Monday, July 27, 2015

M-Net and Endemol Shine Africa's Big Brother Africa on MultiChoice's DStv canned over 'cash constraints'; lack of sponsors for 2015.

M-Net and Endemol Shine Africa's Big Brother Africa on DStv has been canned for 2015 apparently due to "cash constraints" and a failure to find sponsors.

Anne Sackey, the manager of MultiChoice Ghana, spilled to Razz newspaper that M-Net told them there won't be a new season of Big Brother Africa (BBA) this year. She thinks it is because of sponsorship constraints.

"I think it's mainly because of cash constraints as we all know the show is very expensive to put up," Anne Sackey reportedly told Razz.

Big Brother Africa and Big Brother Mzansi, both produced for M-Net channels in South Africa by Endemol Shine Africa remain mired in controversy.

Last year the 9th season of Big Brother Africa was postponed by a month after a devastating fire swept through the Sasani Studios complex with the blaze which caused millions of rands of damage.

Endemol Shine Africa refused to disclose the cause of the fire as the production moved to another house.

Sudden dramatic changes to South African visa regulations as well as Ebola fears last year this time also saw chosen Ghana contestants dumped from the show, followed by Sierra Leone and Rwanda as countries being eliminated as well before possible housemates from there had even entered the house.

Last year during South Africa's Big Brother Mzansi season on the Mzansi Magic and Big Brother channels, a male contestant was removed after hitting a woman in the show, which M-Net called "an isolated incident".

In April this year, the latest Big Brother Mzansi season exploded incontroversy over alleged rape when a male contestant bragged how he "dipped her" when he allegedly had sex with a drunk and passed out female contestant who was horrified about what she was told happened.

Endemol Shine Africa removed both from the reality competition show after the alleged sexual misconduct which lead to widespread criticism and calls for M-Net and MultiChoice to end the misogynistic and voyeuristic reality show "which keeps encouraging and rewarding" violence and sexual misconduct against women.

M-Net and the production company decided to monitor alcohol consumption more closely in the booze fest series shown across multiple channels on MultiChoice’s DStv platform.

Friday, July 24, 2015

CNN criticised for describing Kenya as a 'hotbed of terror'; former CNN anchor Zain Verjee says CNN International more 'nuanced' over Africa.

CNN is being criticised for describing Kenya as "a hotbed of terror" with a former CNN International (DStv 401) anchor saying her "eyes rolled to the back of my head" when she saw it.

Ahead of the American president Barack Obama's visit to Kenya today, CNN described the African country on Twitter and in a story as "a hotbed of terror".

The Kenyan government demanded an apology following a Twitter uproar, and CNN later added a note to the story, saying that "the headline and lead of this article has been recast to indicate the terror threat is a regional one".

Zain Verjee, a former CNN anchor and correspondent who is from Kenya and who left CNN International last year, says "Kenyans are seriously pissed off" by CNN's "hotbed of terror" remark, and that "Kenyans have given CNN a hard slap on social media".

Zain Verjee writes that the "hotbed of terror" description would probably not have happened on CNN International, since CNN's international version of the 24-hour TV news channel "is more nuanced".

"It's like two separate worlds really. CNN USA is driven much more by short-term gain, higher drama with a daily pressure of ratings and the need to win the minute."

"CNN international is more nuanced, not driven by the business of daily ratings. There is a much more sophisticated internal approach to Africa programming and reporting."

"The entire CNN network should not be slammed for a 'font' that popped up on one package: "hotbed". That font was generated by a single writer, or producer, who didn't know better, or should have known better."

"I've worked at CNN most of my life. There are anchors, producers, writers, reporters and managers that are excellent journalists, that I respect greatly, who have visited Kenya, like Kenya and get the nuances, and gave me personally, a lot of freedom to tell great Kenya stories over 14 years."

DUMPED. Altron done with the Altech Node; ready to dispose of the expensive video-on-demand failure soon after 'poor uptake' from consumers.

