Thursday, April 24, 2014

WALK-ON ROLE. E! News on E! Entertainment's perfect opener as Terrence Jenkins and Giuliana Rancic do an off-side walk on.

Now this is perfection.

The opener intro of the daily E! News Thursday night at 20:00 on E! Entertainment (DStv 124) was faultless as co-anchors Terrence Jenkins and Giuliana Rancic tried something new: an off-side walk-on, talk intro which they did brilliantly and flawlessly.

Television, like a symphony orchestra, has many different parts which all has to come together.

You might hear one symphony but when its perfect, it's because a lot of different sounds come together correctly at just the right time.

E! News more than pleasantly surprised Thursday night with a terrific off-set, walk on intro, immediately upping the dynamic energy and visual feel of the entire day's broadcast.

Thursday's edition of E! News literally kicked off by bringing the viewer in from the "outside" so to speak, to the inside (making the viewer feel like "the insider").

Notice the perfect backstage studio start to on-set transition. The perfect and constantly adjusting overhead camera angle and the perfect tracking and panning with the jimmy jib.

Notice the anchors placing their hands on the desk at the same time without looking at each other like faultless, synchronised swimmers in a team, the measured, yet natural looking pace of their walking and talking.

Notice the welcoming, complementing to the viewer arm movements and hand gestures which are extroverted, yet not wildly over-the-top as most South African TV presenters over do, and those perfect smiles.

A whole group of people worked together, and their work to make this piece of television was perfect - for all of 9 seconds.

But those 9 seconds are the intro.

Because such a powerful opener manages to "wow" the viewer subconsciously on a visual level, and because the viewer is visually drawn to the dynamic perfection of the scene setting opener, it's my guess that a viewer will most likely will also stay watching.

Nik Gowing done as news anchor for BBC World News; to step down in May; will do ad-hoc presenting in future.

Nik Gowing is ending his daily work as a news anchor and presenter of BBC World News (DStv 400 / StarSat 400).
Nik Gowing is stepping down as BBC World News anchor and presenter in May and will continue with some ad-hoc presenting work for the BBC in the future. 
He says he has chosen to "step back with a great sense of having contributed to achieving so much" over 18 years at BBC World News.
Nik Gowing joined BBC World News in 1996 and anchored programmes ranging from NewsDesk and World News Today to The Hub and Dateline London.
"Nik always recognised the potential for BBC World News to become a successful global channel and has played a key role in building its success," says James Stephenson, the head of news at BBC World News. "We hugely appreciate his distinguished contribution to the channel both on and off air".
"Nik has been a mainstay of BBC World News for most of its existence," says Peter Horrocks, the director of World Service Group. "His gravitas, his energy and his unrivalled contacts book have been essential parts of the channel's booming success".
"Like a few other colleagues back in the mid-nineties, I took the professional risk of joining a fledgling channel with great global potential and ambitions," says Nik Gowing.
"It was, though, one that the BBC took a long time to work out how to embrace both commercially and editorially. Now BBC World News is where I always visualised it would get to eventually. It is flying high as one of the ever more successful BBC global news platforms," says Nik Gowing.

Prophet named Angel is suing SuperSport for predicting that Liverpool will win the English Premier League.

A prophet named Angel is suing sports broadcaster SuperSport for predicting a soccer score.

The Zimbabwean Prophet Uebert Angel is suing SuperSport for US$1,5 million for quoting him as saying that Liverpool would win the English Premier League soccer title, according to a report in Zimbabwe's The Herald.

Prophet Angel, the leader of the Spirit Embassy Church in Zimbabwe, is suing SuperSport International  (Pty) Ltd. because he says he never made a prophecy regarding the outcome of the EPL and that Liverpool Football Club would win.

Prophet Angel says that the prophecy attributed to him is false, malicious and defamatory and that if Liverpool loses, his followers would lose confidence in him.

SuperSport International argued that it cannot be defamation because the premiership was still on and that defamation can only be proven if Liverpool fails to win.

In the defendant's plea filed earlier this month, SuperSport's lawyer Eric Morris said the "defendants admit that the words quoted were published, but continue to deny that they were defamatory and point out that the event predicted has not as yet transpired so as to make it impossible to state whether or not such words are false."

In the article published on at the end of December 2013 under the heading "Zimbabwean prophet predicts Liverpool to win title", Prophet Angel was quoted as saying: "Liverpool, I am with you this year and God has shown me he is returning you to your glory days."

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

eNCA's NewsNight anchors, Jeremy Maggs and Iman Rappetti in an on-air 'quicky' which derails the broadcast.

You're reading it here first.

eNCA's flagship nightly newscast, NewsNight, with co-anchors Jeremy Maggs and Iman Rappetti on Wednesday night was inappropriate and ill-suited when Jeremy Maggs' weird joke about "a quicky" derailed the broadcast just before a break when Iman Rappetti burst out laughing and couldn't properly speak anymore.

It's possibly the first off-key misstep ever of South African television news' premier anchoring duo.

