Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Joan Rivers' shocking new and extremely tasteless Reeva Steenkamp joke on Fashion Police on E! Entertainment.


You're reading it here first. 

The American comedienne Joan Rivers and host of the weekly acerbic Fashion Police show on E! Entertainment (DStv 124) has made her most shocking and extremely tasteless joke about the Oscar Pistorius murder trial and the killing of model Reeva Steenkamp yet.

Choosing American pop star Christina Aguilera's blonde hair with knotty cornrow braids, hair extensions and red highlights at the VH1 Music Awards as her 4th must-see look of 2000, Joan Rivers shocked in the latest episode of Fashion Police calling it "the triple crown of skank do's".

"The last time I saw a blonde with red streaks in her hair she was laying on Oscar Pistorius' bathroom floor," said Joan Rivers.

Her daughter Melissa Rivers gasped, then laughed.

It's Joan Rivers' third extremely crass Oscar Pistorius murder trial joke the past four months.

In April she critiqued a star's footwear on Fashion Police on E! Entertainment saying "I have not seen footwear this f- up since Oscar Pistorius wobbled to the witness stand".

In another episode later in April Joan Rivers called a star's outfit a bad idea that "falls in between marrying Charlie Sheen and using Oscar Pistorius' bathroom".

The murder trial of the paralympic athlete who shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day, 14 February 2013, generated massive global interest and will resume on 7 August for closing arguments.

On 9 April The Oscar Pistorius Trial TV channel (DStv 199) from Combined Artistic Productions, eNCA (DStv 403) and MultiChoice made South African television history when they showed the extremely graphic and unblurred image of Reeva Steenkamp's gruesome head injuries on the DStv satellite pay-TV platform.

While The Oscar Pistorius Trial TV channel kept rebroadcasting the horrific image of Reeva Steenkamp's head damage during the day, Sky News in an edited news story only used pieces of the footage, blurred the images and warning viewers beforehand.

TOLDJA! The Disney Channel in South Africa on DStv finally also changes its on-air logo after the logo changed in May in America.


The Disney Channel (DStv 303) seen in South Africa on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform suddenly changed to its new logo on Monday without any prior warning or notification to the press.

The Disney Channel's brand-new logo was unveiled in May and Disney Channel for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region then told TV with Thinus that the logo would change in winter for South Africa but claimed a date for the change is not known.

The new wider Disney Channel logo is part of a redesign to help with a contemporary new look for the unified global business and to look better in the 42 places where The Disney Channel is broadcast as a high definition (HD) channel.

The Disney Channel is not broadcast in South Africa (yet) as a HD channel on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform.

Tricia Wilber, the chief marketing officer for The Walt Disney Company EMEA, couldn't be bothered to communicate or notify about the upcoming logo change of The Disney Channel for South Africa and Africa beforehand, but suddenly released a statement on Monday, saying "South African audiences will recognise some familiar scenes as the new look rolls out over the next few months".

Unlike the American press who were told, notified and shown the logo before it actually changed on-air in May in the United States, the Walt Disney Company and The Disney Channel EMEA strangely doesn't show the same respect to South Africa's media and couldn't be bothered to inform the press similarly beforehand - a weird double standard when it comes to marketing and publicity.

According to Tricia Wilber, "a series of spots" were filmed on Blouberg Strand in Cape Town "earlier this year" with South African children playing on the beach.

The rest of today's stale statement from Disney is the old drop-in quotes already used and read in May globally of Ron Pomerantz, the vice president of marketing and creative of The Disney Channel saying: "The dynamic new logo is a combination of two classic Disney icons – the distinct signature stroke of company founder Walt Disney and the three-circle shape evocative of Mickey Mouse".

"Our viewers have great affinity for two heritage elements that have long created a 'story' during our daily programming schedule - the four note music mnemonic and the beloved 'wand ID' in which our stars form our Disney Mouse ears with a wand. We are looking forward to introducing these elements in an exciting new package".

Monday, July 21, 2014

International Olympic Committee (IOC) supports creation of a global Olympic Games TV channel to broadcast all-year round.