Altron is done with its expensive decoder failure, the Altech Node, and is ready to dump the video-on-demand (VOD) flop it launched last year in South Africa which failed to take off after tepid consumer uptake.

Altron's Altech Node was launched in September 2014, but the expensive black set-top box (STB) which was also a home automation system sold for R3 499 and required a monthly subscription fee of R299 failed to gain traction with consumers.

Altron is now ready to off-load the expensive white elephant consumer product which cut into its financial performance since it was launched.

In a trading statement Altron says its getting rid of the Altech Node because of "poor uptake by retail customers" and is looking to sell the under-performing business venture soon.

"Altron TMT has identified a third party, with whom it is at an advanced stage of negotiations, to acquire this business. It is anticipated that Altech Node will be disposed of in the short-term," says the company.

While the Node launched in 2014 with 200 hours of TV series, 140 movies, 150 hours of kids programming, 150 hours of documentaries, and 30 hours of current affairs programming Altech failed to tell consumers, TV critics, the press and potential subscribers about the content ever again.

Altron mistakenly thought South African consumers would buy a box, forgetting that consumers now buy and keep decoders, smartphones and other internet linked devices not for the actual device but for the content it has access to.

The publicity for the Node was basically non-existent and where there was anything, it focused only on the actual decoder, not telling consumer about the programming.

Big marketing billboards only touted the mysterious black box, while a TV ad focused on the Altech Node's technology features.

Unlike other South African pay-TV and VOD players who issue regular programming publicity alerts, Altron after launch of the Altech Node never told potential buyers and new or existing subscribers about the actual TV content they could get access to and specifically what it was, or the new content as additional programming was acquired and cycled through.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Da Vinci's Demons on FOX cancelled after just 3 seasons; third and final 'bittersweet' 'ending to Leonardo's journey' will start end of October.

After not living up to expectations the FOX (DStv 125 / StarSat 131) drama Da Vinci's Demons with Tom Riley has been cancelled with the upcoming delayed 3rd season which will suddenly be its last.

The third season of Da Vinci's Demons revolving around the fictionalised life of a young Leonardo Da Vinci will start at the end of October with John Shiban who took over the reigns as executive producer in the place of creator David Goyer who is out.

There will be a final 10-episode third season, produced by Adjacent Pictures, making the underwhelming Da Vinci's Demons from FOX International Channels (FIC) the latest TV show not to survive the 2014/2015 TV season.

The 3rd and final season of Da Vinci's Demons will start at the end of October more than 17 months after the 2nd season finale.

"While ending Leonardo's journey is bittersweet for me, I'm happy we're ending the story on a high note," says David Goyer said.

"Leonardo was famous for his mirror-writing, and there's a symmetry to the entire series - between the first episode and the final one - that I think the maestro would have appreciated."

"I want to thank our dedicated fans around the world for viewing and engaging with such passion," says David Goyer. "And I want to thank Tom Riley for turning in a consistently brilliant performance. It's no small feat to portray a genius, but Tom did it with grace and humor. I hope everyone enjoys these final episodes as much as we enjoyed making them."

"David Goyer brought us a plan to portray the unknown early years of a genius and we think the fans will enjoy this final chapter which segues into the da Vinci that history knows," says Carmi Zlotnik, the managing director of Starz, the TV channel showing Da Vinci's Demons in the United States while its shown on FOX in the rest of the world.

"John Shiban has done a tremendous job of building on past seasons and by showing how da Vinci matures as his challenges grow."

The final season of Da Vinci's Demons will find Leonardo da Vinci trying to protect the city of Otranto attacked by Ottoman invaders, using some of his own inventions against him as he has to try and come up with new ones.

"To fight those who seek to destroy everything he loves, Leonardo must align with old foes, repair broken friendships, discover hidden secrets, and resume a dangerous quest, all while knowing that he is his own worst enemy."

kykNET Musiek channel on DStv rebranded from August as kykNET NOU; moving away from music only channel to incorporate entertainment.

