through its direct-to-consumer offerings".

"The agreement also provides Disney with the opportunity to reunite The X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool with the Marvel family under one roof and create richer, more complex worlds of inter-related characters and stories that audiences have shown they love."

"Through the incredible storytelling of National Geographic - whose mission is to explore and protect our planet and inspire new generations through education initiatives and resources—Disney will be able to offer more ways than ever before to bring kids and families the world and all that is in it."

Disney says the Fox assets acquisition is expected to yield at least $2 billion in cost savings "from efficiencies realized through the combination of businesses".

BREAKING. Discovery's TLC Entertainment on DStv dropping the 'Entertainment' from January 2018 as it goes back to its abbreviated name after 4 years.


Discovery's TLC Entertainment (DStv 135) channel on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform will be reverting back to being known as just TLC and will be dropping the "Entertainment" add-on from its name from January 2018.

Discovery changed TLC to TLC Entertainment in October 2013 when it added programming from Oprah Winfrey's OWN but after 4 years it is now changing back to just TLC.

According to Discovery and in response to a media enquiry, Discovery tells TVwithThinus that the move of TLC Entertainment back to just TLC is part of a wider global brand alignment. "The channel itself and its content will remain the same," says Discovery.

In other changes to Discovery Networks' African TV pride, the Animal Planet (DStv 183) channel is abruptly getting culled from DStv at the end of December 2017 in just two weeks' time. Animal Planet was carried on DStv for 14 years since October 2003.

These changes are very likely big parts of the reason why Discovery Networks didn't hold any year-end upfront presentation for South African advertisers and media this year, marking the first time in at least 7 years that Discovery in South Africa broke with its own annual upfront modus operandi.

New shows on TLC will include Dr Miami, Judge Jenkins and The Healer while new wedding shows Diva Brides and Curvy Brides Boutique will join returning seasons of 90 days to Wed and Surrounded by Daughters.

Discovery Networks in South Africa's big local push on the back-to-abbreviated TLC in early 2018 will be around its new local show with Thando Thabethe. 

Her upcoming TV talk show on TLC (DStv 135) in early 2018 that will be entitled Thando Bares All.

BREAKING. Discovery's Animal Planet axed from DStv after after 14 years at the end of December; MultiChoice says other 4 Discovery channels will remain in new carriage deal.


Animal Planet (DStv 183) is the next channel getting culled from MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV service, with the channel from Discovery Networks International that will go dark in two weeks' time at the end of December after 14 years.

TLC Entertainment on DStv is also dropping the "Entertainment" and reverting back to just being known as TLC from January 2018.

These changes are very likely big parts of the reason why Discovery Networks didn't hold any year-end upfront presentation for South African advertisers and media this year, marking the first time in at least 7 years that Discovery in South Africa broke with its own annual upfront modus operandi.

Discovery Networks International for the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA) region didn't respond when asked on Monday through its FleishmanHillard SA PR agency if Animal Planet is being removed off DStv, but on Thursday morning MultiChoice confirmed that Animal Planet is getting axed.

DStv added Animal Planet in 2003 but started cutting it back two years ago when the channel from Discovery was scaled back in December 2015 and removed from DStv Compact, making it only available to DStv Premium and DStv  Compact Plus subscribers only.

Recently DStv subscribers watching Animal Planet noticed a warning advisory on the Animal Planet DStv electronic episode guide (EPG) saying the channel will be discontinued on 30 December.

Interestingly, Discovery Networks CEEMEA didn't have any end-of-year upfront for advertisers and the press in South Africa for the first time in years.

Discovery's conspicuously absence at the annual upfront show-and-tell circuit was noticeable since Discovery in South Africa's upfront is widely regarded by the TV, advertising and media industry as the best annual upfront presentation year after year for over the last half a decade since at least 2010.

MultiChoice says despite Animal Planet being removed from DStv, "customers will not miss out, as some of the much-loved shows will be available on the other Discovery channels, including shows such as Treehouse Masters, which will move to Discovery Channel, while shows such as Tanked and Insane Pools: Off The Deep End will move to Discovery Family."

MultiChoice says it will be launching a new channel from Discovery in mid-2018 with some of Discovery's other animal and wildlife content that will be made available on this unnamed channel as well.

Animal Planet has been left out of a new MultiChoice carriage deal with Discovery Networks International that will see the Discovery Channel, TLC Entertainment, Discovery Family and Investigation Discovery (ID) continue on the DStv platform.

MultiChoice says the new carriage agreement includes "extended video-on-demand and Catch Up hours for Discovery’s entire portfolio" and for the first time TLC Entertainment, ID and Discovery Family shows".

"All four of Discovery’s channels will be available to launch on DStv Now from early 2018, meaning DStv customers will be able to enjoy the best of Discovery, anywhere, any time".

MultiChoice will also upgrade ID, Discovery Family and TLC Entertainment to high definition (HD) channels on DStv soon.

"Our customers love the Discovery family of channels and we're pleased that we could renew this agreement, including offering this world-class content to our customers wherever they are, to watch whenever they are ready," says Yolisa Phahle, CEO: General Entertainment at MultiChoice.

Discovery has included a statement in the MultiChoice statement, but isn't saying anything about the axing of Animal Planet.

"Our channels and content have been providing hours of enjoyment for DStv customers for many years and we’re thrilled to continue this legacy, with an unbeatable slate of programming across our portfolio which, thanks to this renewed agreement, DStv customers will now be able to access whenever and however it suits them," says Dilek Doyran, the vice president and country manager for Africa at Discovery Networks CEEMEA.

Discovery has been asked again for a comment on Thursday on Animal Planet's axing after confirmation that the channel will be removed from DStv.

When or if Discovery CEEMEA responds about its channel leaving the airwaves in South Africa after 14 years, that response will be added here.

Discovery's TLC Entertainment (DStv 135) channel will also from January 2018 revert back to just being called TLC and will be dropping the "Entertainment" add-on from its name, TVwithThinus has confirmed.

Discovery changed TLC to TLC Entertainment in October 2013 when it added programming from Oprah Winfrey's OWN but after 4 years it is now changing back to just TLC.

According to Discovery the move of TLC Entertainment back to just TLC is part of a wider global brand alignment. "The channel itself and its content will remain the same," says Discovery.