Their usually unflappable style which cleverly sees them smooth over technical mistakes and cover for each other, their warm co-anchoring demeanour, professional real-time presence, and their subdued humour which always strikes just the right tone, went slightly off kilter on Wednesday night's NewsNight.

"Well, time now for a quicky ... a market update that is," said Jeremy Maggs.

Co-anchor Iman Rappetti's eyes went wide, followed by a gasp and then laughter which she tried to hold in - but also making her swallow her words which became almost inaudible to viewers.

NewsNight cut to a break on eNCA, leaving viewers feeling oddly, strange, uncertain as to what to make of the live on-air oops.

As a side-note, the NewsNight's business anchor Andile Gumede was simply terrible on Wednesday night - either completely unprepared, struggling with a broken autocue, or the victim of his own doing or some other form of technical difficulties.

Andile Gumede's delivery on Wednesday night, repetitive mistakes, staccato non-sensical sentences and blabbering business mumbo-jumbo made for cringe-worthy television - not the tape to take with your CV as an example of your work to your next job interview.

Comedy Central to simulcast radio DJ Gareth Cliff's internet radio show on the TV channel on weekday mornings from 1 May.

After abruptly severing ties with the SABC radio station 5FM, the South African radio DJ Gareth Cliff who promised a new type of show will now, ironically, be simulcasting his new internet streamed show, The Gareth Cliff Show Live, on a traditional media platform - Comedy Central (DStv 122) from 1 May.

Terms of the deal was not disclosed, but Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa) which runs Comedy Central Africa, will show The Gareth Cliff Show Live on weekdays between 07:35 to 08:50 from 1 May.

The studio based internet radio show will feature telephone calls and interviews which will be seen on television.

Its not clear whether The Gareth Cliff Show Live will be heard outside of South Africa's borders on Comedy Central on DStv in the rest of Africa and whether VIMN Africa will stay with the repeats of American sitcoms for other African countries.

By simulcasting The Gareth Cliff Show Live on television on DStv, Gareth Cliff, Comedy Central and VIMN Africa, and MultiChoice will have to adhere to the regulations of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) not applicable of the internet radio venture remained strictly on

Gareth Cliff's solo TV try-out, the late night The Gareth Cliff Show on M-Net in 2009 lasted only one season, but he has remained a judge on the South African pay-TV broadcaster's reality singing competition show, Idols.

Although the timeslot for such a simulcast on television is odd and unusual - television viewership on weekday mornings fall since people don't remain stationary - the addition of The Gareth Cliff Show Live does replace one of the multiple Comedy Central repeat slot with new content to help increase the channel's minutes of daily first-run programming.

In a statement Gareth Cliff admits to the traditional media of the new venture. "The partnership with Comedy Central not only gives our audience a traditional platform to join us as they're getting ready to start the day, but is an opportunity to uncover fresh local content".

"This is Comedy Central's first daily live show in the African market and we are thrilled to be partnering with a host of Gareth Cliff's calibre, polish and experience to bring this new comedy concept to these shores," says Evert van der Veer, Comedy Central Africa channel head about the dualistic internet radio and TV talk show.

"The addition of a localised editorial voice to put things in perspective for South African viewers adds a broad new dimension to our comedy portfolio".

Strangely, MultiChoice is weighing in on the Comedy Central programming venture.

In the Comedy Central statement, Aletta Alberts, MultiChoice's head of content, said MultiChoice - and using past perfect tense - "had great expectations of the show".

"We have always supported new ideas and this exciting and fresh addition to the Comedy Central line-up will make the channel ever stronger, reinforced by this local flavour. Gareth gives our viewers a voice to interact with this strong global brand".

BREAKING. Exclusive interview with June Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp's mom, coming to Discovery Channel on Sunday 27 April at 21:00.

You're reading it here first.

Discovery Channel (DStv 121) will be broadcasting the exclusive, very recent interview with the parents of the dead Reeva Steenkamp, June and Barry Steenkamp, set for Sunday 27 April at 21:00.

The Trial of Oscar Pistorius is the renamed documentary of Pistorius On Trial: Nowhere to Run which was shown earlier this month on the Investigation Discovery TV channel in America.

The Trial of Oscar Pistorius - besides the Discovery Channel broadcasting date - will also be broadcast on TLC Entertainment (DStv 172) on Thursday 1 May at 21:50.

"The world has been riveted by the Oscar Pistorius trial over the last few weeks," says Lee Hobbs, the channel director for emerging business, for Discovery Networks' Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA) region.

"In this special documentary, the Steenkamps share some of their memories of Reeva, the young woman she was and what they feel may have led to her tragic death."

Oscar Pistorius is currently on trial, accused of premeditated murder after he shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp on Valentines Day last year. 

In The Trial of Oscar Pistorius, June Steenkamp opens up about the first time she ever laid eyes on Oscar Pistorius, the loss of her daughter and being inside the courtroom in Pretoria in a sensational murder trial which has gripped the world's attention.

"I think he [Oscar] has to see me, the mother, the person who gave birth to her, that he's taken that away," says June Steenkamp in the exclusive TV interview.

"That's what I want to see, that's why I want to look in his face and he must look in mine. He must see now that I am there for justice for Reeva, no matter what happened, and the truth, obviously, which we don't know we'll ever get. But I hope for that."

