Saturday, September 13, 2014

BREAKING. After the fire, Big Brother Africa Hotshots to start on 5 October; reality show finds new production house facility in Johannesburg.

Big Brother Africa Hotshots will now start on 5 October, with the Endemol South Africa produced reality format show which has found a new location and production facility in Johannesburg following the devastating fire at Sasani Studios' stage 1 two weeks ago.

The upcoming 9th season of Big Brother Africa entitled Hotshots was postponed when a blaze destroyed cameras, glass, other equipment, and damaged props, walls, the roof and other instrumentals on 2 September.

Endemol South Africa and M-Net quickly scouted various locations in an emergency exercise - including looking at London and the Big Brother House outside Jerusalem in Israel, but decided to remain in South Africa and make do, so as to lessen exorbitant production costs and insane and intricate visa regulations.

Changed South African visa regulations and Ebola fears from West Africa already damaged the upcoming season which first saw the chosen Ghana contestants dumped from the show, followed by Sierra Leone and Rwanda being eliminated from the season before housemates had even entered the house.

To go through a protracted process to secure visas for African contestants, South African crew and equipment proved too difficult and too high a hurdle for the producers who settled on a studio in Johannesburg.

Big Brother Africa Hotshots will now start on Sunday 5 October at 19:00 on two dedicated MultiChoice channels on DStv across Africa, with regular highlight programmes on M-Net's AfricaMagic Showcase channel.

Friday, September 12, 2014

DStv's Oscar Pistorius Trial TV channel from Combined Artistic Productions dumps bad green screen, adds new desk, back panels.

It wasn't Judge Masipa ordered, but Combined Artistic Productions dumped the terrible green screen idea and made it a real TV set again - with a beautiful new desk and back panels - when the M-Net provided Oscar Pistorius Trial TV channel (DStv 199) resumed yesterday and concluding its coverage today.

The Oscar Pistorius Trial TV channel in its final two days of broadcast on Thursday and Friday looked "right" again -  a sophisticated, real, credible studio and presentation instead of the shocking trashed down virtual monstrosity the beautiful original set was suddenly and inexplicably reduced to during July.

The Oscar Pistorius Trial TV channel on DStv produced by Combined Artistic Productions responsible for Carte Blanche on M-Net started off with a simply beautiful set in March - white, vast, sleek, multi-purpose and wonderful to look at. It's long gone now.

Then it shamefully dumbed down the beautifulness with a small boxed in horrible green screen corner, completely unbecoming and unfitting for what the channel itself called coverage of the "biggest South Africa court case this century".

When the channel "popped up" for the last time on Thursday, the bulk of the terrible badness was gone. No green screen, no staccato camera angles. 

The Oscar Pistorius Trial TV channel's set was once again good.Not as great as when it started, but back to being above average after the dismal failure during the middle.

The Oscar Pistorius Trial TV channel resumed with a Star Trekkian type desk - beautiful! - replacing the "ship sail" design desk which was also beautiful and functional, and a blue mosaic wall panel design was added to give very nice dimension in a good blue hue to the backdrop as it mimic TV panels.

Other mistakes like the ridiculously incorrect and totally untrustworthy DStv EPG during the middle phase of the channel's run is now also fixed and corresponds with the actual on-air programming.

SABC's SABC News such a mess that two of president Jacob Zuma's wives are invited to The Newsroom, who then start fighting with each other.

The SABC's guest booking at SABC News (DStv 404) is such a mess and the internal communication so bad that two of president Jacob Zuma's wives were invited as guests to Eben Jansen's The Newsroom - with both who showed up and then started fighting with each other in front of SABC staff, and then both left leaving SABC News and the show with none to interview.

The Mail& Guardian reports that Bongi Ngema and Tobeka Madiba both showed up for the very same interview, on the very same programme on SABC News' The Newsroom, about the very same topics - without ever having been told about each other by the SABC, after both were invited.