White House to Omarosa: 'You're fired', again, as villainous reality star tries to storm Donald Trump and is thrown out.


The villainous reality TV star and now White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman (43) just got abruptly fired by Donald Trump. Again.

The pot-stirrer, infamous for whipping up a torrent of conflict and infighting in those around her wherever she goes, was dramatically thrown out of the White House in Washington D.C. and banned from the premises, although the White House is trying to put a nicer spin on it saying Omarosa has "resigned".

The truth is however that Omarosa - who rose to fame on the American version of The Apprentice in 2004 where she got fired by Donald Trump and again in the later Celebrity Apprentice and All-Star Celebrity Apprentice seasons - was dumped by the White House.

The ruthless Omarosa reportedly flew into a fit of rage - screaming and cursing in a tirade as she tried to make her way to Donald Trump himself to try and plead her case, just like she did in the TV show.

That's when things got physical and Omarosa was unceremoniously removed from the White House's West Wing and her access card cancelled.

While White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Wednesday that Omarosa has "resigned" and will be gone by 20 January 2018 to "pursue other opportunities", Omarosa was actually fired by Donald Trump's chief of staff, John Kelly.

The Daily News reports that according to sources, Omarosa "threw a tantrum in the White House and demanded she be allowed to speak with the president" on Tuesday.

"General Kelly didn't allow her to speak to him. That’s why she was cursing and threatening. Omarosa was then unceremoniously escorted from the West Wing. It got physical and she had to be removed".

White House reporter April Ryan who work for America's Urban Radio Networks, reported that Omarosa "acted very vulgar and cursed a lot and said she helped elect Donald Trump". General Kelly said "no, you did not".

General Kelly told Omarosa that "this was not like going to the principal's office".

According to The Wall Street Journal, a White House official said that Omarosa was "physically dragged and escorted off the campus".

Another White House official told The Daily Beast that the shocking incident "was actually the closest thing to reality TV I'd experienced since getting here".

According to insiders, Omarosa has been another one of the larger-than-life personalities inside the White House causing chaos as they all battled for supremacy, Apprentice-style, feeding Donald Trump gossip about each other, jockeying for position and telling Donald Trump bad news that would inflame situations and infuriate him.

Donald Trump appointed Omarosa as the director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison, although insiders say they were never sure what Omarosa in this PR post actually did or were responsible for and helped to create the same toxic and hostile environment inside the White House as she did on The Apprentice.

In August Omarosa made herself the focus of a chaotic National Association of Black Journalists Convention in New Orleans where things quickly got confrontational as the aggressive Omarosa refused to answer questions about the Trump administration and told journalists to "ask me a question about me".

Then there was her jaw-dropping, unannounced 39-person "bridal party" and extended lavish photo shoot at the White House that shocked White House security and caught everyone off guard.

America's Secret Service in a statement confirmed that Omarosa has effectively been banned from the White House and that it "deactivated the individual’s pass which grants access to the complex".

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

SA film critics react to latest Star War's latest film, The Last Jedi: 'Sh*t, that was amazing!'


Ecstatic and teary-eyed South African film critics walked out of the cinema yesterday evening after Disney’s closely guarded press preview screening for the latest Star Wars film, The Last Jedi, unable to contain their emotions and excitement with comments ranging from "shit, that was amazing", to "I enjoyed that the most since Empire".

Directed by Rian Johnson, The Last Jedi picks up where Star Wars: The Force Awakens ended in 2015, with Episode VIII that will likely become the 4th biggest film opening of all time, and definitely the biggest film earner of the year, including South Africa.

While American and United Kingdom reviews are out and available online since late Tuesday, TVwithThinus that has seen the film along with all other South African print and online publications are under an embargo and can only publish online reviews on Thursday 14 December from 10:01am.

Reviews of The Last Jedi in South Africa may only appear in print from Friday.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in South African theatres on Friday 15 December with Disney Africa that has created a dedicated, special website, www.thelastjedi.co.za for South African audiences.

It stars returning cast members Mark Hamill, the late Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Andy Serkis and will introduce new planets, hew characters and several new creatures ranging from crystal foxes to penguin-like porgs.

While reviews are strictly forbidden until Thursday and critics have been requested not to include spoilers in reviews so as to keep the many twists and surprises a secret for cinema-goers, the insta-reactions of film critics to the film as they leave cinemas can be reported.

On Tuesday South African critics got their first glimpse at the next installment in the Lucasfilm story set in that galaxy far, far away.

In Cape Town, a Disney staffer, aptly named Luke (but not Skywalker), told the gathered critics before the preview started that the Southern African Federation Against Copyright Theft (Safact) is present and monitoring.

Luke said he himself wouldn't be watching the preview screening; Disney staffers are all getting together on Friday to watch The Last Jedi together.

Critics were sternly told that cellphones need to be packed away and that any person seen with even the smallest light from any device will immediately be escorted from the cinema, the device checked and content, if any recorded, immediately deleted.

Two and a half hours later, chattering critics emerged from Cinema 2, with several looking emotional.

Some stood around in groups in the Ster Kinekor Nouveau lobby at the V&A Waterfront, momentarily huddling and not dispersing – as if to first recollect themselves and to get somewhat of a grip on what they’ve just seen and experienced.

"Shit, that was amazing!" was one critic's immediate reaction, while another said "I enjoyed that the most since Empire [Strikes Back]; every single scene".

At least two critics looked emotional, as if close to shedding physical tears. "Did you expect that?" one asked the other.

"Nope," was the reply.

On Wednesday NASA confirmed that The Last Jedi will also be shown in space. 

Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) will soon get to see the new Star Wars film when the film will be beamed up as a digital file.

SABC News correspondent Sherwin Bryce-Pease re-elected as president of the United Nations Correspondents' Association (UNCA).


The SABC News correspondent Sherwin Bryce-Pease in New York has been re-elected as president of the United Nations Correspondents' Association (UNCA) for a second term.

Sherwin Bryce-Pease is the first journalist and correspondent from Africa to ever be elected to hold this position.

REVIEW. Tali's Wedding Diary on Showmax a funny, cringe-filled mock-doc series for our self-obsessed age.


Successfully managing to channel a vain yet unsecure, a bossy yet socially powerless, and a self-obsessed yet with low EQ self-awareness type persona worlds removed from her "Suzelle DIY" character, comedian Julia Anastasopoulos delights in her cringe-filled new Showmax mock-doc series Tali's Wedding Diary.