Sixteen International Olympic Committee (IOC) leaders and sports officials over the weekend backed the plan of IOC president Thomas Bach to create an Olympic Games TV channel to run all-year round, every year.

The creation of an Olympic TV channel or Olympic Games TV channel for the years in between the Olympic Games taking place will serve the purpose of promoting the games and keeping it in people's global consciousness.

Thomas Bach convened a summit in Lausanne, Switzerland to forge the Olympic Agenda 2020 which includes the proposal for an Olympic Games TV channel to broadcast globally as a new sports channel.

According to the Associated Press the goal of the sports channel would be to showcase lesser known and shown sports, and to attract a young(er) audience to Olympic Games sports.

In a statement the IOC said that it recognises "the potential to greatly increase the presence of sports and the promotion of the Olympic values year round and worldwide" with such a new sports channel.

"The IOC will contact all the relevant stakeholders in the coming months to further develop the concept".

The IOC wants to use the National Geographic Channel as a model for its Olympic TV channel, "curating" content that could be shown constantly.

Such a channel will fill the void in-between the times when South African viewers for instance watch the Olympic Games on South Africa's public broadcaster, SABC, and on pay-TV with MultiChoice which broadcast Olympic Games coverage on the various SuperSport TV channels in the country and across the rest of the African continent.

'The SABC forsakes its role as South Africa's public broadcaster' - Die Burger editorial.


Die Burger Afrikaans newspaper on Wednesday 16 July carried this editorial opinion piece translated in full, below, regarding the SABC blatant and shocking marginalisation of Afrikaans TV programming on public television:


                                      ___________

"The news that the SABC wants to move its Afrikaans television programmes and news bulletins to SABC3 from the current SABC2 channel - which far fewer people can access - creates understandable distress.

This beggars belief. It is not normally the case that an organisation that is being smothered by a tsunami of bad publicity chooses to exacerbate the problem.

In the past few days the SABC has been dealt two crushing blows. 

The first was the public reaction to the permanent appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as chief operating officer (despite the damning indictment of him by the Public Protector); the second was the revelation that the chairperson of the SABC board, Ellen Tshabalala had enhanced her CV - just as Motsoeneng had done.

In itself this would have resulted in any organisation under competent management taking a decision not only to investigate those under a dark cloud of suspicion but to delay or negate any further controversial decisions.

But no, the SABC resolutely continues with its decision to move its Afrikaans television news bulletins to a channel which cannot be accessed by the majority of people in areas of South Africa where the dominant language is Afrikaans.

Who is the most detrimentally affected by this decision? Afrikaans speaking people in rural areas, coloured and white, who cannot afford to subscribe to DStv. 

By taking such injudicious - or perhaps deliberately malicious - steps the SABC nullifies its duty as public broadcaster. 

But more than that: the Corporation which should be creating unity, through this step, creates division. In so doing it negates its calling.

It is ironic that, in so doing, the SABC has turned its back on a potentially valuable audience and created a gap in the market which will quickly be filled by the market forces of demand and supply. 

Other institutions will profit from this while the public broadcaster staggers under its growing debt.

The SABC's problems are far broader and deeper than just this poor decision. Its point of departure should be to remove Motsoeneng from his post and to thoroughly investigate Tshabalala. Only then can the question of reconstruction be considered."
                                      ___________

Sky News reporter Colin Brazier brazenly and shockingly rifles through luggage of dead passengers of Ukraine's Malaysia airlines disaster.


Sky News's (DStv 402) correspondent Colin Brazier shockingly and brazenly started rifling through the luggage and possessions of dead passengers of the Malaysia airlines Flight MN17 disaster in the Ukraine, picking items from a suitcase on the air on Sunday afternoon to show to viewers.

Colin Brazier, reporting live from Gravobo on Sky News in eastern Ukraine, started picking up items like a child's drinking bottle and keys from dead passengers' bags, saying "we shouldn't really be doing this, I suppose".