The women starting fighting with each other and screaming in Auckland Park in full view of staff and then accused the SABC of setting them up.

They both left after the highly embarrassing booking blunder of the SABC's 24-hour TV news channel. The Newsroom wanted one of the wives to talk given that it was Women's Day.

The SABC's head of TV news, Jimi Matthews, apparently had to intervene but both women left since neither wanted to appear on the SABC and the SABC News channel after the incident.

Since president Jacob Zuma and Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the SABC's controversial and famously matricless chief operating officer (COO) has close ties, one of president Jacob Zuma's wives even threatened to call Hlaudi Motsoeneng directly to complain.

"It was ugly and embarrassing," a source told the Mail & Guardian.

Disney explains why its now targeting little kids on DStv as young as 4 with TV commercials, says MultiChoice is supportive of the change.

The Walt Disney Company in South Africa is explaining why the Mouse House is now going to be targeting small children as young as 4 watching Disney's TV channels on DStv with commercial advertising, and says MultiChoice is supportive of the change.

It comes after news that Disney will now do commercial advertising to children on its previously ad free channels Disney Channel (DStv 303) and Disney Junior (DStv 309) in conjunction with DStv Media Sales and Disney's Disneymedia+ which will be specifically targeting the audience of very small, pre-school children.

DStv Media Sales, MultiChoice and Disney are now ready to put commercial TV adverts in front of little eyes on channels which DStv subscribers have come to trust not to carry the crass commercial considerations found on other kids channels with a reputation less sterling than the Disney brand.

The two Disney channels - one aimed at young kids and teens and the other at toddlers and pre-school kids - will start running commercials from November.

"Disney XD has carried commercial advertising since its launch in South Africa in 2011 and now Disney Channel and Disney Junior will follow," Disney tells TV with Thinus.

"Disney Channels carry advertising in many other markets worldwide," says Disney.

Disney says the Disney Channel and Disney Junior will now also start to carry TV commercials because "DStv airs other children's channels that have carried commercial advertising for some time so the platform's audience is used to seeing advertising on children's TV".

Disney says DStv and MultiChoice "are supportive of this change".

How will DStv choose what advertising will be run? "The Walt Disney Company Africa decides which advertising runs on its channels and we have strict internal guidelines on the type of advertising we carry. In all instances, advertising must comply with relevant local and international legislation," says Disney.

Asked if there's advertising that DStv won't run, Disney says "advertising which is not appropriate for Disney's children and family audience will not appear on the channel".

"In addition, as part of Disney's commitment to support families' desires to lead healthier lifestyles, Disney will not accept advertising from brands which do not comply with its healthy living guidelines. This is a policy that is already in place for Disney XD".

TV with Thinus asked why DStv and Disney are now allowing advertising on Disney Junior to be shown to very small children.

"Disney takes its commitment to its viewers extremely seriously and we will be especially careful as we do not want to betray the trust that so many families have in us".

"All advertising appearing on Disney Channels including Disney Junior, will be vetted to ensure it is age and family-appropriate and conforms to both local guidelines and relevant international guidelines such as BCAP and CAPCODE, as well as our own internal guidelines".

In June this year MultiChoice and Disney were fined R5 000 by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) for showing a horror promo to young children without the proper age restriction.

The BCCSA in its judgment said that "the rights of parents and caregivers of smaller children have been violated" by Disney and MultiChoice and that parents and caregivers have the right to be informed about the nature of material to which their children are exposed to on television.

Soccer star Mark Haskins joins's Sunrise morning breakfast show as new sports anchor.

Mark Haskins, the former Moroka Swallows midfielder has joined's Sunrise as the new sports anchor and will be making his first appearance on Monday 15 September on's weekday morning breakfast show.

Mark Haskins is the next sports anchor in a rolling door of sports anchors and morning presenters on Sunrise struggling with stability in terms of on-air talent in the show broadcast between 06:00 and 08:30 on weekdays.