Produced by Sketchbook Studios, created and executive produced by Julia Anastasopoulos and Ari Kruger, and also executive produced by Akash BhatiaCandice Fangueiro and Shaamila Fataar, the 8-episode mockumentary series was filmed in Cape Town during this past winter (although you won't be able to tell).

While Julia Anastasopoulos is the bona fide star of the show, the real comedic success of and in Tali's Wedding Diary derives from something not related to any of the actors or their varying acting abilities.

The bulk of the comedy in Tali's Wedding Diary derives from incredibly successful editing and directing.

The camera is (allowed to) sway and veer off to the sides from the mainframed characters, with the end of scenes often masterfully edited to linger for just a split second longer to a secondary character or object, creating wonderful "sight-gags".

This directing and filming technique, coupled with supremely clever editing are the true stars of the show.

As scenes are allowed to breathe, viewers are able to not just grasp, but to laugh at the sharp irony and often cringey, socially awkward, non-verbal, visual humour cleverly locked into the scenes of this satirical series.

The visual gags - purposefully and cleverly "lifted" out through micro silent moments - and the meticulous editing to allow the camera to "linger" for just the right few seconds more, is what unlocks the "punchlines" throughout the delightful series.

Credit should go to the director of photography, James Adey, and Richard Starkey for the clever editing.

Tali's Wedding Diary with an omniscient cameraman and Julia Anastasopoulos as the constantly socially-striving Julia - appearing in a first-person role narrating directly to camera - is a first-of-its-kind for a South African production, taking what kykNET (DStv 144) has done with its mockumentary Hotel one step further.

Surrounded by a coterie of long-suffering passive (but not aggressive) "subjects" all revolving around (and unable to escape) Tali's histrionic orbit, Julia Anastasopoulos deftly amps up the egotistical and out-of-control vagaries of a woman not just obsessed with "selfies" but also wanting to create the appearance of a "perfect" wedding.

Viewers who are possibly familiar with Chris Lilley's superb Australian mockumentary Summer Heights High and Angry Boys, Netflix's new American Vandal, or even The Office and Parks and Recreation will instantly get, like, and understand Tali's Wedding Diary on Showmax.


There's somewhat of an unevenness between some of the episodes of Tali's Wedding Diary, although fortunately the first episode that sets the scene and introduces most of the characters, is the best of the first bunch and fulfills its purpose to get a viewer into binge-watching the whole season.

Some episodes, like the second episode in which Tali chooses bridesmaids, comes across as just a tad too rough; a bit too bluntly on-the-nose.

While rooting for the main character, by the second and third episode, viewers will get an inkling that the show that starts out on a bright Cape Town beach, is going to veer into darker and more negative territory.

The fact is that several aspects of Tali's personality actually isn't likeable or laudable but it's a given that once you start watching, you will likely continue to find out if a wedding will ever really happen.

The language in Tali's Wedding Diary also deserves a mention.

It's perplexing as to why Showmax and the show did it - since it makes it less suitable for a mainstream audience and means less viewers will be able to watch it - but a warning that the producers and scripts include explicit language including "shit" and "fuck".

The salty language makes Tali's Wedding Diary not suitable as family viewing with a higher age restriction that what the show should have. Not having these four letter words in scenes wouldn't have made scenes weaker and their inclusion doesn't make scenes feel more authentic.


Anton Taylor is a treat as the "dynamic sensitive" and energy-absorbing husband-to-be Darren with the actor exhibiting smart "underplay" restraint to remain the straight foil to Tali's over-the-top antics.

An earnest and funny Glen Biederman-Pam as the real estate agent up-and-comer Rael displays excellent comedic timing as the run-along sidekick.

Tali's Wedding Diary could easily do a spin-off series following the hapless Darren and Rael's real estate ventures, with their pitiful and hilarious side-show adventures that could honestly be a show of its own.

Tali's Wedding Diary is available on Showmax from 14 December 2017.


ALSO READ: Showmax on its first real original production, Tali's Wedding Diary: "Part of a fundamental shift in our content strategy where we knew we needed to be different".

Showmax on its first real original production, Tali's Wedding Diary: 'Part of a fundamental shift in our content strategy where we knew we needed to be different'.


Showmax's first real own, original local South African production, Tali's Wedding Diary, available from 14 December, is the result of a content strategy shift at the video streaming service that realised that it had to be different from competitors like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and had to start making its own local South African stories.

Tali's Wedding Diary, filmed in Cape Town, is rolling out from 14 December 2017 on Naspers' subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) streaming service as a quirky, 8-episode mockumentary show starring comedian Julia Anastasopoulos, produced by Sketchbook Studios.

Besides being Showmax's first real local and original South African production not co-produced and cross-financed with one of MultiChoice's DStv TV channels, Tali's Wedding Diary is also the very first local South African mockumentary-style show with a main character acting as a first person, straight-to-camera narrator.

While Netflix already has several of these American-made mockumentary styled shows with a few that have also been made for linear broadcast channels in recent years in countries like Australia, the genre is very new and still largely unfamiliar to South African viewing audiences, with Tali's Wedding Diary breaking new ground for South Africa's TV industry.

Tali's Wedding Diary is created by Julia Anastasopoulos and Ari Kruger, and executive produced by Akash Bhatia, Candice Fangueiro and Shaamila Fataar.

"Tali's Wedding Diary is our first, first real Showmax Original production, says Candice Fangueiro, Showmax's head of content for Africa.

"We launched Showmax two years ago and this year we saw a fundamental shift in our content strategy where we knew we needed to be different."

"We needed to be different. We had to start creating content; producing local stories that South Africans would come to fall in love with and the passion and dedication of Julia Anastasopoulos is testament to that."

"Just by her Instagram following you can see that South Africans love her. So I think we're heading in the right direction."

Candice Fangueiro says Showmax is starting to give "writers and directors a canvass for their visions, and an opportunity to showcase all of the amazing South African talent we have in the country".

"We have to start acquiring new and different shows that have never been seen before and we had to start pushing the boundaries of putting our customers first."

About possible further seasons for Tali's Wedding Diary, Candice Fangueiro says "there's no looking back and there's only looking forward now. We're looking forward to possibly a Tali's Baby Diary. And a Tali's Travel Diary."