The kykNET Musiek (DStv 146) channel on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform is being rebranded as kykNET NOU! ending its channel proposition as a "music only" channel and incorporating other entertainment content.

kykNET Musiek, launched in November 2012 and packaged and provided by pay-TV broadcaster M-Net as an Afrikaans launguage channel showing Afrikaans music videos and magazine shows around the Afrikaans music industry and artists, will widen its scope from 3 August when the channel name changes to kykNET NOU! and include wider entertainment coverage.

kykNET NOU! will no longer focus on just Afrikaans music and add additional genres like lifestyle and talk show programming with a lot of the content taken and repurposed from the main Afrikaans entertainment channel, kykNET (DSTv 144).

kykNET NOU! will be available to DStv Premium, DStv Compact, DStv Extra and DStv Family subscribers when kykNET Musiek changes to the new channel on 3 August on DStv.

kykNET NOU! plans to cover the Afrikaans music and entertainment sphere.

"We plan to keep viewers up to date and to spice up their social calendar with the latest information about concerts and solo performances," says Karen Meiring, M-Net's director for Afrikaans channels.

kykNET's new radio-on-TV breakfast show Die Groot Ontbyt replacing the cancelled Dagbreek will be shown on kykNET NOU! from 10 August between 06:00 and 08:00.

Other kykNET programming shown on kykNET NOU! include talk show Jou Show with Emo Adams, and the travelogue, Reis na Gister.

Fiesta, Leef Jou Reis, Singstories, Bravo!Flits and several other programmes from the premium kykNET channel will be shown on kykNET NOU! Other shows include #MyMusiek, #LekkerTV and Jukebox on Saturdays and a revamped JAM! on Sundays at 19:30.

Sing in Harmonie is a choir competition for primary schools.

kykNET plans to broadcast concerts live on kykNET NOU! in the future.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

M-Net's Mzansi Magic channel on MultiChoice's DStv upgrades to a high definition channel, Mzansi Magic HD, from Friday after 5 years.

Another M-Net provided TV channel packaged for MultiChoice's satellite pay-TV platform is changing from a standard definition (SD) to high definition (HD) feed with Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) becoming Mzansi Magic HD from this Friday, 24 July on DStv.

It's still breaking news when a TV channel goes HD in South Africa and Africa and now MultiChoice's DStv and M-Net is finally upgrading Mzansi Magic.

The upgrade of Mzansi Magic to better broadcast quality co-incides with the channel's 5th birthday this month. DStv Premium, DStv Extra and DStv Compact subscribers with HD enabled DStv decoders will be able to receive Mzansi Magic HD as a high definition channel from Friday.

The M-Net packaged local content channel has made major inroads in viewership since it launched in 2010 as it continues to siphon off viewers from especially SABC1 with shows ranging from Zabalaza and IsiBaya to Our Perfect Wedding, Idols and Date My Family.

"All of our premiere shows are shot in the HD format and we are very pleased to be able to now offer a full HD channel," says Nkateko Mabaso, the director of M-Net's local interest channels.

"We know that our TV audiences increasingly appreciate and access top quality programming, so this development will specifically add value to their overall viewing experience. The channel also remains available in standard definition."

On Friday Mzansi Magic starts a new primetime drama, It's Complicated with Atandwa Kani, Siyabonga Radebe and Tsishiwe Ziqubu at 19:30.

The new local telenovela, The Road will start on Mzansi Magic at the end of August.

SABC3 waiting on Tyra's tapes for the 10th cycle of America's Next Top Model; reality show couldn't start Saturday due to no episodes delivered.

The 10th season of America’s Next Top Model which was supposed to start on SABC3 this past Saturday didn't – again the tapes didn't arrive in time.

Viewers tuning in to SABC3 at 15:00 on Saturday for the 10th season waited in vain for the Tyra Banks created, and executive produced competition reality show, which SABC3 decided to return to the channel.