Sunrise has seen a constant roll-over and churn in new faces coming and going and making it difficult for viewers to relate and to get to know and grow with the morning show.

It's not clear what the duration of Mark Haskins' contract with Sunrise is.

Given the abrupt departure of the previous sports anchors, none of whom lasted longer than a year after big fanfare announcements, Mark Haskins and Sunrise have a high bar to cross to win viewers' loyalty and trust.

"Securing the services of Mark Haskins is a great addition to the Sunrise anchor team and he brings with him a wealth of experience," says Nicholas Maphopha, Sunrise executive producer in a statement.

"He is an avid follower of anything sports and I believe that his passion not only of sports but for the country will be greatly welcomed".

Mark Haskins says "it is a daunting change of scenery but I've always enjoyed a challenge and I love pushing boundaries. and particularly the Sunrise team have made the transition a whole lot easier".

"I fully commit to anything I work on and I will be giving my very best to be relevant on this platform and make a positive difference".

Thursday, September 11, 2014

M-Net Edge starting on DStv on 20 October and VUZU AMP starting on 13 October at 17:00 for DStv Premium subscribers.

You're seeing it here first.

M-Net Edge (DStv 102) will launch on 20 October at 19:00 replacing the discontinued M-Net Series Showcase on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform, while VUZU AMP (DStv 114) will start on 13 October at 17:00 in the place of the discontinued M-Net Series Reality.

M-Net Edge, a sister-channel to M-Net on DStv channel 101, will be the more risque family member and will only broadcast for 11 hours per day - from 18:00 to 05:00.

M-Net Edge will carry buzz worthy but titillating shows like Orange is the New Black, Masters of Sex, as well as new seasons of American Horror Story, Defiance and The Americans that M-Net says subscribers "would prefer not to watch with the entire family".

VUZU AMP will have new drama series like The Flash with episodes broadcast soon after the new show starts on 7 October in the United States, and further seasons of The Vampire Diaries, Devious Maids, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, So You Think You Can Dance and Pretty Little Liars.

Vuzu shows like the entertainment news staple V Entertainment, 10 over 10 and Dineo's Diary is apparently also moving from Vuzu to VUZU AMP.

"M-Net Edge and VUZU AMP are taking the curation of top-notch premium television content to an exiting new level," says Yolisa Phahle, M-Net's CEO for South Africa in a statement announcing the two new M-Net channel's names.

"These two contrasting entertainment channels have been created to make it easier for viewers to find out what to watch, where to watch it and at what time".

"As there is now more choice than ever, it is important to create channels that are clearly positioned, allowing viewers to find what they feel like [watching] as fast possible," says Yolisa Phahle.

"Both channels will schedule a combination of first-run programming and iconic shows with schedules designed to correlate with the latest worldwide viewing trends".

SABC furious over hilarious 'sabotage' notification in Auckland Park's old and broken lifts; explains why its First Citizens have to wait for a ride to the top.

You're reading it here first.

The SABC is furious over an unauthorised message from a Fawlty Towers employee which it calls "an act of sabotage" - a notification which an SABC staff put up in the South African public broadcaster's decrepit lifts and which many employees didn't realise was a joke - to great hilarity of others.

With most of the SABC's lifts and escalators that's over 40 years old and in many instances falling apart and often breaking down, staff tell TV with Thinus that personnel often "wait up to 10 minutes for a lift".

"SABC lifts inside Auckland Park often are often not working, with out of order lifts leading to big frustration," quipped an insider. "At least there's still some people with a sense of humor at Fawlty Towers," said one.

Recently an SABC staff member put up the notice above inside an SABC lift, properly addressing SABC employees and lift users as "First Citizens" - exactly how the SABC address its staff.

"We are pleased to inform you that Schindler's Lifts are due to be repaired and serviced by the year 2099," says the "notice" which some SABC staff mistook for the real thing.