In a statement Sky News says "Whilst presenting from the site of the MH17 air crash Colin Brazier reflected on the human tragedy of the event and showed audiences the content of one of the victims' bags".

"Colin Brazier immediately recognised that this was inappropriate and said so on air. Both Colin Brazier and Sky News apologise profusely for any offence caused".

Sky News was met with an avalanche of criticism, calling the 24-hour TV news channel's coverage and Colin Brazier's shocking actions at at airplane crash site in which 298 people died "appalling", "disrespectful" and "a horrible moment for journalism" .

Wendy Williams of The Wendy Williams Show on BET turns 50; celebrates with 'hot shirtless guy', Chaka Khan sings Oprah's theme song.


Wendy Williams of The Wendy Williams Show weekdays on BET (StarSat 190) celebrated her 50th birthday on-air, having a white wine toast, having "a hot shirtless guy" roll out a massive cake likeness of her, and having Chaka Khan sing "I'm Every Woman" which used to be Oprah Winfrey's first theme song for The Oprah Winfrey Show.

BET from Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) on On Digital Media's (ODM) StarSat shows the exact same episode of The Wendy Williams Show in South Africa that is shown in America on the same day - the only American TV talk show South African pay-TV viewers are able to see on the same date as it is shown there.


While other American talk shows are currently in repeats, The Wendy Williams Show, recorded in New York and executive produced by David Perler, has remained in new episodes throughout the American summer holiday, similar to last year. 

Wendy Williams celebrated with a white wine toast with her studio audience she famously refers to in her daily show as "my co-host". 

"One of my favourite birthday wishes was that I wanted a hot shirtless guy to deliver the cake. So we've invited sexy Hit the Floor star Robert Christopher Riley," said Wendy Williams, after which he pushed out a massive Wendy cake - oversized boobs and all - to a cheering studio audience who sang Happy Birthday.

The cake was made made by Carlo's Bakery, which is of course the bakery from the reality show Cake Boss on Discovery Networks International's TLC Entertainment (DStv 172) channel.

Chaka Khan sang "I'm Every Woman" which later became famous when Whitney Houston did a cover version of the song which Oprah Winfrey then used as her first theme song for many years when The Oprah Winfrey Show started.

Another Russia Today correspondent quits after bombed Ukraine Malaysia airlines disaster; says RT 'lying and finding sexier ways to do it'.


Another Russia Today (DStv 408) correspondent, this time Sara Firth who was based in Londen for RT, quit over the Krelim-funded 24-hour Russian TV news channel's coverage of the bombing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MN17 over the Ukraine, saying RT is spreading "lies" and that she cannot do it anymore.

"We work for Putin. We are asked on a daily basis if not to totally ignore, then to obscure the truth," Sara Firth, who joined RT in 2009 wrote on Twitter and that "Rule number one" is that "it is always Ukraine's fault".

While the world's TV news channels did stories that pro-Russian terrorists in the east of the country likely shot down Flight 17, RT has been blaming the tragedy on Ukraine and refuses to mention pro-Russian separatists in connection with it, or that Russian president Vladimir Putin should bare responsibility following the instability and conflict in the region.

"I couldn't do it anymore. Every single day we're lying and finding sexier ways to do it," she told BuzzFeed.

"It's the level of disrespect for the facts that really bugs me," she told Press Gazette.

In a statement RT says "Sara has declared she chooses the truth; apparently we have different definitions of truth. We show all sides of the story, even if everyone else has already decided which side is to blame".

Sara Firth's resignation on Friday follows Liz Wahl who shockingly quit on-air on RT in March this year.

Sara Firth spoke to Christiane Amanpour on Amanpour on CNN International (DStv 401). "It was the final nudge, watching RT handling it".

"There's not that journalistic network in operation where you can trust that what's getting put on air is verified and true," said Sara Firth.

"It's a very difficult situation with RT. I've worked there for five years. RT is always called the Kremlin propaganda channel. But that's quite a lazy assessment of what RT is. It's a very complex thing and there is a lot more going on there than that".