Since 2010, SABC3's schedule has been impacted several times the past five years with shows which ran out of available tapes and episodes.

Several times, new seasons of existing shows as well as new shows haven't started as scheduled because of payment issues between the SABC and international distributors, and problems with tape delivery.

The 10th "cycle" of America’s Next Top Model is the latest show being impacted by non-delivery of cassettes in time to the Auckland Park headquarters of the SABC – the same issue which previously impacted and delayed episodes of Survivor: Gabon, Expedition: Impossible which jumped to M-Net, Days of Our Lives, The Cape and even The Oprah Winfrey Show on SABC3.

The public broadcaster now hopes that tapes of America’s Next Top Model will arrive at the SABC's programme acceptance department this week in time for the 10th cycle to start this Saturday at 15:00.

It's not clear whether SABC3 is bringing the show back for just one season after SABC3 lost the show to M-Net's Vuzu (DStv 116) a few years ago.

For the 10th season America’s Next Top Model, which was shown in America in 2008, moves back to New York from Los Angeles.

Monday, July 20, 2015

NOT IM(PRESS)ED. 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards 'imprisons' red carpet press in a steel pen; 'please come to the fence' reporters beg.

PR organisers of the 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards on MTV Base (DStv 322) which took place on Saturday evening showed little love to the media, literally banishing them from the red carpet and bizarrely putting them in a waist-high steel pen alongside the carpet like animals.

The fenced-off red carpet at Durban's International Convention Centre not only dramatically curtailed the way TV, print and online media platforms interviewed and photographed the stars who had arrived from across Africa, but also limited the access the media traditionally get for snap interviews and quick pics of celebrities and TV executives.

It's not clear why Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa), which runs MTV Base and the MAMAs, made the drastic break with last year's traditional red rope to separate the strolling celebrities and the press for a walled-off approach.

A black steel wall to push the press aside is never seen alongside American red carpet events or even hyper-security events like the Oscars, Grammys and Golden Globes as it wouldn't be tolerated by reporters in America.

'Please come to the fence'
Several shorter female reporters struggled for whom the steel fence was basically almost shoulder-length high, and who could only lean over with an arm and outstretched microphone.

Stars who walk the red carpet because they and their publicist want the exposure, are usually gently grabbed and steered or softly "hand-guided" over for a quick question or five seconds to smile for camera flashes before moving on a metre to the next media outlet against the sponsors’' backdrop – the wall-length banner and the process both known in the trade as a Step and Repeat.

This year it was harder for all media who had to call celebrities to "please come to the fence" with several stars who simply walked on by.

While electronic media create the illusion that the interviewer is also on the red carpet although they're actually standing on the very edge, VIMN Africa made that impossible this year.

Reporters had to stretch microphones, dictaphones and smartphones over the fence, hoping to catch some celebrity lightning in a bottle.

The units used to separate the press were more solid and heavier than even the customary crowd control barriers, wrapped with black fabric, which were used inside the auditorium this year to separate the standing crowd from the actual stage and walkways to prevent them from touching it and the on-stage talent.

Comedian and actor Trevor Gumbi, who represented MultiChoice and was DStv's reporter alongside the red carpet, was one of a few reporters who initially dared to step onto the side of the red carpet to conduct on-camera interviews.

TV with Thinus observed how VIMN publicists banished Trevor Gumbi from the red carpet – twice – saying reporters must stay behind the steel barrier.

'Too difficult'
"What next year? Floor to ceiling transparent plastic with a little hole like at the bank to shout through so the famous don’t have to breathe the same air as us?" remarked one journalist on Saturday evening.

"This is too difficult. They don't see and can't hear us," said another journalist, as a female reporter from GoldMyneTV in Nigeria valiantly battled for whatever celebrities were willing to give soundbytes.