"As a token of our appreciation for your loyalty, you are being encouraged to use the stairs provided for emergency evacuations to proceed to your various work stations".

"Those of you unable to ascend to the top,do not have any ambition in any case and are encouraged to resign," the fake notification told SABC staff.

"We appreciate your patience and know many of you will reach retirement age by the time the lifts are fixed. Together we can climb mountains".

In the internal news letter to staff, a copy of which TV with Thinus obtained, the SABC addresses the lift humour, calls it an "act of sabotage" and threatens the Park's first citizen responsible for the dastardly deed with disciplinary action.

"We are currently experiencing an abnormal amount of lift outages at this time and as First Citizen you are requested to be patient. The situation is getting a necessary intervention," the public broadcaster informed its "citizens".

"There are 39 lifts and 4 escalators in use on the Auckland Park premises.  Most of these lifts and escalators were installed as far back as 1972 making them over forty years old. Due to their age parts are extremely difficult to obtain and in some instances they have to be re-manufactured."

"This causes long outage periods and affects the reliability on these lifts and escalators. This is the main cause of our First Citizens having to wait for lifts".

The SABC powers that be requested its first citizens to please report lift problems "in and around their work" as soon as they become aware of them. It's important to get a reference number which must be kept for all future references.

The SABC said that a tender for the renewal of the Auckland Park lifts and escalators is under evaluation stage "and soon the new maintenance contractor will be appointed" and that the renewed lifts and escalators "will substantially improve the availability of the lifts".

"We are aware of an earlier unauthorised message sent to create confusion. Management regards this message as an act of sabotage and anyone found to have made such remarks will be liable to a disciplinary action".

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Oscar Pistorius live TV coverage ramping up on Thursday and Friday to bring South African TV viewers the judgment and analysis, as it happens.

Coverage of the conclusion of the highly sensational Oscar Pistorius murder trial will be ramping up on Thursday and Friday 11 and 12 September on South African television as live court TV coverage resumes on the trial that gripped a fascinated world.

As judgment and a verdict from Judge Thokozile Masipa is delivered in the trial of the paralympic athlete who shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year on Valentines Day, 14 February 2013, the Oscar Pistorius Trial TV channel on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform will go live again on DStv channel 199, and eNCA also has live coverage as well as special programming.

Neither SABC News (DStv 404) nor ANN7 (DStv 405) issued any coverage and broadcasting or programming advisories.

For the first day of judgment, Thursday 11 September, eNCA will start its live broadcast at 06:00, with live coverage from outside the court and near Oscar Pistorius' uncle's home.

Judge Thokozile Masipa's judgment will start at 09:00 on Thursday. eNCA anchors will speak to specialist reporters Karyn Maughan and Annika Larsen for analysis outside court before and in-between the court proceedings.

On Friday, 12 September, eNCA will go live again at 06:00 and court proceedings will be shown at 09:00 until judgment time, expected in the afternoon. Coverage will continue post the judgment throughout Friday evening.

"The channel has set-up a panel of respected legal experts, social commentators with some studio-based and some on location at the High Court," says Patrick Conroy, the managing director for eNCA.

DStv's Oscar Pistorius Trial TV channel will start at 08:00 on Thursday. Although not communicated by MultiChoice and Combined Artistic Productions, its highly likely that the channel will remain broadcasting on Friday 12 September as well.

Is the clever-cool Connect with Yusuf Omar on eNCA a brand-new (brilliant!) weekly current affairs show just waiting to be born?

A wonderful, brilliant and amazing thing happened on eNCA (DStv 403) this morning at 09:00 when what looks like a brand-new and great new show, Connect with eNCA reporter Yusuf Omar suddenly were broadcast on the South African 24-hour TV news channel.

There was no word from eNCA that Connect would be shown today, no information about it, and at the end of business today eNCA didn't respond with any answers to media enquiries asking for more information about it (although eNCA promised more information on Thursday).