"There's wonderfully talented people and there's so many people who really believe in getting the truth out there. And for RT to exist, there is Russian bias, there is misreporting and I've been inside that. So I've felt it. I've felt what that's like".

"At the same time I don't think you counter that by doing the same thing and worse. And I felt that's what we've been doing," said Sara Firth.

"It's such a shame that it has to be such a struggle for us to be able to do our jobs properly. And I cannot emphasise enough how talented and driven and ambitious and honest so many of the people who work at RT every day are".

"But the truth is truth and facts are fact and they exist. I wish that RT would acknowledge that sometimes".

"Our tagline is 'Questioning more'. We're just not doing it," said Sara Firth.

Sam & Cat on Nickelodeon cancelled after just one season after backstage drama with Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande.


Sitcom Sam & Cat on Nickelodeon (DStv 305) has been cancelled after just one season following ongoing backstage drama and tension between stars Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande, and Ariana Grande's fame and behaviour that started to overshadow the show.

The highly successful sitcom which was a viewership hit around the world on Nickelodeon is done and production has been shut down four episodes before the end of the first season's 40 episodes.

So successful was Sam & Cat that the first episode order was increased from 20 episodes to 40, but now only 36 were produced. Jennette McCurdy from iCarly and Ariana Grande from Victorious continued playing their first shows' characters, Sam Puckett and Cat Valentine.

Backstage problems at Sam & Cat reportedly started earlier, centred around the two starts not getting along and both arriving later and later to set, but in March this year Jennette McCurdy publicly accused Nickelodeon of unfair treatment and being a no-show at the 2014 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards.

Nickelodeon doesn't want to talk about the Sam & Cat cancellation, nor the on-set drama, saying in a short statement only that "Nickelodeon will not be producing more episodes of Sam & CatWe are very proud of the show and its very talented cast and we wish them all the best".

Friday, July 18, 2014

TOLDJA! StarSat adds StarTimes Sport 2; FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 replacing Setanta Africa and Setanta Action from 8 August.


On Digital Media's (ODM) StarSat is adding StarTimes Sport 2 as a new TV channel on channel 241 from Saturday 19 July, while the Setanta Africa and Setanta Action channels are being rebranded to FOX Sports and FOX Sports 2 respectively from 8 August.

As part of the new sports channel addition and rebranding, StarSat is changing the channel numbers of its sports channels which will now be located between channel numbers 241 and 251.

FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 will become channels 244 and 245 from Saturday 19 July, although the name change from Setanta will only happen from 8 August.

On Wednesday TV with Thinus reported about major sports channels additions and changes coming to StarSat when news leaked about major sports content developments at the Woodmead based satellite pay-TV provider.

StarSat is however not adding a StarTimes Sport 1 or StarSports 1 channel but getting FOX Sports (and the content produced for those new channels), and then a StarTimes Sport 2 channel.

StarSat says StarTimes Sport 2 will carry "diverse sporting programmes" although a schedule has not yet been released.

The StarTimes Sport 2 channel is also launching in the rest of Africa as a new TV channel created by China's StarTimes Media specifically for Africa, as well as a new StarTimes Swahili channel that will launch in August.

StarTimes Sport 2 will show soccer like the International Champions Cup, European Qualifiers, French Ligue 1 and the Summer Football season.

ODM tells TV with Thinus StarTimes Sport 2 will run for 24 hours per day.


FOX International Channels (FIC) which didn't respond with answers to a media enquiry TV with Thinus made earlier in the week regarding the sports channels that FIC provides to StarSat, will be rebranding Setanta Africa and Setanta Action to FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2.

FOX Sports will broadcast French Ligue 1, Ederevise, Belgium Pro League, FormulaE, English Championship, Liga MX, Major League Soccer and Coupe de la Ligue.

FOX Sports 2 launched in America a year ago in August 2013.

TV with Thinus previously surmised that a channel like FuelTV on StarSat might be changed to FOX Sports 2, but FOX International Channels at the time said there was no plans to change FuelTV into FOX Sports.

Of course that's true - it was the Setanta channels, not FuelTV getting changed.

