Thursday, October 19, 2017

Netflix on why it isn't paying the South African Film and Publication Board licensing fee: 'We don't have to pay those fees'.


Netflix, on why it isn't paying the licensing fees for its content made available in South Africa to consumers as required by the South African Film and Publication Board (FPB), has a quite blunt response: "We don't have to".

Netflix says the global video streaming giant doesn't believe that it has to pay South Africa's FPB anything.

Netflix that has so far refused to register with the FPB since it launched in South Africa and across Africa in January 2016, "owes" the FPB more than R1.59 million in unpaid licensing fees.

The FPB screens and provides an age restriction and parental guidance system to content as part of its content classification system.

MultiChoice for its DStv satellite pay-TV service including DStv BoxOffice, and Apple iTunes are paying their FPB licensing fees.

So are the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services like Naspers' Showmax and PCCW Global's ONTAPtv.com.

The South African Film and Publication Board recently released a draft review of its licensing fee tariff scale for online distributors in South Africa, suggesting adjustments that will end up costing Netflix even more to have its content be available in South Africa.

The South African government is furthermore hell-bent on "regulating" global online video services like Netflix and YouTube.

The department of communications will shortly release a draft Audio-Visual and Digital Content Policy for SA in parliament for public comment.

Other African nations likewise want Netflix as a global video golden goose to pay up in terms of license fees or be gone.

The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) for instance has threatened to ban Netflix over its refusal to be "properly licensed" in Kenya and called Netflix "a threat to moral values and national security" in the East African nation.


On Wednesday Netflix spoke to South Africa media and answered questions from the press at its first Netflix House SA media event in Cape Town and TVwithThinus asked Netflix why it isn't paying the FPB licensing fee as required.

"We're an over-the-top (OTT) service, we're not a broadcaster; we're not licensed spectrum, or granted specific wavelengths to broadcast on," said Yann Lafargue, manager for technology and corporate communications at Netflix for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

"We're also not linear television where we have obligations to have certain content, with regulations and content quotas. We're omnipresent, so basically it's a different ball-game - and we don't have to pay those fees."

Yann Lafargue said "some of them argue that we should, and we are in contact with them. We do believe that we do not have to do that. And that's the same case in many countries in the world where they have content regulation and there's questions about ratings, or censorship."

"There's always a wish from a regulator to try to get power from things like video streaming services, and we're trying to move away from that because we do think that the content matters and we try not to censor content in general."

"If we have to pay a fee and its legally binding, we always respect the laws of a country where we operate. Right now, we don't have to."

"To be fair, the amount we should pay isn't necessarily big, but it's the question of why pay something if you don't have to?"

"We will rather invest the money in a local Netflix original show or content, like a Trevor Noah stand-up show rather than just put money where we don't have to."


'We don't want a cumbersome system'
When TVwithThinus asked if Netflix doesn't believe that something like the South African Film and Publications Board should set local parental and age restrictions for films and content that's suitable for South Africa's unique socio-demographic and cultural circumstances, Yann Lafargue said Netflix self-regulates.

"In some cases where there's something different we will have a discussion with the ratings board, and in some countries they are stricter than others. Like in Singapore for instance, or South Korea, they are very stringent."

"You can have a 12 [parental guidance] for something and then it's going to be 18 for that somewhere else. We're trying to make sure that we're empowering customers based on the country."

"There's no point in us forcing something down your throat if we think we're not ready. So we're open to discussion," said Yann Lafargue.

"What we don't want is to have - imagine, we have thousands of titles on Netflix - is to have a cumbersome system where you have to give them the content, and they need to watch it and decide whatever, and to then be consistent. It's complicated."

"It's a bit messy so we're trying to do things by ourselves. But what we're doing in some markets is we're trying to show them, and ask 'For those shows, what would be the ratings?' And we try to self-right ourselves to close the discrepancy."

"So we're trying to understand, and to be a good company and good corporate citizen in general."

"If someone thinks that if there's violence or nudity, automatically it needs to be [age restricted] above 16 we'll do it, we have no issue with that," said Yann Lafargue.

"We want the freedom to regulate ourselves. When there's layers of complexities it's never good; it's just slowing the technology; everything."

"Imagine if you have that [process of screening] and then you need to wait 6 months because they don't have the capacity or the bandwidth to watch all the content of 650 shows - not even talking about the licensed shows we have there, then you become again a second-ranked citizen because of your own regulator. And then there's again the issue of piracy."   

BBC Worldwide sells more than 150 hours of content to Showmax Africa, including Planet Earth II, Call the Midwife and Special Forces.

BBC Worldwide has sold more than 150 hours of content to Naspers' subscription video-on-demand S(VOD) service Showmax in Africa.

The content from the BBC Worldwide will be available in South Africa and the other 35 African countries in which Showmax operates that in Africa now resorts under MultiChoice's DStv Digital division.

BBC Worldwide announced the Showmax deal at TV market MIPCOM 2017 that includes a mixed-genre package of more than 150 hours of content ranging from natural history and drama to factual entertainment programming.

"I am delighted that Showmax subscribers across the African continent will soon have access to some of the most loved and much talked about shows from the BBC and leading UK independents through this new agreement," says Joel Churcher, vice president and general manager for Africa.

"BBC Worldwide has a deep catalogue of premium content which we can offer across all platforms to ensure African audiences can view our world class content whenever and wherever they choose."

Chris Savides, the head of Showmax Africa says "BBC shows are a cornerstone of our content lineup and have played a major part in propelling Showmax from a standing start two years ago to one of the most popular internet TV services in Africa".

"We're looking forward to adding even more BBC content in the future".

BBC Worldwide shows that will become available on Showmax include:

Planet Earth II
The updated natural history series shown earlier this year on BBC Earth (DStv 174). Travelling through jungles, deserts, mountains, islands, grasslands and cities, this series explores the unique characteristics of Earth's most iconic habitats and the extraordinary ways animals survive within them.

Call the Midwife seasons 4 - 6
The triumphs and tribulations of the nurses and nuns from the Nonnatus House convent as they work in the poverty-stricken East End of London.

The Durrell’s seasons 1 & 2
The adventures of the eccentric Durrell family as they embrace life on a gorgeous Greek island of Corfu in the 1930’s. Based on Gerald Durrell’s much-loved Corfu trilogy, the series sees widow Louisa Durrell and the family adjust to their new life, face a whole new set of challenges and meet new friends, rivals, lovers and animals.

The Collection 
A tale of secrets, lies and high fashion from writer Oliver Goldstick (Desperate Housewives). Set in 1947, the series tracks a pivotal moment in France’s history when fashion became a vehicle for transformation and reinvention.

Special Forces: Ultimate Hell Week seasons 1 & 2
In this action-packed series, 29 super fit men and women take on the challenge of their lives when they have to endure 12 days straight of physical and mental endurance, masterminded by some of the world’s toughest special forces operatives, to discover who can survive and ultimately win. 
The second season was filmed in South Africa.