Connect on eNCA with Yusuf Omar was shockingly (in a good sense) different.

It was refreshingly interesting and fun to watch whilst being informative and made for mesmerising and immersive viewing - from the social media commentary guests chosen to weight in and who appeared via Skype, to the screen-integration used, the "show's" novel camera angles employed, and the whole concept of the "show".

Connect, cleverly integrating the memes, themes, technology and style of news gathering and dissemanation used by millions of younger viewers today was only 9 and a half minutes long but was sparkling.

It was filled with facts, graphics and colours along with a cool use of the resources of TV news technology to create a type of an "online, real-time" community, one which was sharing insightful commentary and absorbing it at the same time.

The 4-way simultaneous Skype screen on Connect was cool and gimmicky, but not just gimmicky, and even if it was gimmicky, it was wonderful and new and showed what a South African TV news channel like eNCA is now actually really capable of doing if it tried.

While the weekly Maggs on Media on eNCA on Sundays with Jeremy Maggs is a round-up of media news with great and comprehensive coverage of the South African media, marketing and advertising landscape - a well-produced weekly programme of record, Connect came across as a perfect "little brother" for almost a younger target market, or a social-media savvy, news consumer market.

Cleverly and highly relevant, the "first" topic of Connect was the social media story of the Oscar Pistorius trial or news event.

The "show" within a show dissected the news subject from all sides and angles of the social media spectrum with Yusuf Omar making full use - and to great effect - of the wall screen, complete with preppy lime green tablet in front of him.

Connect on eNCA was cool television - like Al Jazeera's The Stream and Russia Today's Breaking the Set with Abby Martin, - something never yet seen on South African television but seen today and attempted (with success) for the first time on South African TV news.

It was an even better version of The Oscar Pistorius Trial TV channel's now-defunct Social Media Analysis Show which was broadcast at 18:00 while the trial was running and which was anchored by Emma Sadleir. That show was the second most watched show on that DStv channel.

The 9 and a half minute Connect "show" done by Yusuf Omar is now on YouTube:

BREAKING. Platco Digital's OpenView HD adding Christian TV channel, Relevant TV, from 15 September to channel 253.

You're reading it here first. 

Platco Digital's OpenView HD (OVHD) is adding Relevant TV as a brand-new Christian TV channel from Monday 15 September on channel 253 which will broadcast for 24 hours per day.

Relevant TV calls itself a "non-denominational, multi-national Christian lifestyle TV channel" and has Joshua McCauley as founder.

Relevant TV, primarily targeting young adult viewers, says it will be covering premier conferences from around the world and from local African churches as a free-to-air TV channel, and will also broadcast Christian faith-based, family-friendly movies as part of the weekly schedule.

Relevant TV will also aim to broadcast kids programming, music, live events, talk shows and weekly inspirational shows as it covers the whole spectrum of Christianity.

TV with Thinus understands that Relevant TV will provide South African viewers with a 6 hour loop of fresh new content on Monday to Friday, and a 12 hour loop on Saturday and Sunday, repeated during the rest of the time.

"Relevant TV will bring great content which will motivate and uplift the viewer," says Joshua McCauley. "We strive to bring quality to the Christian TV market that has not yet been experienced in South Africa".

"We are proud to welcome Relevant TV to the OpenView HD family," says Maxwell Nonge, the managing director of Platco Digital.

"This new addition allows us the ability to offer a Christian TV experience that is in line with our diverse audience and quality programming".

Siki Mgabadeli's new weekday business show on eNCA from 1 October will be called Moneyline.

You're reading it here first.

eNCA has refused to divulge the name of Siki Mgabadeli's new half hour business show which will start on Wednesday 1 October at 21:00 on weekdays on eNCA (DStv 403) so TV with Thinus will reveal it: It will be called Moneyline.

South African viewers watched a Moneyline of a different kind when CNN International first became available in South Africa on the SABC's then TV1 when Lou Dobbs was the anchor of the daily Moneyline on the channel which was simulcast for a few hours per day.