FOX Sports 1 will focus mainly on soccer, broadcasting more than 2 000 hours of content every year with live coverage of major soccer leagues. FOX Sports 1 will also carry daily news programming and a wide range of football-related magazine shows and other soccer content. 

FOX Sports 1 will also bring subscribers live matches sport highlights, news, self-produced programmes, special programmes and exercise education. FOX Sports 1 will cover different sport disciplines such as soccer, tennis, rugby, golf, motor-racing, cricket and extreme sports.

FOX Sports 2 will offer international sports, including Euroleague Basketball, Formula E Motor Racing, DTM touring cars, National Rugby League, ice hockey, mixed martial arts, kickboxing and boxing. 

In addition FOX Sports 2 will show extra football content, including delayed coverage of league games, as well as alternative live coverage from competitions such as the Spanish Copa del Rey and additional club channels.

"We are thrilled with the launch of FOX Sports in Africa which is the culmination of a process that began last year with the acquisition of Setanta Africa in October 2013," says Alessandro Tucci, the seenior vice president and general manager of FOX International Channels Africa (FIC Africa) in a statement.

"We're very excited about StarTimes Sport 2," says Ian Woodrow, StarSat's head of content in another statement.

"StarTimes Sport 2 will afford subscribers opportunities to catch some of the leading sporting events from  around the globe. We believe it will inspire our subscribers to get moving and experience some of the best movers and shakers that the sporting world has to offer."

The addition of StarTimes Sport 2 and the rebrand-addition of FOX Sports and FOX Sports 2 will help to bolster StarSat's sports offering to existing and potential StarSat subscribers which has been lackluster since it launched as TopTV in May 2010.

Before ODM launched TopTV in 2010, it promised a 24-hour TV news channel and a TopSport channel, but ODM backtracked shortly before the pay-TV service's launch and said the news channel would no longer be happening, and the TopSport channel later.

The self-compiled sports channel never materialised and ODM never acquired sports rights for other channels like its Top One channel.

Although ODM added channels like Setanta Africa, FuelTV, Setanta Action, Extreme Sports, Euro Sport News and others to TopTV and later StarSat, it also lost channels like Manchester United's fan channel, MUTV, and remained unable the past four years to come up with a strong sports, or sports channel offering.

StarTimes Sport 2, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 now signal the first real start from ODM and its Chinese content and investment partner, StarTimes South Africa, to produce and funnel real sports content and coverage to StarSat subscribers, combined with the help of FOX International Channels.

ANN7 tells South African viewers that Malaysian Airlines airplane MH17 shot down over the Ukraine border 'was shot dead'.

image from @5hikar_Ramchand

On Thursday evening ANN7 (DStv 405) reported to South African TV viewers that the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 "was shot dead". Not shot down, but "shot dead".

The Infinity Media run 24-hour TV news channel on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform has been known for its numerous highly embarrassing on-air gaffes since the channel launched in August 2013.

On MSNBC (StarSat 410) the American 24-hour TV news channel put an unverified caller on the air during its Malaysian Airlines coverage, pretending to be a witness of the Flight MH17 disaster.

The caller called Krystal Ball "a dumbass" after he said "it would appear that the plane was shot down by a blast of wind from Howard Stern's ass".

MSNBC cut to a commercial and refused to explain how the person ended up speaking on air.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

BREAKING. M-Net grabs brand-new drama Extant with Halle Berry, instantly slots it in to start on Wednesday at 21:30.


You're reading it here first. 

M-Net has grabbed and secured the broadcasting rights to brand-new drama Extant with Halle Berry and will start broadcasting it instantly from Wednesday 23 July at 21:30 on M-Net (DStv 101) in line with the South African pay-TV broadcaster's excellent new turbo-charged roll-out strategy of acquiring and broadcasting not just premium foreign content, but also quicker.

With Extant moving into M-Net's Wednesday night slot of 21:30 immediately, everything after it will one hour later on the schedule.