Netflix reveals the top 5 most watched shows on Netflix in South Africa; says it's open to do and take local South African stories to a global audience in the near future.


Netflix has revealed the most watched shows in South Africa and the type of programming that South African Netflix subscribers simply can't get enough of.

Netflix spoke to South Africa media and answered questions from the press at its first Netflix House SA media event in a lux high street Fresnaye mansion in Cape Town this week to showcase and preview it's existing and upcoming content and to hear from the press what they need.

Netflix's roundtable session with the press in South Africa sent a strong and clear signal to the media and the country's TV industry that Netflix  - with its big billboard at the OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg - has arrived in full force and means business in its push into Africa, starting from the continent's southern most nation.

Netflix for the first time revealed the shows that are most watched on Netflix in South Africa, with South African subscribers who are actually very informed and clued up as to what is available on Netflix and watching it.

Yenia Zaba, the Netflix manager for media relations for Europe and Africa, said South Africans love action programming that feature strongly in Netflix South Africa's top 5 list.

"It's a lot of action stuff - Mindhunter - it was just released. Narcos is very big here in South Africa; Star Trek: Discovery is very big here and the Marvel shows [Iron FistThe Defenders] are indeed very big here, as well as Designated Survivor and Shooter".

"Today, compared to a year and a half ago when we launched in South Africa, the Netflix catalogue of titles has tripled in size and we're literally adding shows on a daily basis".

Since Netflix launched, Netflix has been able to gather more and more viewing data and we've been observing certain behavioural data.

"We know that you're in South Africa for instance and we know what you watch. We don't know if you're male or female, your age - none of that."

"But we have observed certain things. The first thing that happens when we launched Netflix in a certain country was binge watching. It's a very basic one, but it couldn't happen before."

"Binge racing on the other hand is when you finish an entire season within the first 24 hours of launching that season."

"And obviously early adopters are the first ones to do that and we think that South Africa is eventually going to be way up there when it comes to binge racing. South Africans are absolutely crazy about Stranger Things."


Netflix open to SA productions in future
Netflix said it will very likely do content production deals in the future with South African producers.

"We have a pretty strong content team that is travelling to every country to talk to local producers. I do know that we're talking to South African producers."

"We want stories. It doesn't matter where they come from, we just want really good stories. Sometimes the stories are co-productions, sometimes they're in several languages."

"We're very lucky that we have 190 countries to put your local story all the way out there. If we produce something, it's never going to be meant just for that one country because it's not worth it for us. We want to tell global stories," says Yenia Zaba.

"Good stories can come from wherever," says Yann Lafargue, manager for technology and corporate communications at Netflix for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

"We're not designing a show for just a local audience. The Crown for instance - the BBC couldn't have done it. Just because the economics doesn't make sense. There's not enough Brits to watch that show."

"But when you have 1 in 9 million people which is about 3 million people - 3 million eyeballs are enough people. So you can make a certain show that will be compelling because there's 10 000 people in South Africa that like Dynasty, and another 15 000 in South Korea."

"So you get those clusters of audiences everywhere in the world, and together we get the scale to tell those stories."

"So we can do different television - in terms of format, in terms of story telling, in terms of everything. And we can give a global audience to local stories."

"People like to work with Netflix because we're not cheap and we also working with the best technology".

Since it launched in January 2016, Netflix is facing an ever-growing market segment of subscription pay-TV offerings, all vying for the rands in the wallets of South African consumers that go to discretionary spending on entertainment.

Besides traditional satellite pay-TV services like MultiChoice's DStv and China's StarSat, subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services like Naspers' Showmax, Amazon Prime Video, DEOD, ONTAPtv.com and Kwesé Play have mushroomed and are all trying to entice South African consumers with their video content offerings.

StarTimes Nigeria introduces pay-per-day (PPD) and pay-per-week (PPW) as new pay-TV subscription options in the face of increased competition.


The China sponsored StarTimes Nigeria has introduced new pay-per-day (PPD) and pay-per-week subscription fee options for StarTimes Nigeria subscribers in the face of increasing competition in the West-African country's pay-TV market.

Saying "entertainment just got subsidised" StarTimes Nigeria announced a new payment option whereby subscribers can get access to 40 StarTimes channels for N300 (R11.27) for a week, or all StarTimes channels for N60 (R2.25) per day. 

The new pay-per-day (PPD) and pay-per week (PPW) StarTimes payment plans will become available from 1 November 2017, with payments that will be possible both online and offline.

StarTimes Nigeria didn't release any statement to the media but the new payment offerings are part of the squeeze all pay-TV operators in Nigeria are facing in the fight to find new subscribers and to combat churn.

Competition in Nigeria's pay-TV sphere has been heating up between StarTimes Nigeria and MultiChoice Nigeria's DStv especially as the Nigerian currency, the naira has been tanking, as well as the entrance of the new wannabe rival TStv, that doesn't have decoders available and has been lying to consumers about TV channel carriage agreements it doesn't have.

StarTimes Nigeria's new "pay-per-day" and "pay-per-week" concept is interesting since pay-TV operators who bill subscribers for content costs they themselves have to pay, don't have the luxury of paying for that content "per day" or "per week".

In that sense, StarTimes Nigeria's very on the nose "entertainment just got subsidised" commercial comment is actually highly accurate - StarTimes Nigeria is the one doing the subsidising, since it will StarTimes Nigeria losing money.

StarTimes Nigeria,like all satellite pay-TV providers, have to source and pay for content in and as package deals, output deals, and over much longer contract periods, like for a year or in multi-year channel carriage deals and other content contracts.

Channel and content providers don't do "pay-per-week" and "pay-per-day" contracts with operators like StarTimes Nigeria, so it's StarTimes Nigeria itself that's breaking down the decoding and access to customers in smaller day and week bits.

DAILY TV NEWS ROUND-UP. Today's interesting TV stories to read from TVwithThinus - 19 October 2017.


Here's the latest news about TV that I read and that you should read too:


■ Where has TStv gone? 18 days after its 1 October launch in Nigeria, TStv is seemingly nowhere.
Biola Kazeem wonders about Nigerian's gullibility and their willingness to accept fake promises like thelies about TV channels TStv says its carrying but isn't allowed to.
TStv isn't what we need now," says Nigerians. "We actually need an uninterrupted electricity supply".

■ MIPCOM TV market told: Black people are rare as unicorns on prime time TV

■ Australian breakfast show presenter lurks and hides behind her car!
Lisa Wilkingson hides behind her car from the paparazzi after a nasty fight following abreakdown in salary negotiations goes public between a TV star's agent in Australia and the Nine network.

■ China's StarTimes says Uganda is one of the African countries that benefitted from the $2.5 billion contract for digital terrestrial TV migration.
Of course StarTimes itself benefitted commercially too - since it's China's money.
Meanwhile StarTimes has taken 51 journalists from across Africa to Beijing and China for a media tour and to cover the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China but has deliberately excluded South Africa's media.