Siki Mgabadeli will anchor Moneyline on eNCA from Mondays to Thursdays as eNCA's new senior business anchor, while Arabile Gumede will be anchoring the Friday night slots.

SABC's HD Outside Broadcast vans used tonight for the first time in history in 4 different countries, in 4 different cities across Africa.

For the first time in history, the SABC's high definition (HD) Outside Broadcast vans (called OB vans in the biz) will be used in 4 different countries, in 4 different cities, across the African continent for different broadcasters.

The remarkable achievement from the SABC comes as SABC HD OB vans are stationed in Cape Town in South Africa, as well as in Botswana, Lesotho and in Mozambique to capture and broadcast the AFCON qualifying matches for 2015.

Using the SABC's HD OB vans from the South African public broadcaster's Television Outside Broadcast division (TVOB) are the SABC's sports division, SABC Sport, as well as TV Mozambique and Sport 5.

These qualifying AFCON matches are also broadcast in Europe with the SABC providing the satellite uplinks.

Each SABC HD OB van is manned by around 20 people comprising the technical, production and operational crew.

The production crews in the countries outside of South Africa will each be using 6 cameras, slomo and edit fascilities, while the SABC's production crew in Cape Town will be even larger, using 19 cameras, including super slomo's.

The SABC says the South African public broadcaster looks forward to being able to broadcast future events of this magnitude as the biggest public service broadcaster in Africa.

SHOCKER. MultiChoice's DStv and Disney now targeting very young children with TV commercials on Disney Junior and Disney Channel.

The big scary isn't the troll under the bridge: MultiChoice's DStv and The Walt Disney Company is ready to start targeting very young children specifically and little young viewers by adding TV commercials to Disney Junior (DStv 309) and Disney Channel (DStv 303) in a crass commercialisation of kids TV channels parents used to trust for not selling to kids.

It's not immediately clear why MultiChoice, DStv Media Sales and Disney are damaging the DStv and Disney brands - names which DStv subscribers and Disney-loving parents have come to trust to be better kids channels - by starting targeted commercials aimed at small children.

Disney Channel and Disney Junior had a safer reputation, making parents feel safe and good to allow their tots and teens to watch, knowing that their children are not specifically targeted by advertisers through crass commercials and sponsors.

Well, not any more.

From November Disney's Disneymedia+ will be shamelessly selling to kids as young as 4 watching television with the permission of MultiChoice's DStv when what the TV and ad industry calls "spot advertising" is added for the first time to Disney Channel and Disney Junior which has the youngest viewers.

The Disney Channel which is 8 years old on MultiChoice's DStv this month, reaches 287 000 kids between the ages of 4 and 14.

Now DStv, Disney and Disneymedia+ are swinging open the doors to commercial advertisers to target these very young viewers with commercial considerations while the little eyes are watching their kiddie shows in front of the telly.

Disney Junior which reaches 1.3 million little ones from the age of 4 and up and which launched in 2011, will now bombard some of the youngest viewers on television with commercials and advertising in a disgusting change from November.

It's not clear why the monthly subscription fee parents pay to have these Disney channels as part of their DStv package, and which was fine until now without commercials, seems to no longer be enough money and why Disney and DStv want to make even more money from commercials on these kids channels which didn't have it before.

Disney XD which has been boy focused with older somewhat older viewers and more action-oriented shows launched in 2011 and has been carrying advertising.

MultiChoice South Africa and Disney didn't immediately respond to media enquiries regarding why advertising needs to be introduced on kids channels which were fine without it, whether there is advertising that Disney won't run, and why Disney and DStv is doing and allowing advertising to very small children when it didn't do so before.

UPDATE: Disney is responding, and is explaining why Disney is set to start showing TV commercials on The Disney Channel and Disney Junior to young viewers on DStv.