CSI XIV will start at 22:30 with a new episode, Ray Donovan II will follow at 23:30 with a repeat episode, House of Cards II will follow with a repeat episode at 00:30, and The Leftovers I will follow with a repeat episode at 01:30.

Extant will repeat on M-Net on Thursdays at 15:15 and on Sundays at 16:00.

Extant was created by Steven Spielberg who is also the co-executive producer. The well-reviewed drama which did respectable numbers when it started last week in the United States follows Molly Woods (Halle Berry), an astronaut who returns to Earth after an "incident" in space.

Uh-oh ... Molly discovers she's pregnant. Clearly some form of alien presence or alien baby is growing inside her.

Extant is set in the future although the drama is vague about what year, her "son" on Earth for instance is an android, a bit like the movie A.I which Steven Spielberg also did.

SABC internal memorandum: Schizophrenic 'SABC2 schedule only survives on 7de Laan and Muvhango; other than that prime time schedule is weak'.


The SABC2 schedule only survives on two pillar programmes - the Afrikaans soap 7de Laan at 18:30 and the Venda soap at 21:00, "other than that the prime time schedule is weak".

So wrote Leo Manne, the SABC's general manager for the public broadcaster's TV channels in an internal memorandum he prepared on 30 June to Veronah Duwarkah, the SABC's group executive in charge of television, as "motivation for schedule changes risks and mitigations".

The SABC's has come in for sharp criticism and scorn from viewers after permanently moving the bulk of Afrikaans programming and the SABC's only daily Afrikaans TV news bulletin from SABC2 to SABC3 permanently.

SABC3 however has the smallest national footprint of all of the SABC's TV channels, making the programming unavailable and inaccessible for millions of South African TV households who can't watch it even if they want to because they don't receive the broadcast signal.

"The schizophrenic nature of the SABC2 schedule" according to the internal memorandum and the content offering to two very unrelated audience segments - being Sotho and Afrikaans viewers "has seen e.tv overtake SABC2 as the second most watched TV channel in South Africa over the years to the third most watched with consistent declines continuing".

"Ignoring these declines will severely compromise the viability of the SABC TV network to deliver against its set audience and revenue targets," reads the internal SABC memorandum.

Although the SABC earlier this week said Afrikaans has nothing to do with the dramatic scheduling changes, in the internal memorandum Leo Manne writes that "despite a very strong lead in from 7de Laan, the 19:00 Afrikaans news has been losing audiences over the last couple of years".

"The Afrikaans block of programing at 19:30 to 20:30 which includes the Afrikaans dramas on Tuesday and 50/50 on Mondays loses even more audiences".

"At 20:30 the Sotho news bulletin struggles to perform because of a very weak lead-in from the Afrikaans content".
The SABC's total share of TV audience during primetime for the months of March, April and May 2014, with e.tv and even DStv which is a pay-TV offering outperforming entire channels like SABC2 and SABC3 according to the SABC's internal memorandum.


According to the internal memorandum, the SABC's chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng, held a SABC content summit in November 2013 where the SABC Television division presented its strategy forward for the next three years, and which included looking at trends and factors influencing the changing viewing patters across the South African TV landscape.

Schedule and content decisions for SABC Television were proposed and approved at this SABC content summit in November 2013.

How the SABC's various TV news bulletins fare and compare in terms of viewership (AR's or audience ratings) in the month of May 2014, compared to other TV channels and programming, according to the SABC's internal memorandum.

On SABC1 "18:30 is the weakest part of the prime time schedule and hence the introduction of anew local soap offering," says the memo.

As can be seen from the graphic above, the yellow column in the back row is the Nguni TV news bulletin on SABC1. 

" The Nguni bulletin is the strongest bulletin on the network and moving it to the 19:00 slot [on SABC1] would weaken the strong e.tv bulletin," according to the SABC's internal memorandum.

On SABC3, the SABC memorandum reveals that "the one hour news block has lost significant audience share between 18:30 and 19:30 creating a very weakened lead in for Isidingo at 19:00 despite it being the third best performing program in prime time after Days and Bold".