■ New SABC board Febe Potgieter-Qubule claims:
"I don't see myself compromised". Says her new SABC board position will make her reconsider her role in the ANC going forward.

■ Econet Media officially launches Kwesé TV in Uganda.
Has a media launch event in Kampala where Kwesé TV will now have to battle it out against MultiChoice Uganda's DStv and China's StarTimes for pay-TV viewers.
- Quite inane and non-sensical comments from Herbert Mucunguzi, Kwesé TV Uganda general manager as to what Kwesé TV Uganda offers. You'd think he or the PR people would put in actual effort to come up with non-stock comments not already used before by MultiChoice and StarTimes for their offerings.
Kwesé TV Zambia's general manager Kapa Kaumba fawning over Zambia's government, likewise talks a lot that means absolutely nothing.


■ Nielsen to measure viewing of shows streaming on Netflix.
The service aiming to measure and find ratings for On Demand video streaming services, will provide data comparable to what Nielsen provides for linear TV, including ratings, reach, frequency and demographics.
Netflix slams the effort and Nielsen: "The data that Nielsen is reporting is not accurate, not even close, and does not reflect the viewing of these shows on Netflix".

■ Digital TV a massive and expensive flop in Thailand.
Digital terrestrial television migration came too late and audience behaviour had already changed due to technology.

■ Final 4th season of Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD (DStv 304) will be more serialised.
Last season just started in America, no date yet for when it starts in South Africa and Africa, but Dave Filoni says "episodes will be more serialised than you're used to".


■ The actor Javid Iqbal doesn't really exist, Star Trek: Discovery made him up since actor Shazad Latif is apparently playing both Voq who disguises himself to become Ash Tyler.
Maybe some clarity about the confusing plot points in Star Trek: Discovery.
Jason Isaacs says Star Trek: Discovery is "of our time, and for our time."
Klingon Voq can't stay missing for much longer.


■ How big is delayed TV viewing in America?
In some cases it's even bigger than live viewing - in others almost nothing. Here's how some of America's biggest TV shows break down when it comes to viewers who watch it after its been shown.

■ Why competing with Netflix and Amazon is impossible.
MUST WATCH: Barry Diller discusses what makes Netflix and Amazon today's leaders in video.


■ Executive producer of Viacom's The Mist TV drama, Amanda Segel, accuses Harvey Weinstein's brother Bob Weinstein of sexual harassment.
- Variety's TV critic Maureen Ryan says a TV executive sexually assaulted her.
Hollywood's other open secret: Preying on young boys.
Inside Harvey Weinstein's horrific history of bullying: "Has never done anything that was consensual".

■ The shamed Roy Price out at Amazon after shocking sexual harassment claims.

■ And a MUST READ: Inside Amazon and the fall of the vulgar exec Roy Price.
As usual Amazon and Roy Price are silent and refused to comment. Amazon insiders reveal Roy Price's "crude sex talk" at gatherings, asked staffers if stars in a TV series would "show their tits";  misogyny of scripts.

■ Fighting the pirates.
How illegal downloads and streaming of TV shows is now impacting the global TV industry.
Netflix says it's pushing to secure global rights and release all originals simultaneously to global members to help address piracy, and "that there's been a notable reduction in piracy in countries where we operate".

■ Lifetime (DStv 131) finally releases a trailer for the delayed 3rd season of UnReal.
The 3rd season will start in America on 26 February 2018 and will this time revolve around a bachelorette looking for Mister Right. No word yet on when the 3rd season will start on Lifetime in South Africa and Africa on MultiChoice's DStv.

■ The delicate art of the TV series finale.
Ending a TV series properly with a perfect final episode is equal parts craft and philosophy.

■ Next year the Swiss will vote to get rid of TV and radio licence fees.
Switzerland voting in March 2018 on a proposal to scrap the licence fee for the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC).

■ Nigerian presenter of a TV crime show sues over being blocked by Nigerian police.
Aisha Tosan, the presenter of presenter of Crime Fighters, Police and You files papers in Lagos High Court to stop Nigeria's police from blocking her, and impeding her right to give out information.

■ Chelsea Handler's talk show, Chelsea, on Netflix cancelled after 2 seasons.
Went from daily in the first season, to weekly in the second season to cancelled.

■ In a new generation of social media-driven dramas
viewers decide the outcome in the next episode, as part of TV's next big new trend.

Netflix: We're not in competition with MultiChoice's DStv says the global video streaming giant as it signals a bigger push into the South African market.


Netflix says it's not in competition with MultiChoice's DStv in South Africa and Africa and that any service offering compelling content to viewers as TV moves into the future, will continue thrive.

Netflix spoke to South Africa media and answered questions from the press at its first Netflix House SA media event in a lux high street Fresnaye mansion in Cape Town this week to showcase and preview it's existing and upcoming content and to hear from the press what they need - something it said it will be doing regularly from now on.

Netflix that has rapidly gained subscribers in South Africa, is making steady inroads as a brand since it launched in South Africa and across Africa in January 2016, where, besides traditional satellite pay-TV services DStv and China's StarSat, services like Naspers' Showmax, Amazon Prime Video, DEOD, ONTAPtv.com and Kwesé Play have made their appearance in a market segment of subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services that has quickly become crowded.

When the global video streaming service was specifically asked if it's acquiring and licensing TV rights to keep it away from MultiChoice's satellite pay-TV service DStv, Netflix said that it's not acquiring show titles to stop DStv from having access to it.

"In terms of competition, we think there's room for everyone.  For us, competition is anything that's entertainment. So there's room for everyone. We're not saying that DStv shouldn't be around," Netflix told the media.

"In the United Kingdom there's always talk about the BBC and will the BBC end up dying because of Netflix? No. Because they offer something different. DStv has sports. There's always different things in every market and what Netflix is trying to do is to give people more."

Yann Lafargue, manager for technology and corporate communications at Netflix for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, said that "On demand viewing is just the future of entertainment".

"Competition is healthy. Nobody has the monopoly on great stories. The companies like HBO, Amazon - those who create compelling stories that people like to watch and enjoy - they're going to survive; they're going to thrive."

"The thing that is the key is the exclusivity. If we all have the same content and you can watch the same type of content everywhere - why would you subscribe to some services specifically?" said Yann Lafargue.

"It's because it's a kind of signature show. So HBO has Game of Thrones for instance. So you want to sign up for Netflix because you want to watch Stranger Things or Narcos. And we're going to have more and more of those big hits to keep you entertained and captivated and to give you a reason to subscribe to Netflix."

He said "we know we have much more titles than the competition, but it's not about volume. For us it's not like DVDs on a shelf".

"We're trying to show around 300 shows from your algorithm on your interface. And when you start looking at something, then you will start seeing more suggestions because you like Robert DeNiro shows or something like that."