About the commissioning and production process Candice Fangueiro says "we've had our ups and our downs; we've learnt lessons, but we've come out on the other side with something really cool, really unique, something different and something that we've seen that South Africans really connect with at this point in time."

Showmax is looking at possibly dubbing Tali's Wedding Diary and also making it available in Poland where the streaming service also has a presence.

"We're so proud of Tali's Wedding Diary," says Chris Savides, Showmax head of Africa.

ALSO READ: REVIEW: Tali's Wedding Diary on Showmax a funny, cringe-filled mock-doc series for our self-obsessed age.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

LET THE RIVER RUN. Sindi Dlathu to shock as devil diva in 1Magic's new diamond drama.


The new diamond drama, The River, will start as a new locally-produced telenovela on the new 1Magic channel on Monday 29 January 2018 with M-Net that's managed to lure well-known TV talent like Sindi Dlathu, Hlomla Dandala, Don Mlangeni and Motshidi Motshegwa to put a face to the new channel.

Like SABC3's Isidingo produced by Endemol Shine South Africa, The River, produced by Tshedza Pictures, chose a South African mining community as the fictional setting where a clash between downtrodden yet aspiring blue collar workers and high-society wealth-wielders will play out when the telenovela starts on weekdays at 20:00.

Similar to the first local drama forays of Mzansi Magic, The River will combine the conflict inherent in township struggles where ordinary working class South Africans have bigger dreams, but are in part prevented from realising those aspirations due to capitalist greed and pervasive corruption within the upper classes.

The River will be the flagship show on the soon-to-launch 1Magic (DStv 103) that is replacing the VUZU AMP channel after three years that tried to court a younger viewership.

The creation of 1Magic is signaling M-Net's latest shift to a bigger focus on broader, general local entertainment through telenovelas and dramas to try and lure a wider audience than just youth viewers, something that the VUZU and VUZU AMP channels have struggled with.

"The River is just the type of drama that fans have been waiting for," says Reneilwe Sema, the M-Net director of local entertainment.

"The storyline combines the allure and ruthlessness of the business world, with the raw essence of township struggles, making for the type of story lines our viewers love."

Sindi Dlathu who left SABC2's Venda-soap Muvhango for this new top billing role, will now appear as Lindiwe, the ruthless matriarch of a mining family.

It will be a stunning role-reversal character portrayal for Sindi Dlathu, beloved by millions of South African viewers for her Thandaza Mokoena character in Muvhango, with viewers who are going to be shocked and bowled over by her cunning, vicious and "love to hate her" new evil on-screen persona.

When the stiletto'ed Lindiwe, living in an upper-crust mansion one the one side of a river, discovers that a township community on the other side is unaware that they're sitting on a valuable diamond treasure, she is adamant to secure the land and riches and will let nothing stand in her way.

Desperate to unearth the diamonds, she is as quick to put bodies into the ground when people stand in her way.

Hlomla Dandala who was in Isidingo and headlined M-Net's very first "Africa drama" Jacob's Cross a decade ago in 2007, returns to M-Net as Zweli, the husband of Lindiwe.

Newcomer Larona Moagi plays Itumeleng, a young character from the township, described as a "feisty rebel who refused to be silenced and roll over when her family and community become casualties of greed and excess" and who wants to put an end to Lindiwe's "ruthless gluttony" at the expense of the local mining community.

The veretan actor Don Mlangeni plays Thato, Itumeleng's dad, with veteran actress Moshidi Motshegwa appearing as her mom, Malefu, a "pillar of strength in the family and township community".

Lawrence Maleka will appear in the role of Zolani, the adopted son of Lindiwe who "bites into forbidden fruit" and is the eyewitness to a terrible tragedy.

Monday, December 11, 2017

M-Net replacing VUZU AMP with 1Magic on DStv Premium from February 2018, adds local dramas like The River, Unmarried.


Three years after launching the M-Net AMP and M-Net Edge channels in October 2014 with M-Net Edge that had already fallen away at the beginning of 2017, M-Net and DStv are now also ending VUZU AMP and replacing it from 29 January 2018 with 1Magic (DStv 103).

Like VUZU AMP, 1Magic will only be available for DStv Premium subscribers.

For now, M-Net says that the lower-tiered VUZU channel on DStv channel 116 will remain, although M-Net says the change from VUZU AMP to 1Magic is to align all the channel names to the "Magic" moniker.

"For now VUZU on 116 will remain as a channel as we will communicate should there be any changes to that channel."

VUZU AMP has struggled to gain ratings traction the past three years and with the rebranding to 1Magic and a content programming shuffle, M-Net hopes to help lift the existing VUZU AMP ratings closer to that of the existing set of Mzansi Magic channels.

M-Net says 1Magic will carry local drama series, telenovelas, reality shows, movies and international reality, drama and films.

1Magic will broadcast series like The Fixer, How To Get Away with Murder, The Real Housewives, Power and later in 2018 the latest seasons of Ballers, Queen Sugar and Insecure.

In response to a media enquiry about the channel change, M-Net says 1Magic will be "introducing a bigger exclusive local content slate than what we currently have on VUZU AMP".

"The name change was necessary in order for the brand to fit into the M-Net brand architecture where all our channels across the continent carry the name "magic", for instance Zambei Magic, Africa Magic, Maisha Magic and Mzansi Magic".

"The new name is memorable and not specific to any language group as we are appealing to a wide audience that has a viewing appetite for local and international content".

M-Net says this will include firsts like a daily local telenovela to the channel.

On 29 January 2018 when VUZU AMP changes to 1Magic, it will launch a new local telenovela entitled, The River, with Sindi Dlathu, Hlomhla Dandala, Moshidi Motshegwa and Larona Moagi like SABC3's Isidingo set in a mining community.

On 2 February 1Magic will start the new urban drama Unmarried, which unpacks themes of love, urban hustle and bustle, and the daily challenges faced by young urban couples in trying to juggle life and aspirations. 

Unmarried stars Fezile Makhanya, Thembisa Mdoda and Renate Stuurman.

"In line with our vision to be the best African storytellers in the world, M-Net has identified a need to invest in more local entertainment for our viewers, in the premium segment. 1Magic will fill a viewing gap by combining new and exclusive local shows with international content,” says Nkateko Mabaso, M-Net general manager for South Africa.