"The shortening of the 18:30 news bulletin will be revived in the schedule followed by an improved Isidingo and then followed by the Afrikaans News," Leo Manne wrote in the internal memorandum.

"The movement of the Afrikaans drama's and other content will, within a year of this strategy, ensure a very competitive and advertising attractive audience of LSM 8-10 audiences, while SABC1 and SABC2 deliver mass audiences in LSM 5-8".

The SABC was and is also well aware that SABC3's footprint is smaller and that moving the Afrikaans TV news and other content to SABC3 would take it out of reach of some viewers, but calls it a "current minor challenge".

"The roll out of both digital terrestrial television (DTT) and direct-to-home satellite (DTH) within a year will ensure that any areas not covered by our current transmitter network are filled," states the internal memorandum".

"This current minor challenge though cannot and should not deter the SABC from protecting its current business as it builds for niche multi-channel and platform digital future where special interest groups can be adequately served".

In written media enquiries TV with Thinus asked the SABC whether the broadcaster wants to comment on the memorandum and its content or explain anything about it. The SABC declined to respond.

BREAKING. Afriforum launches petition to keep Afrikaans TV news and Afrikaans programming on SABC2 after shocking move.


Afriforum has launched a petition to gather public support and names for a campaign to keep the SABC's only Afrikaans TV news bulletin and other Afrikaans language programming on SABC2 after the public broadcaster unilaterally moved it to SABC3 which has the smallest footprint of all the TV channels making it inaccessible for millions of South African TV households.

The SABC lied to viewers broadcasting on-air promos telling them the Afrikaans TV news - the SABC's sole TV news bulletin in this language would return to SABC2 on 14 July at 19:00. Instead it moved permanently to SABC3 at 19:30 and out of reach of millions of South Africans who don't get the channel.

Earlier this week the SABC lied and said the dramatic programming and schedule changes on SABC2 and SABC3 doesn't have anything to do with Afrikaans.

However an internal memorandum sent on 30 June by Leo Manne, the SABC's general manager for TV channels, contains extensive market research about Afrikaans media consumers, Afrikaans viewers and the viewing patterns and viewership ratings of Afrikaans viewers.

The internal memorandum shows that the shift of the Afrikaans programming from SABC2 to SABC3 is indeed motivated and related to language, Afrikaans viewers, and the ratings performance of the SABC's Afrikaans programming.

It's also clear from the internal SABC memorandum that the content schedule shift was planned since last year when the SABC held a content summit.

Afriforum has started a petition to which people can add their name by SMS it to 45343 at the cost of R1 per SMS. The petition can also be filled in for free online.

According to Alana Bailey, the deputy CEO of AfriForum, the organisation is being inundated with complaints from angry viewers who live in areas where SABC3 cannot be received.  This includes areas in the Northern Cape, Western and Eastern Cape, as well as the Eastern Free State.

"The SABC's comments that Afrikaans is not being targeted and that thorough research had been undertaken before the changes were made, have no credibility," says Alana Bailey.

"A responsible public broadcaster without an ideological agenda against language and media freedom will actually ensure that programmes are broadcasted on the channel with the largest footprint in the areas where a specific language group is in the majority".

"It would ensure compliance with the public broadcaster's mandate and would make business sense too, as the Afrikaans market is about 31% of the total South African market.  With a much smaller exposure to this market, advertisers are sure to seek other advertising platforms".

New times at which programmes are being shown on the SABC elicit many complaints as well, says Alana Bailey. "These changes all serve to create the impression that every effort is being made to harass Afrikaans viewers".

'Have we no shame, no regard for the law, no self-respect, to force a man who has forged and lied down the throat of South Africans?'


Opposition parties' members of parlaiment blasted the SABC and South Africa's controversial new minister of communications, Faith Muthambi, for the shocking and highly controversial permanent appointment of the famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng as chief operating officer (COO) at the beleaguered SABC.

"Have we no shame, have we no regard for law, have we no respect and no self-respect to take a platform and force a man who has forged and lied about his qualifications down the throat of South Africans?" asked Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, the member of parliament of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) political party.