"Star Trek: DiscoveryDesignated Survivor - those shows are available here in South Africa on Netflix but not in the United States. So there is this misconception sometimes that it's always better elsewhere, the grass is greener somewhere else, and it's not the case necessarily."

Since last month subscribers of Kwesé Play can currently subscribe through that service to Netflix and be billed in rand by having the Netflix subscription added onto the Kwesé Play account but Yann Lafargue says all South Africans will eventually be able to pay in rand and not dollar.

"It's going to come. It's just a question of making sure that all the modes of payment - credit card, debit card and Paypal - everything could be shifted to rand. As Netflix grows and localises and create partnerships we do see that currency integration".

"What we see in some markets is that when you're new, people don't necessarily trust you. When you're a new brand, people wonder can I enter my credit card details on your website - is it safe?"

"So what's happening is that if you already have your internet service provider or you mobile phone contract, you go 'Okay I don't pay Netflix directly but my monthly bill just adds a line and I pay my local service provider', then it's easier and it removes friction."

"So that's the type of deals and partnerships we're trying to do."

"But pretty soon - perhaps coming in a month or so - we will have a shift to that."


Netflix on piracy and password sharing
Regarding piracy of content Yenia Zaba, the Netflix manager for media relations for Europe and Africa, says "we're not going to physically fight against piracy, we know it's out there, but piracy exists mainly because of two reasons."

"Piracy is there because content isn't accessible in another way, and B, it's not affordable."

"We don't have numbers for South Africa, but in many countries where piracy was really big - the Nordics, Australia - piracy dropped by 30% thanks to Netflix," says Yann Lafargue. "When you make it easy and the quality [of how people can watch it] is better, people move away from piracy."

"And also the frustration when you feel like a second-rung citizen - that was the case in South Africa, that was the case in France, or Germany, where you had to wait 2 years to get a TV show to become available to you, and you really want to watch it because on social media you hear about this great show - you're going to find a way to watch it."

"Netflix gives you a show, it's in South Africa, it's in France, it's in Finland, it's in South Korea, it's in the United States at the same time. So there's no incentive to do it [piracy]. And we also have 30 days for free."

In terms of password sharing between people, Yann Lafargue says "as long as it remains within the family circle I think it's fine. If you have a $7.99 plan, there's only one person who can watch at the same time."

"So if you give it to 10 of your friends, it's good, but if one of them is watching, you will be locked out of your own account. You won't be able to watch for what you're paying, so why would you do that?"

"It's fine if you want to show a piece of content to someone, but at the end of the day it's self-regulating."

"It's good also in new markets, so it's fine I guess in South Africa if you're at a coffee shop and you're telling your friend about these great documentaries that you've seen, or these amazing movies and go 'Oh, it's on Netflix, have a look, watch it'. And maybe they think I should get it as well. So it's kind of good because it's free advertising."

"We don't really have a strong stance against it, it's self-regulating by itself at the same time. And as long as it remains within a family, it's more or less okay."

"Also its more often teenagers. But when they first start working and get their first income, they often go 'I want my own account' and can afford it."

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

CNN now approved to fly camera drones over breaking news events that involve large crowds of people.


CNN has been approved by America's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly camera drones over large crowds of people in the United States during breaking news events in order to broadcast aerial panoramic shots to viewers.

CNN will soon start to use these unmanned aircraft systems or UAS over crowds of people after it received approval.

"This waiver signifies a critical step forward not only for CNN's UAS operations, but also the commercial UAS industry at large," says David Vigilante, CNN's senior vice president of legal in a statement.

"We are truly grateful to the FAA for allowing CNN to demonstrate its continued commitment to safe UAS operations".

The FAA now allows CNN to operate the Snap UAS, a frangible aircraft with enclosed rotors that's made of "deformable material", over crowds of people.

"Vantage created the Snap for the purpose of safely capturing aerial video over people," says Tobin Fisher, Vantage Robotics CEO. "We are pleased that Vantage was able to work with CNN to present and establish the safety case for the Snap to the FAA".

The Snap camera drone weighs 0.62 kg and its four rotors are encased to reduce the chances of injury.

The Snap is designed to break into harmless smaller pieces if it crashes and can be "snapped" back together and reused after a crash.

Court declares South African ministerial interference into the SABC illegal, slams invalid Memorandum of Incorporation.


In a groundbreaking ruling the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday slammed and declared illegal the so-called "Memorandum of Incorporation" for the SABC that was introduced by the controversial former minister of communications, Faith Muthambi, that the wayward minister used to hire and fire top executives at the SABC.

Judge Elias Matojane declared several clauses of the Amended Memorandum of Incorporation illegal that Faith Muthambi and her follow-upper and now also dumped Ayanda Dlodlo used to justify their meddling in SABC appointments and firings.

This amended version of the Memorandum of Incorporation that Faith Muthambi quietly introduced in 2014, illegally gave new powers to the minister of communications to directly meddle and interfere in the operations of the SABC board and SABC executives.

In his judgment Judge Elias Matojane noted the "systematic and repeated failures in the governance and management of the SABC" and said "the critical systemic causes of governance failures and mismanagement were found to have been caused by ministerial interference in the governance and operations of the SABC".

Judge Elias Matojane called the Memorandum of Incorporation illegal under which Faith Muthambi usurped sweeping powers to directly interfere in the executive workings of the SABC.

Judge Elias Matojane declared the Amended Memorandum of Incorporation illegal as far as the appointment, discipline and suspension of the SABC's CEO, COO and CFO goes and said the Memorandum is inconsistent with South Africa's Broadcasting Act and invalid.

Judge Elias Matojane said the Memorandum gave the minister of communications illegal powers that undermined the independence of South Africa's public broadcaster. In his judgment he reaserted that it's the SABC board - not a minister of communications - that controls the SABC.

In the judgment the court said it is the SABC board alone that, through its non-executive members, should and can appoint executive members - without any approval that is required by the minister of communications.

The judgment also said that the SABC board, without prior approval of the minister, can start disciplinary proceedings against the SABC CEO, COO and CFO.

The ruling also states that SABC board members can't be removed if it's not done strictly in accordance with the Broadcasting Act.

The case was brought to court by the Support Public Broadcasting (SOS Coalition), Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) and Media Monitoring Africa (MMA).

The SOS Coalition and MMA said they welcome the judgment limiting ministerial powers and interference at the SABC, calling it in a statement "a victory for independence and media freedom in South Africa".

"The SABC board has the exclusive prerogative to appoint, through a transparent process, the CEO, CFO and COO and any other non-executive members of the board."

"Not only is the SABC board able to exclusively appoint the non-executive members, but they are also able to discipline and/or remove any such members. This makes the current SABC board the most independent board since the birth of our democracy."

Lifetime releases teaser trailer for the 3rd season of UnReal; will start in February in America with no date for the show in Africa on DStv yet.



Lifetime has revealed a teaser trailer for the long-delayed 3rd season of the drama series UnReal that will start in February 2018 more than a year after the previous season ended.