At the end, while stars like Basetsana Kumalo were still walking the red carpet and doing interviews, VIMN Africa suddenly announced the red carpet over and said "the press must now leave".

There were positive changes from last year however. The first was a reversal of the red carpet direction – with celebrities who started from a back entrance and elevator and walked towards the front of the Durban ICC. Also better and more audible were the announcements of who was entering the red carpet.

Several African artists and celebrities at the 2015 MAMAs appeared clueless about the inner workings of the red carpet walk, appearing without their publicist, several failing to stop once as journalists dropped expletives off the side about why the stars are bothering if they’re just going to walk by without doing interviews or stopping for photos.

The dismissive Anthony Anderson who was the host this year, only did interviews at the top of the press run where media like CNN, AFP and CNBC Africa were allocated their A4 paper spots after which he walked the whole length of the red carpet without stopping once for photos or interviews until the very end for another short media engagement.

While most South African stars yet again seemed bewildered and somewhat overwhelmed by having to walk the red carpet, some South African and African stars showed the difference that real red carpet know-how and experience make.

Without wasting time, local celebrities like Boity Thulo, Bonang Matheba and Bucie proved red carpet pro's as usual, making time for any media which called, yet moving along at a steady pace.

Stars like Pearl Thusi remembered the golden rule as she twirled in her ice blue dress – giving individual media outlets covering the red carpet all something worthwhile which took brief seconds each time, instead of sprinting for the end.

The majority of stars appeared unbriefed about keeping to the imaginary straight line down the middle to ensure the best exposure to the Step and Repeat whilst remaining accessible to the media, opting instead to scuttle down the carpet the furthest away from the press against the back wall.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards on MTV Base less about surprises as Nigeria's P-Square honoured as Africa's Artist of the Decade.

The 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards on Saturday night on MTV Base (DStv 322) and broadcast live across the African continent on Viacom International Media Networks' channels was this year less about surprises and novelty and more about consolidation, settling down and entrenchment of the brand and logistics of this African awards show as a brand. 

The 2015 MAMAs was held for the second consecutive time in Durban since the revival last year of the pan-African music awards show, and Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa) took a lot of the playbook from 2014 - from planning to execution - redoing what worked, with tweaks here and there.

The 2015 MAMAs was held again at Durban's International Convention Centre, this year with American comedian Anthony Anderson as host, and adding some new categories.

The big winners was the Nigerian stars Davido and Yemi Alade who won in the Best Male and Best Female categories while Nigeria's P-Square won as Best Group and was awarded the Artist of the Decade award.

D'Banji won the MAMA Evolution award, a new category that's been introduced to recognise an artists who've made an indelible mark on African and global music culture; while the South African comedian Trevor Noah set to take over as host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central (DStv 122) from 28 September won in the category for Personality of the Year to loud applause.

"I want to thank my two Ethiopian fans," said Trevor Noah in a funny pre-taped acceptance speech message.

"Africa is a continent of the now and the future; tonight was testament to that," said Alex Okosi, the senior vice president and managing director of VIMN Africa.

"The 2015 MAMAs represented and reflected the abundant amount of creativity and passion this continent breeds."

The 2015 MAMAs winners:

Best Female: Yemi Alade (Nigeria)
Best Male: Davido (Nigeria)
Best Group: P-Square (Nigeria)
Best New Act: Patoranking (Nigeria)
Best Hip Hop:  Cassper Nyovest (South Africa)
Best Collaboration: AKA, Burna Boy, Da LES & JR: "All Eyes On Me" (SA/Nigeria)
Song of the Year: Mavins: "Dorobucci" (Nigeria)
Best Live: Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)
Video of the Year:  "Nafukwa" – Riky Rick; Director: Adriaan Louw
Best Pop & Alternative: Jeremy Loops (South Africa)
Best Francophone: DJ Arafat (Ivory Coast)
Best Lusophone: Ary (Angola)
Personality of the Year:  Trevor Noah (South Africa)
MAMA Evolution: D'Banj (Nigeria)
Best International: Nicki Minaj
Artist of the Decade: P-Square

MTV Base Leadership Award: Saran Kaba Jones & S'Bu Mavundla

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Bonang Matheba: 'Success takes hard work, commitment'; 2015 MAMAs nominee says social media makes it easier for Africa to be seen'.