"Do you really not see the danger in the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng?" Mbuyiseni Ndlozi asked Faith Muthambi.

Mbuyiseni Ndlozi called Hlaudi Motsoeneng a "pathological liar" and a "mythomaniac".

"The message is extremely misleading and is a worry to us. It says that it's okay to rise as high as you can without the education that you need – that you don't even need a matric certificate," said Sibongile Nkomo of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).

How the SABC lied about the drastic scheduling changes implemented on SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3.

The SABC indicates in a 15 page internal memorandum how its TV market share has dropped from 100%in 1976 to 49% in 2013


The SABC lied to millions of affected South African TV viewers when saying the move of the public broadcaster’s only Afrikaans TV news bulletin to SABC3 is "temporary" and that it would return to SABC2 on 14 July, and is lying again saying drastic schedule changes to SABC2 and SABC3 has nothing to do with Afrikaans.

Viewers are fuming and are confused over not just the major programming shift of programmes from SABC2 to SABC3 but also where programmes moved to on SABC3, where various shows are now on SABC2, and what the new timeslots are.

Meanwhile millions of TV households in South Africa can no longer watch the SABC's sole Afrikaans TV news bulletin or shows like Pasella, 50/50 or current affairs show Fokus along with any Afrikaans drama series.

SABC3's signal footprint is the smallest of the SABC's three TV channels and cannot be received by millions of viewers who simply don't get the analogue terrestrial signal.

According to parastatal signal distributor at least 8 million South African TV households don't have satellite TV or pay-TV on which the SABC's TV channels are carried digitally. 

These households' TV reception depend on whether they live close enough to a possible terrestrial transmission tower broadcasting SABC1, SABC2 or SABC3 or any combination of these. 

While the SABC told advertisers and sponsors last month that the Afrikaans TV news, drama slot and the bulk of Afrikaans TV programming will be moving from SABC2 to SABC3 permanently from after the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the SABC told the public the move of the Afrikaans news is only temporary.

 The SABC issued a statement about the "temporary changes" in June, and kept broadcasting on-air promos in which the SABC specifically told viewers they would be able to see the Afrikaans news again on SABC2 at 19:00 from 14 July.

On 14 July the SABC announced the Afrikaans TV news is staying on SABC3 and in the 19:30 timeslot, as well as the other permanent programming moves and scheduling changes.

Earlier this week the SABC said the drastic and already controversial schedule changes has nothing to do with Afrikaans.

TV with Thinus has an international memorandum from the SABC – the motivation for the SABC's TV schedule changes – sent on 30 June by the SABC's general manager for TV channels, clearly showing that the SABC2 and SABC3 changes are specifically related to language, Afrikaans viewers, and the ratings performance of the SABC's Afrikaans programming.

The internal SABC memorandum contains extensive market research about Afrikaans media consumers, Afrikaans viewers and the viewing patterns and viewership ratings of Afrikaans viewers which forms the basis of the motivation of the SABC to move the Afrikaans news and other programming to SABC3. 

It's also clear from the internal memorandum that the content schedule shift was planned since last year when the SABC held a content summit.  

The SABC also knew that SABC3 is also not as widely received as a terrestrial broadcast TV signal as SABC2 but calls it "a current minor challenge" in the memorandum.

Leo Manne, the SABC's general manager for TV channels, wrote in the 15 page memorandum that "the roll out of both digital terrestrial television (DTT) and direct-to home (DTH) within a year will ensure that any areas not covered by our current transmitter network are filled".

"This current minor challenge though cannot and should not deter the SABC from protecting its current business".

In media enquiries TV with Thinus asked the SABC whether the broadcaster wants to comment on the memorandum and its content or explain anything about it. 

The SABC was asked why the broadcaster in TV promos told viewers the Afrikaans news would return when the broadcaster knew it wasn't the case, and how the SABC wants millions of TV households to see the programming that moved on SABC3 if they don't and have never had access to the channel. 

The SABC declined to provide answers to these and other questions.