While the 3rd season of UnReal will start on 26 February 2018 in America, a starting date for the season on Lifetime Africa (DStv 131) from A+E Networks UK for South Africa and Africa on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform isn't known yet.

In another new change, the 3rd season will revolve around a bachelorette looking for Mister Right out of a group of hunky suitors in the fictional match-making show Everlasting.

This time Caitlin FitzGerald from the drama series Masters of Sex plays the bachelorette, Serena Wolcott, who is a tech entrepreneur who suddenly declares: "From this moment forward, the only rules are the rules that I make."

Once again the producers Rachel (Shiri Appleby) and Quinn (Constance Zimmer) are however scheming and plotting behind the scenes to create dramatic reality television as the real puppet masters pulling everyone's strings.

Of course men on the sets of TV reality shows are often as, or even more vain, self-obsessed and  focused on external appearances than the woman.

In the new trailer, Rachel has to tell Quinn that one of the mantestants cut off a rival's "man-bun" while he was sleeping. In another scene Quinn says "I thought women were dramatic".

Production of the 4th season of UnReal is starting this month in Vancouver, Canada. UnReal is the first scripted series fully produced and distributed by A+E Studios with A+E Networks that also does the global sales for the show that is seen in 100 territories worldwide.

MultiChoice Uganda staffers allegedly defrauded DStv Uganda subscribers by exploiting currency fluctuations; some suspended staff now demand billions in shillings for 'embarrassment, stress'.


In a shocking case of alleged theft and fraud, Multichoice Uganda staffers allegedly defrauded DStv Uganda subscribers by skimming money off of their monthly payments by exploiting Uganda's volatile exchange rates.

ChimpReports first detailed the shocking allegations earlier this week of how currency fluctuations and vulnerabilities in this system, have allegedly been exploited by DStv Uganda cashiers to steal thousands from unsuspecting DStv Uganda subscribers between November 2015 and November 2016.

While Ugandan subscribers to DStv Premium had to pay in Uganda shillings a price of Shs 375,000 with a fixed exchange rate of Shs 3,750, the market rate ranged between Shs 3,200 to Shs 3,300.

"This means MultiChoice Uganda had approximately Shs 40,000 on each subscription. This happened for a full year but several agents noticed MultiChoice Uganda was making lots of money," a former MultiChoice Uganda staffer revealed.

"They would receive the shillings from the customers then go to a forex bureau, change it to dollars and post dollars on the MultiChoice Uganda system and retain the balance.

The story of alleged MultiChoice Uganda fraud becomes even more complicated and has now led to labour problems after MultiChoice Uganda ordered an internal investigation and then allegedly suspended all cashiers.

Over 20 MultiChoice Uganda cashiers were allegedly called to a disciplinary hearing, but MultiChoice Uganda then allegedly decided to either drop the case and demote the staffers, or has not yet taken against the suspended staffers.

Some of the workers, after lawyering up, told MultiChoice Uganda they now demand damages to be paid to them "in the sums of Shs 1.3 billion for the embarrassment, stress, and inconvenience among others which they state they have suffered and continue to suffer."

MultiChoice Uganda publicist Tina Wamala had no comment.

SuperSport to celebrate South Africa's World Cup win in Paris in 2007 with rebroadcast of three of the tournament's matches.


SuperSport will celebrate the decade-old anniversary of South Africa's Rugby World Cup win in Paris in 2007 on Friday with a rebroadcast of 3 matches from this tournament.

Exactly 10 years to the day since the Springboks won the Rugby Wold Cup in Paris, SuperSport will rebroadcast 3 of the matches, including the final, on Friday 20 October on the SuperSport 2 channel on MultiChoice's DStv.

The memorable final against England will be broadcast on Friday at 8:40 in the morning and again at 21:30 on Friday night on SuperSport 2.

The quarterfinal match against Fiji will be broadcast at 5:00 on Friday morning, followed at 6:50 by a rebroadcast of the semi-final between South Africa and Argentina.

E! Entertainment cancels Fashion Police; will end on 29 November on DStv with a special farewell episode celebrating Joan Rivers.


E! Entertainment (DStv 124) has cancelled Fashion Police with Melissa Rivers, with the show that will end in November with another special celebrating Joan Rivers, the show's infamous segments and most memorable moments.

The final Fashion Police episode entitled Fashion Police: The Farewell, will be broadcast on E! in America on 27 November and will be broadcast in South Africa and Africa on E! Entertainment on Wednesday 29 November at 20:00.

After Joan Rivers' unexpected death in 2014, Fashion Police that went off air for a hiatus but returned, eventually switched to a format of doing specials after big Hollywood award shows and will now sign off next month after the latest special that covered the PrimeTime Emmy Awards.

Fashion Police: The Farewell will feature the last appearance from the panel of Melissa Rivers, Giuliana Rancic, Brad Goreski, NeNe Leakes and Margaret Cho as well as surprise celebrity guests and will include highlights from Joan Rivers.

The episode will incorporate clips from an unaired episode featuring Joan Rivers and the panelists paying tribute to 80's fashions.

"What's been consistent through all the years has been a love of fashion, and that started with Joan Rivers," says Gary Snegaroff, the senior vice president for original production for Wilshire Studios that produces Fashion Police.

"The only thing she loved more than fashion was getting a laugh, so this combined her two loves. She always felt that fashion was something to be discussed, not to be taken too seriously, and that's the show we put together."

"We're going to take a look back and celebrate some of the show's most memorable moments and hosts and gags," said Adam Stotsky, E! Entertainment president.

"It's an opportunity to celebrate the franchise, celebrate Joan and how much we miss her, and pull back the curtain and show fans some things that they haven't seen."

Melissa Rivers, also an executive producer on Fashion Police, says "I am so proud to have been a part of this show and am so proud that it’s part of my mother's legacy. It really changed, along with the red carpets, awards-show programming and fashion."

Willington Ngwepe appointed as new CEO of South Africa's broadcasting regulator, Icasa.


Willington Ngwepe has been appointed as the new CEO of South Africa's broadcasting regulator, Icasa, after he's been acting CEO since early July.

Willington Ngwepe took over from the suspended Pakamile Pongwana who quit in August and left under a could before he could face charges over alleged sexual harassment.

Willington Ngwepe has been the chief operating officer (COO) of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) since September 2014.

"In this role he has been part of the Icasa leadership team that oversaw the implementation of Icasa's organisational realignment in 2015," says the broadcasting regulator.

"The council is excited about the appointment of Willington Ngwepe and we have full confidence in his leadership and management skills," says Paris Mashile, Icasa's acting council chairperson.

"He is indeed the ideal incumbent to usher Icasa into the new phase as we tackle some of the burning issues such as the high cost of data, spectrum-related projects, and so on."

Willington Ngwepe holds a BA (law), LLB and LLM (communications law) degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand as well as LLM (tax) from the University of South Africa.