Purple-branded VIDI from Times Media Group launches as new streaming video-on-demand (VOD) service with '1 000 hours of entertainment'.

Times Media Group (TMG) has launched its VIDI video-on-demand over-the-internet commercial service as a competitor to MultiChoice's DStv BoxOffice and DStv Catch Up services with South African consumers who can rent and watch TV shows and movies for R149 per month or watch blockbuster movies for R27 and older library titles for R15.

The R27 per movie that TMG's new purple-branded VIDI is charging is exactly the same as the R27 price tag of MultiChoice's DStv BoxOffice.

The Times Group owns TV channels like BusinessDay TV and newspapers like Business Day, The Sunday Times and The Sowetan.

VIDI, the Latin for "saw", calls itself an "online streaming TV service built for South Africans" and gives people a 30-day free trial period for its service which is trying to mimic overseas on-demand internet services like Netflix that's not yet been available in South Africa.

For the subscription free service users need a credit card and a fast enough internet connection and can stream and watch the content on PC or Mac, as well as smartphones and Apple and Android tablets, or on a TV set through one of these connected devices.

VIDI says it is launching with "over 1 000 hours of entertainment".

TMG made a deal with Disney's ABC Studios for older already broadcast seasons of drama series and comedies from American studios that's available as ABC on Demand like Grey's Anatomy, Cougar TownBrothers & Sisters, Pretty Little Liars and Lost.

Besides that there's new movie releases, older library movie titles, kids movies and library TV series like Breaking BadThe Shield and The Tudors, and documentaries like Walking with Dinosaurs - 21 TV series in total.

VIDI is ad free and will carry 100 films in deals with studios like Warner Bros, Sony, Disney, Lionsgate and Relativity with more which will be added in future.

It's not clear what the internet data size will be for a 40 minute TV show or a 90 minute movie using VIDI which is making use of Microsoft Silverlight as its player technology. It's not known whether VIDI content will be available and streamed in high definition (HD) or standard definition (SD), or a combination.

South Africa's foray into online video streaming and on-demand television services remain hampered by slow broadband, limited broadband penetration, as well as exorbitantly high costs for consumers.

It led the satellite pay-TV platform MultiChoice to develop the DStv Explora decoder as a way to try and circumvent someof these issues by mimicking a VOD service through the PVR, using a direct-to-home (DTH) satellite service.

Local teen high school drama, Signal High, returning to SABC2's Hectic Nine-9 for a second season.

The locally produced high school drama set in Cape Town, Signal High, is returning to SABC2's afternoon youth programming block Hectic Nine-9 for a second miniseries season.

The second season of Signal High produced by Okuhle Media will start on SABC2 in Hectic Nine-9 on Tuesday, 16 September and continue dealing as an educational dramatic show with issues like bullying, deceit, lying, homosexuality and cheating.

"At the heart of the show are topics ranging from prescription drugs, sexuality, disability and even initiation," says Noleen Nagel, the content producer of Signal High's second season.

"Not only are the youth able to be represented, but they also gain insights into the circumstances affecting the lives of other young South Africans across the traditional and cultural spectrum".

"I felt a real sense of intensity on set in this year," says David Stein, Hectic Nine-9 producer. "I believe that this was because the issues we were addressing are so real and cut so close to the vein for many young people in this country".

David Stein says Signal High is made as great drama and entertainment, but that the show is committed to dealing with real issues in a responsible and sensitive way.

The second season of Signal High was shot at Delia Sainsbury & Paul Griffiths' Waterfront Theatre School with last season's cast which returned to set.

"The Waterfront Theatre School is once again delighted to be associated with Signal High and the creative team from Okuhle Media," says Paul Griffiths. "The benefits for our students of having this opportunity to work closely with an experienced production team on such an exciting project cannot be underestimated".

The shoot schedule for this season was significantly longer and more elaborate with a more extensive narrative and an epic and dramatic ending, including the much anticipated Signal High talent show".