M-Net’s My Kitchen Rules South Africa couple Machiel and Jamandi after their R1 million win: 'We’re going to have sex tonight'.


After winning R1 million in the first season finale of My Kitchen Rules South Africa on M-Net (DStv 101) on Sunday night, the overjoyed Bloemfontein couple Jamandi (31) and Machiel Bekker (36) talked about boob jobs to the press and said they’re definitely having sex to celebrate their win.

After taking home the title of South Africa’s best home cooks, beating out best friends Charnell and Kerry from Johannesburg in a tense five course cook-off in the final episode of the Endemol Shine South Africa produced show, husband Machiel at the post-show press conference held at MultiChoice City said "me and her tonight are probably going to make love – with the cheque next to us".

"We're going to start dreaming about that money only now because you can't dream of something that's not yours. We were up against very, very tough competitors and very strict judges."

"The thing that's most amazing about what's happened to us now is we didn't expect it. We never in a million years thought that we would get to this point. And Machiel and I have been crying for the past three days, preparing to lose," said Jamandi. "I'm just so overwhelmed."

About the experience Jamandi said the testing and grueling kitchen cooking experience against other teams "were worse than matric".

"On the day that the final episode was filmed, it was our 10 year wedding anniversary. And you know what's so amazing – my mother and father passed away when I was still young but to win today is amazing because it's my father and mother in law's wedding anniversary as well," said Machiel.

Jamandi said "this was the first wedding anniversary we didn't have sex on. So ja, it was difficult."

"For us being common, everyday people, the attention was a lot, but when we got a challenge we stuck together and did what Jamandi and Machiel wanted to do," said Machiel.

"Do you think in a lifetime you would experience something like this?" said Jamandi. "We're this plain, platteland [rural] Kurt Darren, Nicholis Louw people. Yes. Common. We are common," she joked to laughter. "But that's the way we are."

Jamandi said Machiel wanted to marry her "and I just got a boob job – that was the first thing he saw actually", after which Machiel interrupted and said "there was a second boob job as well!"

Jamandi said "until today and winning you never get that confidence that you are good enough. And until today, it's amazing that we won and I still can't believe that we've won. And this is going to change our lives."

"For us it is important to stay humble. And for us the most important person in our life is God and we just give all the thanks to Him because we wouldn't be anywhere without Him. And we have found the purpose for our lives. We have found the purpose why we are here."

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Watch as Deloitte SA security goon starts attacking eNCA reporter and cameraman, ripping out cables and blacking out the camera lens.


On Thursday shocked viewers watched as a Deloitte SA security guard goon illegally lunged at a eNCA (DStv 403) reporter Motheo Khoaripe and started pulling out camera cables during his live TV report on the growing Steinhoff scandal, actively trying to prevent the journalist from doing his job.

Together with a massive share price loss, Steinhoff International Holdings has been plunged into a widening scandal following allegations of earnings manipulations, uncontrolled acquisition sprees and tax fraud that has been sending shockwaves through markets and rattled investors and even seasoned asset managers.

On Thursday the eNCA Moneyline editor Motheo Khoaripe was ready and busy to do a live link to eNCA's Hyde Park studios with midday anchor Jeremy Maggs when he and the eNCA camera team were suddenly harassed just outside Deloitte SA, while standing on a public entry road.

Jeremy Maggs asked Motheo Khoaripe if its known yet what concerned Deloitte SA in not wanting to sign off on Steinhoff's financials when security guard suddenly started pushing the camera team and unilaterally began ripping out cables to try and interrupt the eNCA broadcast.

"Deloitte SA security is trying to pull out our cables now," said Motheo Khoaripe who remained calm and collected despite the harassment.

The camera started shaking and Motheo Khoaripe told Jeremy Maggs "they're switching off our connection here. It's the Deloitte SA security."

"They say were not supposed to be here."

Then the Deloitte SA security - just like the South African police did at the Beitbridge border crossing with the SABC News crew last month - blacked out the eNCA camera by putting a hand over the lens.

eNCA in response to a media enquiry says "eNCA has noted the incident and is investigating the matter. The channel will engage with the security company to find out the reasons for the security guard's behaviour".

Deloitte SA didn't immediately respond to a request seeking comment, it will be added if received.

SABC News cameraman Frank Phoshoko (61) dead after a freak fall during filming in Burgersfort.


The SABC's SABC News cameraman Frank Phoshoko (61) has died after a freak fall in the line of work in which he lost consciousness and never recovered.

Frank Phoshoko who joined the South African public broadcaster in 1983 died on Tuesday with a memorial service that was held for him at the SABC on Thursday.

Frank Phoshoko died after he fell during filming in Burgersfort on 13 November and hit his head. He became unconscious.

He was rushed to the Limpopo MediClinic's intensive care unit where he never regained consciousness.

Frank Phoshoko leaves behind his wife Mapula and 3 children.

Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) 'gravely concerned' over MultiChoice corruption allegations but hasn't suspended the pay-TV operator's membership.


Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) says the organisation is "gravely concerned" over swirling allegations of MultiChoice corruption and undue influence at Naspers' pay-TV unit, but hasn't suspended MultiChoice's membership.

At issue is whether the media conglom's lucrative pay-TV unit is or was involved in undue pressure to get the controversial Gupta family through their ANN7 channel, and the SABC, to exercise pressure in return for getting their TV news channels carried on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform.

Explosive, leaked meeting transcripts between MultiChoice and the South African public broadcaster the SABC, as well as #GuptaLeaks contracts between MultiChoice and the controversial ANN7 D(Stv 405) channel showing massive payments from DStv to the Guptas, have raised multiple serious questions over corporate impropriety.

MultiChoice told the SABC it would pay the broadcaster R100 million for the SABC News channel but but only on the strict must-have contract clause condition that the SABC must support MultiChoice's stance on conditional access (CA) for digital television.

MultiChoice also dramatically upped its payments from R50 million per year to R100 million per year and then R141 million per year, as well as a questionable, additional R25 million payment to the Guptas for the low-rated, bad quality, mistake-filled and often criticised ANN7.

MultiChoice is paying ANN7 more despite its barely there low ratings than eNCA (DStv 403) that has more than 50% of the overall TV news audience share.