Queen B and popular multimedia personality Bonang Matheba says success takes hard work, persistence and commitment and says young people across Africa should resist the lure of the instant gratification they see on social media and the instant fame they seek, and rather work hard to achieve their dreams.

Bonang Matheba is a nominee in the category for Personality of the Year at the 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards taking place in Durban on Saturday evening at the Durban International Convention Centre that will be broadcast live on MTV Base (DStv 322), MTV (DStv 130) and BET (DStv 129) from 21:00 and from 22:00 on e.tv.

Bonang Matheba spoke at the pre-event press conference which took place on Friday evening at the Playhouse Theatre in Durban.

"For this generation is a lot about instant gratification who sometimes forget about the true value of hard work and persistence that needs to go into achievement. I would say that 'overnight success' takes four to five years to create."

"You won't be successful tomorrow. Or next week. Or the year after that. It really does take hard work. It really does take commitment. It really does take four, five years. But anything really worth having is really worth working hard for," said Bonang Matheba.

"Unfortunately we live in an era where peer pressure surrounds you on Instagram, on Twitter, on Facebook. You want everything to happen quickly. Because of that few people see the true value of hard work. There is no limit to what you can achieve through hard work."

Bonang Matheba also had good words for social media though. "Social media - Twitter, YouTube - makes it easier for us as Africa to be seen by the world."

She said that the influence that comes with having a large number of followers, and cyber fans is beneficial to artists' careers and helps with exposure but also cautioned that "as a personality you need to have a boundary" and that social media shouldn't be allowed to consume your life.

Viacom Africa boss Alex Okosi on why American comedian Anthony Anderson is hosting the 2015 MAMAs: 'The best available host'.

Viacom Africa boss Alex Okosi responded to criticism that MTV Base's (DStv 322) MTV Africa Music Awards again chose an American and not an African artist to be the host of the 2015 MAMAs taking place on Saturday night and said comedian Anthony Anderson who will be performing hosting duties was "the best available host".

The 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards will be broadcast live on MTV Base (DStv 322), MTV (DStv 130) and BET (DStv 129) on Saturday night with Anthony Anderson on the stage following in the footsteps of Marlon Wayans last year.

TV with Thinus asked Alex Okosi, the senior vice president and managing director of Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa), about criticism regarding the apparent preference for American comedians to host the MAMAs which VIMN Africa and MTV Base say is done to celebrate the excellence of African artists.

Without mentioning names like the South African comedian Trevor Noah who was a frontrunner this year to host but couldn't due to preparation and diary pressures due to taking over hosting of The Daily Show from Jon Stewart on Comedy Central (DStv 122) on 28 September, Alex Okosi explained that the MAMAs organisers choose the best available host.

Alex Okosi explained at the pre-event press conference which took place on Friday evening at the Playhouse Theatre in Durban, that it's actually good that some shortlisted artists and performers from Africa are not available to host the MAMAs, because it means they have work and are working and that as talent they're sought-after marquee names.

"When we looked at hosts for this year's 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards there were a few names, including some people's names that I'm sure you can imagine who should be considered."

"This show has to be accessible to a global audience. We air this show across Africa, its our celebration but also a global audience."

"So you do put together a list that does combine international and African names because I do believe we have strong African contenders who can host the MAMAs," said Alex Okosi.

"Now, some of the African people are unavailable. And I think that's a beautiful thing, because [it means] they're working. Right? So we cut down the list. Anthony Anderson was definitely in the top part of our list as well."

"And you go and look at who can really do this. You really have only a few people who can host a global award show such as this."