BLIND ITEM. Yesterday a TV publicist asked me if I wanted an exclusive. Here's what I said ...


Yesterday a publicist who works in television asked me as a TV critic and a journalist covering South Africa's TV industry, "do you want an exclusive?"

I said no.

The publicist, looking perplexed and a bit taken aback, said "You don't want an exclusive?"

I said "You know, truthfully, I can find exclusives on my own."

" I will actually settle for if I can just get regular updates and information, and things like teasers and short episode synopses for upcoming episodes because currently you're not even sending that out. You're not sending anything to the media."

Wrongly or rightly, it seems as if PR companies and publicists are obsessed and focused on placing all kinds of fawning, credibility-lacking "partner content" type articles, and have forgotten, don't care, or never cared, about the bare-level basics.

Like ordinary programmatic information about TV shows.

Yes, the nice and juicy tenderloin steak is nice, but hyenas (the bulk press) need to feed daily. What are they supposed to do on the non-exclusive days of which there are many; many, many more?

It's irritating that a lot of PR people in television in South Africa want to sell "exclusives" but can't be bothered to consistently communicate daily changes, programming updates, schedules, episode information, issue high res images appropriately and without asking, at the right times.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs holds true for TV as well but a lot of publicist wants to ignore that. 

Sadly a lot of publicist wants to appease/satisfy/answer to the top of the pyramid, having neglected the bare-level basic wide base of the pyramid.

I can't (okay I can but it doesn't really serve a purpose) run an exclusive if there's barely anything else backing it up in-between.

PRs will also often subvert basic info like for instance the contestants' details and images for a reality show for instance and give that "exclusively" to a certain publication; too stupid to realise that that is basic show information that should be for all press.

A profile story or "exclusive" reveal about one of those contestants - something that actually requires work from both the PR and press - is what is, and should, be a specific exclusive.

It doesn't happen in America, but it does in South Africa, and it's these types of things that makes me shake and rattle in a cage like a Pokemon after a big can of Play. 

So thanks. Thanks for the exclusive offer. It's kind of thinking of me - whether its real, or a "throwaway" small talk comment just to try and make conversation.

But lets maybe start in making sure all the media covering television gets all of the basic day-to-day and week-to-week stock-and-trade TV show and publicity information.

New SABC board chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini quits as chairperson of Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation; says he will focus on 'saving the SABC'.


Bongumusa Makhathini who on Tuesday was appointed by South African president Jacob Zuma as the new chairperson of the SABC board on Wednesday quit as chairperson of the Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation‚ a diabetes group.

Bongi Ngema-Zuma is one of the wives of Jacob Zuma and Bongumusa Makhathini serving as SABC chairperson and chairperson of the Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation is a conflict of interest.

Bongumusa Makhathini is the head executive for legal at British American Tobacco.

Bongumusa Makhathini confirmed on Wednesday that he quit as Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation chairperson on Wednesday, a day after his appointment as SABC board member.

"I resigned today as promised," said Bongumusa Makhathini, referencing his answer when he was asked during his interview in parliament in September about the apparent conflict of interest, and if he would quit the nonprofit organisation if he were to be appointed to the SABC board.

Bongumusa Makhathini says he will "focus on saving the SABC and to resolve real problems facing our public broadcaster as opposed to debating the Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation and my role in the foundation".

IN PICTURES: Netflix South Africa does a Netflix House SA media event; meet-and-greet presser showcases content, includes Q&A session and sunset cocktails at an infinity pool.


On Tuesday Netflix did its first-ever Netflix House SA in South Africa for the South African press covering television - a swanky, yet relaxed, get-together to talk about how the subscription video streaming service is making inroads across South Africa and African homes and its plans for South Africa in the future.

Netflix's marketing and PR executives from Europe looking after Africa flew to Cape Town for the week to gather with the media  and to mingle, show content, answer any questions, meet new members of the press and to say hello to old ones.

The Netflix House South Africa consisted of an afternoon "educational" where Netflix marketing and PR execs from Amsterdam did a lounge info sharing session and an open Q&A forum with the media where no questions were off limits.

The answers were often surprisingly quite frank, revealing and quite bold with Netflix taking a "take no prisoners" attitude.

That was followed by an exciting yet relaxed sunset cocktail evening event where Netflix added more hype for Netflix South Africa.

Netflix cleverly short-circuited the hamster brains of the media by doing stuff like showing a fantasta-magorical 5 minute except from the first episode of the upcoming second season of Stranger Things.

Netflix South Africa will duplicate the Netflix House SA event in Johannesburg later this week and said it will do regularly meet-and-greet information sharing sessions with the media in South Africa.

Netflix said it will also eventually expand into the rest of Africa to get to know the press there personally, with South Africa as the African continent's entry point.

For its Netflix House SA in Tuesday, Netflix Europe with the help of its local PR agency rented a currently vacant floor-to-ceiling glass windows mansion in Fresnaye's highest street on Cape Town's uber-wealthy Atlantic seaboard.

Of course nothing says posh like literally looking down on people - over a sparkling infinity pool - from a hillside mansion up as far against the slopes of Signal Hill as the suburb is allowed to go.

Netflix made sure there was electricity, brought in comfortable couches and Netflix embroidered cushions, banners, flowers, a wet bar, snacks, fast WiFi complete with tablets and big screen TV sets, along with headphones on which media could sample and watch Netflix shows.

Netflix then poured the rose champagne in flute glasses and essentially created a lux Netflix South Africa house - or as the TV critics who eventually managed to escape capture called it - a place no member of the Press Covering TV would ever want to leave.

It was simple, yet very elegant, relaxing and effective.

Netflix gave media Uber vouchers for the get-there, get-back in the narrow streets snaking up through one of Cape Town's most expensive enclaves, and a black Netflix logo embossed swag bag filled with the obligatory notebook and pen. Also included were information packs, a USB and brochures.

Also included from Netflix to press members was a promo code for a free Netflix subscription.

Netflix said it's for the media  to sample and watch Netflix South Africa content and to keep up to date with not just what is available on Netflix in South Africa, but to see how the service actually looks and the content constantly expands.

Noteworthy - and picked up by the press who talked about it at the event and cocktail party - is that rival Naspers' Showmax - that actually launched before Netflix in South Africa - hasn't done anything like a Netflix House in South Africa.

Showmax hasn't done any personable press engagement with media in terms of real world meet-and-greet events through educational sessions, or content sharing and update media meetings besides and since its original launch event. Neither has Amazon Prime Video or ONTAPtv since its launch.

Media said they thought Showmax, Amazon Prime Video, ONTAPtv and others would have had more, and have done more direct media event interactions around their content in South Africa than Netflix, and before Netflix now did an Netflix House SA event.

Netflix told the press it isn't in competition with the likes of Showmax or MultiChoice's DStv or others - and said it isn't trying to be.