It's all created the perception that MultiChoice has paid kickbacks to both the SABC and ANN7 to use its influence to get set-top box (STB) encryption dropped from government-subsidised STBs in the switch to digital terrestrial television (DTT).

MultiChoice and Naspers have denied the kickbacks allegations and the MultiChoice board announced that MultiChoice is starting an internal investigation of itself.


Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) - of which MultiChoice is a signed member - in a statement says it is "gravely concerned about recent media reports of alleged state capture and corruption against one of its members, MultiChoice, in its dealings with government and its content suppliers."

"BLSA continues to condemn and take seriously any behaviour that is unethical and that is entirely at odds with the values contained in its Integrity Pledge," says Bonang Mohale, BLSA CEO.

"BLSA can confirm that it has initiated discussions with MultiChoice regarding the allegations as reported in the media."

"We believe that due process must be followed to get to the bottom of these allegations. As such, BLSA will await the outcome of MultiChoice's investigation before making further comment."

"Consistent with the Integrity Pledge that our members have committed to, BLSA remains unwavering in its commitment to the highest ethical and lawful standards".

"To this end, BLSA will take the necessary decisions based on the outcome of the investigation," says Bonang Mohale.

Top Billing on SABC3 celebrates its 25th silver anniversary with a special nostalgic look-back episode with Michael Mol and Basetsana Kumalo back as presenters.


Tonight South Africa’s longest-running, uninterrupted lifestyle magazine TV show will celebrate its 25th anniversary on South African television with Top Billing doing a special, nostalgia-laden look-back episode as current and former presenters, and the show's executive producers, do revealing and personal oral histories of their time working on the show.

Former presenters – a now greying fox Michael Mol, and ever-youthful Basetsana Kumalo are back as tonight's special presenting duo.

Top Billing's silver anniversary is a phenomenal feat for not just the show but also for the South African public broadcaster where the now iconic programme, as TV arbiter of the "good life" on SABC3 has managed to captivate audiences for two and a half decades of weekly episodes telling and showing inspiring South African success stories with a revolving roster of glambod presenters over the years, widely admired and often imitated.

Keeping up appearances for 25 years in South Africa's TV industry, Top Billing, has managed to pull off an incredible production record, only equaled by M-Net's long-running investigative magazine show, Carte Blanche that will turn 30 in 2018 – both shows bravely travelling internationally, working unrelentingly at getting exclusive interviews and access to eye-popping visual stories.

Now iconic for its hobnobbing with the rich and famous locally and abroad, exotic travelogues, fashion and movie junket inserts, jaw-dropping mansion features and presenters walking (and talking!) in designer evening wear, the Tswelopele Productions show has spawned colloquial phrases like "that's definitely a Top Billing house", "it's a Top Billing wedding" and its sign-off "goodnight and God bless!" that has become synonymous with this South Africa TV royalty institution.

More than any other local South African TV show, Top Billing has successfully spawned a bevy of presenter beauties – people South African viewers don't just love to see, but want to be.

Over the years, their names have inextricably become linked with any event – anything – "top billing" since 1992: from Neil McCarthy, Ursula Chikane, Janez Vermeiren, Jeannie D, Simba Mhere and Jo-Ann Strauss to Bonang Matheba, Nico Panagio and lately names like Jade Hubner and Chris Jaftha.

While viewers drink in the beautiful and carefully curated "Vanity Fair on television" type content weekly – sometimes criticised as empty calorie glam-TV – they're oblivious to the immeasurable production focus, energy, man hours and stressful navigation of often-impossible inserts behind the scenes and the gargantuan achievement of Top Billing that has kept it up for 25 years.

In fact, it's not just Top Billing's longevity of 25 years on the cash-strapped and often-erratic SABC (the show that started on TV1, moved to SABC2, then SABC3 and saw an untold number of day and timeslot changes) where programmes are subjected to the whims and vagaries of an ever-changing echelon of TV executives that is extremely impressive, but that it has been able to establish and keep up very high production values week after week after week, unequaled by any other local show on South African television.

What viewers don't see on Top Billing are producers constantly pushing forward and navigating through the byzantine maze of difficult publicists and gatekeepers for access to A-list stars from the worlds of entertainment, sport, business, music, film, and news - the rushed editors working late, insane global travel logistic arrangements often changing last minute and exasperated cameramen valiantly trying to still frame stars looking their best even though someone like Kim Kardashian would refuse to put down her cellphone and look up during an exclusive one-on-one interview.


Still aspirational
As fleeting styles, fashions and viewer interest all blossom and fade, Top Billing has smartly managed to adapt, change and constantly evolve over the more than two decades not just with its audience but staying carefully always just slightly ahead of them. 

Nothing is more tragic than anything old in pop culture that's lost its relevance, attraction and reason for being – yet Top Billing with agile pop culture agility, remains ahead of the pack.

Viewers keep tuning in because Top Billing, even after 25 years, remains inspiring. 

Viewers don't just want to see the spectacular house – the show makes them dream that they can maybe one day have it too. 

Viewers don't just tune in for the celebrities – they watch the interviews, although sometimes too sweet, that are carefully orchestrated to make famous folk come across as accessible, ordinary and relatable.

The glitz, glamour, décor, design, exotic cuisine and luxury travel appearing on Top Billing are at heart not show-off pieces; viewers keep watching because they see things and people they want to emulate.

For 25 years, Top Billing has continued to give South Africans on public television – in a country pummelled by a barrage of negative and disturbing news headlines – an escapist out: a passport saying that it is okay, even if just for an hour a week, to have a dream.     

Thursday night’s must-watch episode at 20:30 on SABC3 will look back with Michelle Garforth-Venter, one of the original presenters, now living in Atlanta in America, reminiscing with her family about her Top Billing years. 

Current presenter Jonathan Boynton-Lee will relive the Top Billing Presenter Search reality show that he won, while Michael Mol’s family will look back on their life over the years with Top Billing.

The one wearing the Top Billing tiara in real life is Patience Stevens who started Top Billing for the SABC 25 years ago with a dream and a lot of guts in one small editing suite, and who is still the executive producer of this glamarama TV train steaming ahead a quarter of a century later.

In another insert on Thursday the show charts the friendship between this indefatigable uber-producer who noticed and roped in Basetsana Kumalo years ago – first as a presenter and then as a production partner – and their incredible producing partnership and friendship working on Top Billing all these years.

kykNET's Cape Town soap Suidooster extended from 4 to 5 episodes per week from April 2018.