"So our strategy is not about always having an international host, our strategy is having the best available host," said Alex Okosi.

"99% of the talent you see on the talent you will see on the 2015 MAMAs stage is African, and that's what we're celebrating on Saturday."

At the press conference Anthony Anderson said "my expectation is just to have a great show and I'm glad to be here and to be a part of it and to be here in South Africa and have some fun with you guys."

Comedian and 2015 MAMAs host Anthony Anderson's advice for African artists and producers: 'Be truthful with the product that you put out'.

The American comedian and host of the 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards, Anthony Anderson, has advice for African artists and producers: "Be truthful with the product that you put out".

Anthony Anderson also declared his love for the South African comedian Trevor Noah, set to take over as host of The Daily Show on Viacom's Comedy Central (DStv 122) from 28 September.

The 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards will be broadcast live on MTV Base (DStv 322), MTV (DStv 130) and BET (DStv 129) on Saturday night.

TV with Thinus asked the star of the American comedy Black-ish at the pre-event press conference held at the Playhouse Threate in Durban on Friday evening, what advice he has for Africa's artists, entertainers and producers - given the rapid emergence of much greater diversity in the American TV landscape with hit shows like Empire, Blach-ish, Power and others now seen around the world at the same time as its shown in America.

"When Black-ish premiered a year ago, I don't think there were any African-American shows on the air produced by an African-American star about an African-American family. We're only standing on the shoulders of those who came before us."

"People resonate with our show because we're just telling honest stories, as truthfully as we can. And that's our responsibility. We entertain, we're having fun but we're also opening the door for the next generation of story tellers to come through who have are minorities," said Anthony Anderson.

"Because of the success of Blach-ish, there's room for show like Fresh Off the Boat. Eventually we will kick the door off its hinges for everybody to come through and tell their stories."

"My advice for Africa is to keep pushing on, and to keep telling your stories and to keep creating. Because that's what we do and that what we're doing."

About the South African comedian Trevor Noah, Anthony Anderson says "Trevor Noah is a friend of mine, I love that brother".

"Hopefully we can come up with something great for his show," said Anthony Anderson.

Trophy for the 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards on MTV Base undergoes a colourful change; ditches the gold for a multi-coloured makeover.

The trophy for the 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards on MTV Base (DStv 322) set to take place tonight in Durban has undergone a multi-coloured makeover a year after it was reimagined and changed into its existing form.

Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa) which runs MTV Base and the MAMAs last year announced that the trophy from now on will be refreshed and tweaked when the award show takes place.

The trophy's basic new design which was introduced last year remains which was designed by the husband-and-wife design duo Adriaan Hugo and Katy Taplin of Dokter And Misses in Braamfontein.

The "M"-block forming the base of the trophy also remains silver in colour, but the "TV" and the interconnected cogs and industrial machinery look forming the African continent are now in different colours.

The previous "cog-like" circles have also been changed into hexagonal shapes, more resembling the DNA-ish look of the MAMAs logo.

The new 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards trophy which will be handed out in several categories tonight, now sports pink, purple, turquoise and navy blue colours.

The new 2015 MAMAs trophy was unveiled Friday night at the pre-event press conference held at the Playhouse Theatre.

"This year we've changed and gone for a more colourful approach, whereas last year it was a gold trophy," says Tim Horwood, MTV Base channel director. "This year the trophy is more colourful which we feel represents the vibrancy and youth culture that we're all here to celebrate and it represents Africa emerging".

Friday, July 17, 2015

StarSat adds 3 channels from Saturday: sports channel StarTimes Sports Premium and two Nollywood channels, AMC Series and Iroko Play.

StarSat is adding the three TV channels StarTimes Sports Premium, AMC Series and Iroko Play from tomorrow.

The South African satellite pay-TV service run by On Digital Media (ODM) and China's StarTimes Media SA got approval from the broadcasting regulator, Icasa, to add the channels.