Netflix executives said Netflix is it's own thing, welcomes competition because it makes everyone better, is dramatically ramping up its original content production, that no one service has the monopoly on great content, and that anyone can create their own compelling stories.

Netflix on Tuesday at its Netflix House SA showed the media its content, played sizzle reels, and had content snippets from upcoming new shows and seasons specifically for the media that can't be seen or accessed anywhere else.

Netflix executives talked about its global business, but contextualised it in terms of South Africa, and explained how South Africa fits into it, shared some South African viewing statistics, and peppered the presentation and Q&A session with personal anecdotes.

Netflix spoke and explained its co-productions its doing around the world and how that works, how it spends $1 billion just on reducing "tech friction" (making it easier for people to practically use Netflix), its stance on piracy, the use of VPNs and addressed a litany of other issues.

Netflix asked media what and how it can be better and what the media needs in order to get Netflix's messages about its content to customers and the public.

Members of the media were invited back for an evening cocktail event (that went on into late into the night) to informally mingle with Netflix representatives.

More content and sizzle reels were shown, like Will Smith's upcoming $100 million modern-day LA-set fantasy movie, Bright coming in December.

Netfix coins a new term as the video streaming giant continues to analyse binge viewing behaviour: 'binge racing'.


Netflix has coined yet another new term as the video streaming giant continues to analyse and refine viewing behaviour in the binge-watching era: "Binge racing" - a new type of TV viewer and TV show fan who race to be first to finish shows as part of a new "TV watching status symbol".

Netflix says more than 8 million viewers worldwide now "binge race" their favourite series and especially do it with seasons of shows like Stranger Things, Fuller House and House of Cards.

Netflix says the fast-growing TV viewing culture of binge-watching - watching a lot of episodes of a particular series in succession, has now also led to "binge racing": viewers who accomplish in a day what takes others weeks to achieve.

So-called Binge Racers - Netflix's new term for these kinds of viewers - strive to be first to finish a show by speeding through an entire season of a show within 24 hours of its release on a subscription video-on-demand service.

Netflix says binge racers are defined as viewers who completed a season of a TV show within 24 hours of its release on Netflix.

So far 8.4 million Netflix viewers have globally engaged in binge racing and the new phenomena will likely also hold true for rivals in South Africa and Africa like Naspers' Showmax, Amazon Prime Video, ONTAPtv, DEOD and others.

"The rate of this binge racing behaviour continues to grow," says Netflix. "Between 2013 and 2016 the amount of launch day finishers increased more than 20 times over."

Netflix says binge racers are not just couch potatoes. "For these super fans, the speed of watching in an achievement to be proud of and brag about. TV is their passion and binge racing is their sport".

"There's a unique satisfaction that comes from being the first to finish a story - whether it's the final page of a book or the last, climactic moments of your favorite TV show," says Brian Wright, Netflix vice president for original series.


Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life garnered the most global racers in its 24 hour debut on Netflix.

Fuller House reigns supreme in Ecuador, Club de Cuervos scored the number one slot in Mexico, and Marvel’s The Defenders takes the cake (er, The Hand) in Korea.

While binge racers are watching fast in pursuit of glory across the globe, Canada clocks in with the highest percentage of 24 hour finishers. South Africa and African countries don't yet feature anywhere on the top list.

Netflix top 20 binge racing countries are:

1.Canada
2.United States
3.Denmark
4.Finland
5.Norway
6.Germany
7.Mexico
8.Australia
9.Sweden
10.Brazil
11.Ireland
12.United Kingdom
13.France
14.New Zealand
15.Peru
16.Netherlands
17.Chile
18.Portugal
19.Italy
20.United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Jacob Zuma in yet another cabinet reshuffle dumps Ayanda Dlodlo and appoints Mmamaloko Kubayi as new minister of communications; wrote matric just a decade ago in 1997.


South Africa's TV industry - including TV executives, producers and SABC insiders - reacted with groans, dismay and universal negative sentiment following South African president Jacob Zuma's latest abrupt cabinet reshuffle.

On Tuesday Jacob Zuma dumped Ayanda Dlodlo as minister of communications and replaced her with Mmamaloko Kubayi.

Mmamaloko Kubayi who now oversees South Africa's TV, film and radio industry and public broadcasting institutions like the SABC has less experience and knowledge of it than an entry to mid-level producer.

Ayanda Dlodlo is gone after less than 6 months, unceremoniously shunted to minister of home affairs.

It means yet another hard reset and a restart that will undoubtedly include local and international "educationals" for Mmamaloko Kubayi on a range of massive crisis issues ranging from the struggling and commercially insolvent SABC, to South Africa's long-stalled digital terrestrial TV (DTT) migration process.

The axing of Ayanda Dlodlo - who recently lost the trust of South Africa's TV industry - and her replacement on Tuesday with Mmamaloko Kubayi makes Mmamaloko Kubayi South Africa's 7th minister of communications in 7 years.

The move was met by universal criticism from South Africa's TV biz, with people in South Africa's TV business but not seeing it move ahead, voicing their scorn and concern.

Several currently working in South Africa's TV business, reacted and spoke on condition of anonymity since they don't want to damage existing working relationships, contracts and agreements.

"Shocking but not shocking," a veteran TV producer doing shows for the SABC and pay-television told TVwithThinus on Tuesday.

"He [Jacob Zuma] clearly doesn't care about South Africa's TV industry. The challenges can't be bigger and yet incompetent communication ministers keep coming and going in a blur. They change nothing except to add to more instability within our broadcasting business."

A high-level TV executive called the situation "hopeless". "Redundant ministry, redundant minister; irrelevant to ordinary people from set builders to programmers to executive producers who just want to earn an honest living in this industry and see conditions improve."

"Disempowering. Disappointing. Another step backwards in ongoing regression. But not surprising, it's what we've come to expect," said a veteran female executive producer who also own a production company. "We don't matter."

"What's first? Another educational to America to familiarise herself with digital TV migration so she's educated for what - the next few months? A listening tour to meet disgruntled SABC staffers? Tea with Icasa? It's quite destabilising," said a studio executive insider.

"Director of Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) William Bird says "to have seven ministers of communications in seven years is simply a disaster in whatever parameter you look at it. Either the government doesn't know what they're doing, they are continuously appointing the wrong people or communications isn't a priority."

The Support Public Broadcasting (SOS Coalition) said in a statement "We are shocked by this morning’s sudden cabinet re-shuffle. This re-shuffle brings the number of ministers of communications to seven under Jacob Zuma's rule".

"This game of musical chairs has caused upheaval and instability that begins in the ministry of communications, runs right through the SABC and can be felt by the millions of SABC dependent households who bear the burdening impact of fluctuating policies and the lack of commitment to public interest, citizen-orientated policy making and broadcasting services."

South African president Jacob Zuma finally appoints the long-overdue SABC board; conflict of interest as new chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini also chairs foundation of his wife Bongi Ngema-Zuma.