The Afrikaans Cape Town set and filmed soap Suidooster for kykNET & Kie (DStv 145) is ramping up production after M-Net's Afrikaans TV division decided to extend the soap to 5 days a week from April 2018.

Suidooster, set in the fictional Ruiterbosch suburb, produced by Suidooster Films and filmed on set at Atlantic Studios, will be shown 5 days a week from 2 April on kykNET & Kie and kykNET (DStv 144) at 18:30.

The first Friday episode of Suidooster will be on Friday 6 April 2018.

"kykNET viewers are incredibly enthusiastic about Suidooster and have asked since the first episode whether the soap couold be broadcast 5 days a week," says Karen Meiring, M-Net director for Afrikaans channels.

"It's really nice for kykNET to break the news before Christmas that the Samsodiens, Octobers, Du Plooys, Gerbers, Daniels brothers and the rest of the Ruiterbosch residents are going to visit South African living rooms every weekday from next year."

Actress Denise Newman who portrays Bridgette October says "although we'll have to learn more words, we do it with a smile because Suidooster fans deserve a Friday episode. Their support of the soap is phenomenal."

Jill Levenberg who plays Mymoena Samsodien says "it's the best Christmas present for Suidooster fans".

The soap started on 16 November 2015 with 3 weekly episodes that got extended to 4 episodes since July 2016.

The soap's permanent cast include stars like Abduraghmaan Adams, Cedwyn Joel, Dean Smith, Denise Newman, Desiré Gardner, Eden Classens, Gantane Kusch, Gideon Lombard, Greta Pietersen, Irshaad Ally, Jill Levenberg, Lauren Joseph, Marcel van Heerden, Marco Spaumer, Maurice Paige, Portia Joel, Simone Biscombe, Theresa Sedras and Vashti Prins.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Puo Pha Productions says unpaid cast, crew and suppliers of Tjovitjo will still be paid; says unpaid problem is its own and not the SABC's fault.


The independent black producers behind the new drama Tjovitjo on SABC1 has come out to say that is is not the public broadcaster's fault that cast, crew and suppliers have not been paid  - but its own - and that those who haven't been paid their money will get it.

Despite initial record ratings on SABC1 for the Sunday night show of 5.7 million viewers for the first episode in August that then levelled off, the show has been struggling to pay everyone involved in the making of it.

Puo Pha Productions in a statement says it's not the SABC's fault that people have gone unpaid and that they will still get their money due.

"The outstanding payment due to cast, crew and suppliers will be paid as per our communication to the affected parties, which we have been in constant communication with," says the production company in a statement. "The last communication was as recent as a week ago."

"Some of our cast, crew and suppliers are understandably upset about how this issue has affected their lives," says Puo Pha Productions.

The company isn't explaining why it hasn't paid people and where the money it received from the SABC has gone. The company is also not giving any payment date.

Puo Pha Productions says "a lack of funds" is preventing the "outstanding final payments to all those involved in the making of Tjovitjo".

Puo Pha Productions says "we'd like to upfront correct the misinformation that the delayed-payments are as a result of the SABC, when in fact the SABC have been the most supportive stakeholder of Tjovitjo."

"It has been more than outstanding and demonstrated incredible understanding to us as black independent producers. This is a relationship we want to grow and cement."

Pou Pha Productions slams the department of trade and industry (DTI) and its Black Filmmakers Rebate Scheme.

"Tjovitjo was a perfect opportunity for the DTI to truly empower small black business but it failed us".

The Right2Know Campaign 'deeply concerned' over MultiChoice's dodgy dealings with SABC, ANN7; calls for Public Protector and parliamentary investigations.


The Right2Know Campaign has been weighing in on Naspers' widening scandal that has engulfed its pay-TV arm MultiChoice and its alleged dodgy dealings and contracts with the SABC and the controversial ANN7 channel from the Guptas, calling for urgent investigations by both the Public Protector and parliament.

At issue is whether the media conglom's lucrative pay-TV unit is or was involved in undue pressure to get the controversial Gupta family through their ANN7 channel, and the SABC, to exercise pressure in return for getting their TV news channels carried on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform.

Explosive, leaked meeting transcripts between MultiChoice and the South African public broadcaster the SABC, as well as #GuptaLeaks contracts between MultiChoice and the controversial ANN7 D(Stv 405) channel showing massive payments from DStv to the Guptas, have raised multiple serious questions over corporate impropriety.

MultiChoice told the SABC it would pay the broadcaster R100 million for the SABC News channel but but only on the strict must-have contract clause condition that the SABC must support MultiChoice's stance on conditional access (CA) for digital television.

MultiChoice also dramatically upped its payments from R50 million per year to R100 million per year and then R141 million per year, as well as a questionable, additional R25 million payment to the Guptas for the low-rated, bad quality, mistake-filled and often criticised ANN7.

MultiChoice is paying ANN7 more despite its barely there low ratings than eNCA (DStv 403) that has more than 50% of the overall TV news audience share.

It's all created the perception that MultiChoice has paid kickbacks to both the SABC and ANN7 to use its influence to get set-top box (STB) encryption dropped from government-subsidised STBs in the switch to digital terrestrial television (DTT).

MultiChoice and Naspers have denied the kickbacks allegations and the MultiChoice board announced that MultiChoice is starting an internal investigation of itself.

The Right2Know Campaign in a statement says it is "deeply worried by recent media revelations of suspect correspondence between, and dodgy payments from, MultiChoice to SABC and ANN7."

"R2K intends to lodge a complaint with the Public Protector and has written to parliament's communications committee to launch an inquiry."

"It is insinuated that these payments from MultiChoice to the Gupta-linked ANN7 and the SABC were intended as kickbacks to influence government policy on encryption of digital terrestrial television (DTT) signals."

"At the centre of this appears to be Faith Muthambi who then presided over the department of communications, and who is alleged to have pursued MultiChoice’s market dominance agenda in concert with various Gupta associates."

"This would suggest blatant corruption on the part of MultiChoice and Faith Muthambi to advantage themselves in the disastrous roll-out of digital TV, which has seriously undermined the public's right to know."

"If MultiChoice is innocent it should welcome the parliament and the Public Protector's probes," says the Right2Know Campaign.