The addition of StarTimes Sports Premium, a self-packaged sports channel, is the first real inroads to bring its subscribers relevant sports content which includes live sport coverage, one of the biggest drawbacks which hampered StarSat subscriber growth since the service launched under the much maligned and since retired "TopTV" brand in May 2010.

StarTimes Sports Premium (StarSat 242) which became available on StarTimes' platform elsewhere in Africa in May and awaited approval from Icasa, already started to siphon sports coverage away from competitor MultiChoice and SuperSport, netting exclusive broadcasting rights to sporting events and sport series across several types of sport which will be rolled out over the next two years.

StarTimes Sports Premium will show subscribers live sport events ranging from Bundesliga football, athletics, motorsport and boxing to volleyball and table tennis, including a range of sports magazine shows.

AMC Series (StarSat 134) - not to be confused with the American AMC (DStv 140 / StarSat 115) - is being added as a sister channel to the other AMC channel: Africa Movie Channel (StarSat 185) showing Nollywood movies.

AMC Series will showNollywood and other African content and TV series like Clinic Matters, Dear Mother - Reloaded and The Benjamins.

Iroko Play (StarSat 116) is another Nollywood movie channel showing African movies.

"These channels  bring a high level of entertainment  and are further evidence of our ongoing commitment to bring good, quality and varied programmes to our subscribers," says Ian Woodrow, StarSat general content manager.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

e.tv adds the 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards to Saturday schedule at 22:00; 2015 MAMAs promises a cornucopia of parties and stars.

Red-letter broadcaster e.tv has added the 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMAs) to its Saturday night schedule starting at 22:00 after again securing the free-to-air broadcasting rights for South Africa.

From tomorrow celebrities - those draped with faux gold and real - from across Africa and the United States, along with press, publicist, producers and entourages will descend on Durban in KwaZulu-Natal where the Elangeni Hotel, the Playhouse Theatre and the Durban International Convention Centre will form the trifecta epicentre of this year's made-for-TV awards show.

The pan-African music awards show from Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa) with the American comedian Anthony Anderson will be shown live and simultaneously on MTV Base (DStv 322), MTV (DStv 130) and BET (DStv 129) from 21:00 - and now also on e.tv from 22:00. It will also be shown on BET International (StarSat 167) on a later date.

"e.tv is pleased to be associated with the 2015 MTV African Music Awards," says Monde Twala, managing director of e.tv channels division.

"The 2014 MAMAs was a great hit with our audience and we look forward to a great showcase of authentic African music. As the official free-to-air partner, we are extremely excited to be able to bring the event to millions of Africans who watch e.tv."

While stars and their entourages will start to check-in at the Elangeni Hotel on Durban's famed beachfront tomorrow, there's will be a press conference on pre-MAMAs press conference late Friday afternoon with VIMN Africa and MTV Base executives as well as some artists, followed by a vodka cocktails sundowner get-together.

Later Friday night there's the official pre-party at Under the Moon in Inanda where Uhuru, K.O., DJ Feel, Benny Maverick, Jnr De Rocka and King Sfiso will perform.

On Saturday there will be a VIP cocktail pre-party before the MAMAs at the Durban International Convention Centre where Junior B and Touch of Soul will perform.

While the arrested Young Thug will likely be a no-show at the Saturday's MAMAs, a platinum of stars from across Africa and South Africa are expected to attend and sweep down the red carpet.

Bonang Matheba, Cassper Nyovest, P-Square, Seyi Shay, BET's Top Actor winner Altovise Lawrence, Miss South Africa 2015 Liesl Laurie, Trevor Gumbi, Mr Nigeria Emmanuel Ikbese, HHP, MTV Base VJ Sizwe, Khuli Chana, Davido, Bucie, AKA, DJ Tira and Boity Thulo (who is not engaged) are just some of the stars who are confirmed to razzle-dazzle at this year's MAMAs.