South African president Jacob Zuma on Tuesday finally rubber-stamped and approved the SABC board following a threat of legal action from civil society and public broadcasting organisations with his new choice of SABC chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini immediately finding himself in a conflict of interest as the chairperson of a foundation of one Zuma's wives.

The under siege presidency of Jacob Zuma on Tuesday finally announced the long-overdue decision to appoint the names recommended by parliament weeks ago, after having missed the deadline to approve the board and to choose and announce who the chairperson and deputy chairperson should be.

Jacob Zuma deliberately decided to damaged the beleaguered South African public broadcaster more by not appointing the board, with the rudderless SABC that has been drifting along without any board after the term of the SABC interim board had expired.

Jacob Zuma appointed Bongumusa Makhathini as SABC board chairperson who is the head executive for legal at British American Tobacco; and Febe Potgieter-Gqubule as SABC board deputy chairperson who is a former African Union deputy chief of staff.

The other SABC board members are Krish Naidoo, Khanyisile Kweyama, John Matisonn, Mathatha Tsedu, Rachel Kalidass, Michael Markovitz, Victor Rambau, Dinkwanyane Mohuba, and Jack Phalane.

Nomvuyiso Batyi withdrew her application for an undisclosed reason.

Bongumusa Makhathini is embroiled in a conflict of interest - he is also the chairperson of the Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation, a foundation of Bongi Ngema-Zuma, who is one of Jacob Zuma's wives.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) political party in a statement said "The chairman, Bongumusa Makhathini, is also the chairman of a foundation run by one of President Zuma's wives, Bongi Ngema-Zuma. His proximity to the Zuma family is a concern," said Phumzile van Damme, DA member of parliament.

"The SABC deputy chairperson Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, has been a close ally and adviser to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, with strong political ties to the ANC. During the interviews, she even admitted that there is a possibility that she would resign from the SABC board if she is elected to the ANC National Executive Committee."

"We further note that Nomvuyiso Batyi withdrew her application. The portfolio committee on communications has agreed to deliberate on the pool of candidates from the last interviews to find a suitable replacement," said Phumzile van Damme.

"It is reassuring that there are some very qualified and suitable individuals on the board and we wish them well all during their tenure. We will be keeping a hawk's eye on the board's work."

"It is now up to them to stand up against corruption and political interference.The DA remains committed to ensuring that the SABC is not re-captured by individuals who don't have South Africans' interests at heart."

ANC secretary-general Gwede Matashe voiced the same criticism over the SABC chairperson on Tuesday from Luthuli House.

"We raised concerns when we saw the pronounced board and said we know South African as a noisy country, pays attention to everything."

"It’s an issue. He is appointed and that is an institutional appointment but we say that issue is an issue that will be raising eyebrows."

The Right2Know campaign civil socety pressure group says in a statement "R2K notes with concern that Jacob Zuma has appointed loyalists to lead the SABC board".

"Why would the president deliberately place the two candidates who are closest to himself and the ANC in the most powerful positions of the SABC board? We are warning the president about the consequence of trying to re-capture the SABC."

"R2K urges the board to take all necessary measures to end the climate of harassment and intimidation of SABC's workers, and to raise the morale of staff."

"The Right2Know Campaign unreservedly supports the SABC staff's rights to engage in a legal strike action."

The trade union Bemawu said Bongumusa Makhathini should resign from the Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation's board, and that Febe Potgieter-Gqubule needs to resign from the SABC if she is elected to any ANC position.

Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) said Bongumusa Makhathini must resign immediately from his position as chairperson of the Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation or will be seen as compromised.

Parliament's portfolio committee on communications welcomed the appointment of the new SABC board.

"We are looking forward to working together with them in taking the SABC to new heights," said Humphrey Maxegwana, committee chairperson, said in a statement.

The Support Public Broadcasting (SOS Coalition) said in a statement "The excitement at the SABC board being appointed should not cloud the fact that the SABC has been without a board for at least 3 weeks. As such, the president's delayed action must be condemned."

"Febe Potgieter-Gqubule stated in her interviews in parliament that she would leave the SABC board if she were appointed to the ANC NEC in December."

"This means that the new SABC board could potentially be left with yet another leadership vacuum in the coming months. This is an eventuality that doesn't encourage our confidence in the stability of the incoming board," said the SOS Coalition.

DAILY TV NEWS ROUND-UP. Today's interesting TV stories to read from TVwithThinus - 17 October 2017.


Here's the latest news about TV that I read and that you should read too:


■ The Haggard State of the SABC is not by Fluke or Accident or Coincidence.
My new Huffpost South Africa column on who benefits from a rudderless SABC that continues to limp along.

SHOCKER!How MultiChoice Uganda workers allegedly defrauded DStv Uganda subscribers for a year by over-charging them in forex fraud.
In a shocking revelation, MultiChoice Uganda agents would receive payment from DStv Uganda subscribers in shillings, then allegedly go to a foreign exchange bureau, change it to dollars and post dollars on the MultiChoice Uganda system and retain the balance.
MultiChoice Uganda publicist Tina Wamala has no comment.


■ Reprehensible Star Trek: Discovery on Netflix has lost its soul.
Star Trek: Discovery characters are lame and don't even try; male privilege is alive in the future; and the "Starfleet" officer Tyler is played by Shazad Latif who apparently also plays the albino Klingon Voq, meaning Voq is infiltrating Starfleet looking like a human.
Filthy Star Trek: Discovery suddenly drops F-words no longer making it a show a family can watch. Did Star Trek: Discovery really need to include F-words?How does profanity trash play on Star Trek: Discovery? "Not so great".
Is Star Trek: Discovery going too far with the animal cruelty?
Star Trek: Discovery "embraces gay romance" with first gay couple.
Star Trek: Discovery coldly goes where better Star Trek has gone before.
Star Trek: Discovery's trashy changes to Klingon canon is the worst part about this show.


■ Scientologists wants advertisers to withdrew from Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.
Cult members have been writing letters but apparently it's not working.
- The second season of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath will start on Crime+Investigation (DStv 170) on Wednesday 18 October, much sooner following America, than the first season.

■ Netflix continues its strong international growth.
Netflix adds 850 000 new United States streaming customers in the 3rd quarter and 4.45 million new international sign-ups as part of strong international growth to push the total to 56.48 million.
Netflix content budget might grow to a staggering $8 billion in 2018.
"We are growing nicely across the world."
"Our future largely lies in exclusive original content".
Netflix plans to release 80 original films in 2018.

■ NBC fires the staffer who leaked the tape of filth-mouth MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell berating staff.
The leaker was fired after all that hammering that made Lawrence goes crazy.

■ Kevin James reveals why he killed off his TV wife in Kevin Can't Wait seen on M-Net (DStv 101).
"We were just running out of ideas. The plot of the show didn't have enough drive" he says as to why Donna was killed off in the sitcom and replaced with his former King of Queens co-star Leah Remini.

■ British TV and film are rife with sexual bullying.