"It should be noted, though, that this is not the first time there have been revelations of irregularities surrounding digital TV and set-top boxes (STBs)."

"Media reports have also linked Altech UEC and Mxolisi Saady Zuma, the president’s son, to STB procurement bribery."

"The Gupta family has sought to influence government policy on digital TV in order to make money for their various businesses since 2012 when they invited Dina Pule, who was the communications minister then, to their house for canvassing."

"Right2Know notes that the department of communication has to date not released the report of the investigation into alleged STB corruption which was commissioned by the National Treasury and conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers."

"R2K has therefore written to parliament’s communications committee calling for an urgent probe into the dealings between MultiChoice, Faith Muthambi and the Guptas, and also will lodge a complaint with the Office of the Public Protector demanding an urgent probe."

"R2K demands that these probes be initiated immediately with the outcomes being publicised in 3 months".

Namec slams MultiChoice's 'blatant abuse of power', disguised 'State Capture' over allegations of trying to influence SA's digital TV encryption policy; will report MultiChoice to Competition Commission.


The National Association for Manufacturers in Electronic Components (Namec) has slammed Naspers' pay-TV operator MultiChoice over its "blatant abuse of power", accusing MultiChoice of being involved in disguised State Capture over allegations of undue influence to change the South African government's policy on digital TV encryption for set-topboxes (STBs).

At issue is whether the media conglom's lucrative pay-TV unit is or was involved in undue pressure to get the controversial Gupta family through their ANN7 channel, and the SABC, to exercise pressure in return for getting their TV news channels carried on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform.

Explosive, leaked meeting transcripts between MultiChoice and the South African public broadcaster the SABC, as well as #GuptaLeaks contracts between MultiChoice and the controversial ANN7 D(Stv 405) channel showing massive payments from DStv to the Guptas, have raised multiple serious questions over corporate impropriety.

MultiChoice told the SABC it would pay the broadcaster R100 million for the SABC News channel but but only on the strict must-have contract clause condition that the SABC must support MultiChoice's stance on conditional access (CA) for digital television.

MultiChoice also dramatically upped its payments from R50 million per year to R100 million per year and then R141 million per year, as well as a questionable, additional R25 million payment to the Guptas for the low-rated, bad quality, mistake-filled and often criticised ANN7.

MultiChoice is paying ANN7 more despite its barely there low ratings than eNCA (DStv 403) that has more than 50% of the overall TV news audience share.

It's all created the perception that MultiChoice has paid kickbacks to both the SABC and ANN7 to use its influence to get set-top box (STB) encryption dropped from government-subsidised STBs in the switch to digital terrestrial television (DTT).

MultiChoice and Naspers have denied the kickbacks allegations.

Namec lobbied for encryption for the 5 million government-sponsored STB, a policy that was adopted but then suddenly overturned, with these subsidised set-top boxes, filling South African Post Office warehouses, currently not containing any conditional access (CA) system.

Namec says it will report MultiChoice to the Competition Commission for its alleged anti-competitive conduct.

Namec in a statement says "we have learned, with chagrin, revelations that MultiChoice – a monopoly in the pay-television space – got the then minister to unlawfully prevail over the state president to delegate powers that led to her pronouncing and implementing a policy on non-encryption that was to the benefit of MultiChoice".

"This misdemeanour is a blatant abuse of power, at best, and a disguised form of state capture, at worst, and there must be consequences for those implicated."

"Given a myriad of opportunities that include bridging the digital gap by opening access to more people and the economic spin-offs that digital migration offers, it is criminal that the corrupt and greedy have seen it best that our country miss the digital migration deadline as set by the ITU and, in the process, not only compromise our country's public standing, but also the financial well-being of emerging black electronic components manufacturers."

"Our members suffered not only prejudice, but huge financial losses that they have not recovered from."

"Namec calls for the upcoming ANC national conference to set tight timelines on the rapid roll-out of digital terrestrial television (DTT)."

"Implemented properly, DTT can be a lever for radical economic transformation as it will allow our country to increase the number of channels currently available and this will provide new broadcasting entrants endless opportunities to play in the mainstream of our country's economy."

BREAKING. SuperSport again awarded the pay-TV broadcasting rights to SA's Premier Soccer League (PSL) in new 5-year deal.


The pay-sportscaster SuperSport has again been awarded the pay-TV broadcasting rights for South Africa's Premier Soccer League (PSL) for 5-years in a new long-term deal following a public tender process.

SuperSport didn't reveal the sticker price of the broadcast rights acquisition but calls access to the PSL "a cornerstone of the SuperSport broadcast business".

The new half-decade deal means that PSL games will continue to be shown on MultiChoice's DStv until at least 2024.

The cash-strapped South African public broadcaster was unsuccessful in securing any rights, as were the telecoms operator Vodacom.

The SABC sub-licensed on a part-time broadcast basis the rights from SuperSport to show some of the games.

The SABC indicated last month that it would put in a bid and asked the PSL for an extension of the deadline date to put a bid together; a request that was granted.

SuperSport clinched the pay-TV broadcasting rights for the Premier Soccer League in Sub-Saharan Africa for the 2019 to 2024 season.

MultiChoice's SuperSport held the rights for the past decade after the SABC failed to put in a bid 10 years ago when its existing deal expired and the public broadcaster lost the rights.

"We are delighted to have been successful with our bid," says Gideon Khobane, SuperSport CEO.

"This decision allows us to further entrench an outstanding soccer product in the hearts and minds of supporters across the continent.

"Having recently celebrated our 10-year partnership with the PSL, this is a tremendous opportunity to further help grow and nourish the sport.This agreement will do much for South African football, for footballers and indeed their families," says Gideon Khobane.

SuperSport says PSL matches are "a cornerstone of the SuperSport broadcast business" chiefly because "the league is vibrant, competitive and hugely popular. Capturing its essence week in and week out has been a challenge SuperSport has faithfully grasped".

"We will continue to walk this amazing path with the PSL. SuperSport looks forward to an enduring partnership with the PSL," says Gideon Khobane.

PSL chairperson Irvin Khoza says it is "delighted to continue its special relationship which has existed over a 10-year period and has seen the Absa Premiership grow into a world class product".

"Under the terms of the arrangement Absa Premiership matches will continue to be covered on a free-to-air basis, acknowledging the requirements of its fans throughout South Africa".