Barry Steenkamp, Reeva's father, suffered a minor stroke prior to the start of the trial and has been unable to attend court. 

Speaking for the first time to Peacock Productions that produced the documentary, Barry says, "I've got my own feelings inside as to what happened, but what I do want to do, is to just to talk to him. I would like to have a chat to him, man to man. Guilty or not guilty, whatever it is. I would like to have a talk; that would help me a lot".

The people who decide the future of television (in America AND in South Africa) are absolutely clueless as to what HBO is.

In America today, the Supreme Court heard arguments over the Aero TV service - a TV service which the broadcasters and pay-TV operators there don't like.

The broadcasting industry there was left stunned today when one of the Supreme Court justices, Anthonin Scalia, didn't know what HBO was - which is basically America's version of M-Net - a pay-TV broadcaster and pay-TV channel.

Why it is so disturbing and so shocking, is that the Supreme Court (and judges like Antonin Scalia) are the people who eventually decide the future of America's TV broadcasting industry - but has no clue about something like HBO before they start their questioning about an extremely serious matter brought before court.

Here's the funny thing - the exact same thing has happened and is happening in South Africa.

Here in South Africa, in the same way, those who are to decide (or are supposed to decide) over South Africa's TV broadcasting future - likewise don't have the foggiest clue about something like HBO.

When it comes to South Africa's digital terrestrial television (DTT) future, as a journalist covering the South African TV industry and this extremely important story which is not getting enough public coverage, I heard with my own ears, and saw with my own eyes, how a member of parliament, of parliament's portfolio committee on communications, naively and completely clueless, asked our country's experts, during a hearing on DTT, if South Africa will finally be getting HBO when South Africa migrates to digital television.

It defies belief and it takes your breath away.

These are the people who are supposed to be clued up, the people not just supposed to know what is happening, but who are supposed to know the very intricate details in order to ask the questions and get to the real information they're not being offered.

Yet parliament's portfolio committee on communications - the supposed "oversight" body which has presided over South Africa's extremely delayed non-starting digital migration process, asks if HBO is coming to South Africa as a TV channel on digital terrestrial television.

The TV expert from one of South Africa's prominent broadcasting companies had to patiently, kindly and in a non-condescending way, explain to the dear member that no, HBO is a pay-TV channel. No, HBO is an American TV channel.

No, digital terrestrial television means the existing TV channels broadcasting the same content just in a digital way, as opposed to an analogue way.

No, HBO as a channel cannot ever be shown on DTT in South Africa, but HBO separate programming bought through licensing deals for this territory has been shown for years on specific pay-TV channels which South African viewers can subscribe to.

This interaction which I thought of today when I heard of the American Supreme Court judge who is sitting in an Aero court case but is clueless about HBO, is indicative (and part of the reason why) South Africa's digital terrestrial television migration is itself in such a mess.

It is because the people in charge on government level and parliamentary level are clueless (and lets be frank: useless) as to what is really going on, how it really works, what is really required, and what the industrial and real operational technical details around digital television in South Africa are.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Wananchi Group gearing up to expand its East African pay-TV service, Zuku TV, into Malawi, Rwanda and Ethiopia by the end of 2014.

The Wananchi Group, the East African satellite pay-TV operator plans to expand and will launch Zuku TV in Malawi and wants to launch Zuku TV in Ethiopia and Rwanda as well by the end of this year.

The Wananchi Group will invest $10 million to launch Zuku TV in Malawi. The pay-TV operator is already available in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and growing steadily.

Following its launch in Malawi the operator will be available in 16 million TV households in East Africa.

"We believe through our compelling offering – a wide selection of entertainment channels covering news, sports, movies, documentaries and music – we are inevitably contributing to the country's digital knowledge and economy infrastructure," says Richard Alden, the Wananchi Group CEO.

"Our goal is to ensure the majority, if not all, households in the country have access to our world class digital television content at very affordable subscription charges".

"We believe that there is a rapidly growing market segment that is eager to be part of a digital multichannel television world for the range and choice that it offers to the whole family".

"Our offering has been structured to meet that need – and we see a truly exciting opportunity in this. As an East African company we are committed to maintaining a close focus on this market, and are delighted to be a part of its growth," says Richard Alden.

Ryan Seacrest reportedly done anchoring E! Entertainment's red carpet coverage at award shows.

Ryan Seacrest is reportedly done with E! Entertainment (DStv 124) and anchoring red carpet coverage for Hollywood award shows, in the same way be checked out as co-anchor of the channel's flagship daily news show, E! News, two years ago.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Ryan Seacrest is on the verge of parting ways with E! Entertainment where he did red carpet coverage, in order to do other things. He will continue to be the host of American Idol.

With his contract with NBCUniversal which expired at the end of March he made it clear to E! Entertainment that he no longer wants to do red carpet coverage.

M-Net? Mzansi Magic Music? M-Net Series Reality? Where is South Africa's version of The Voice after even Angola produces its own version?

Where is South Africa's version of The Voice?

As country after country around the world adapt the format show with local versions of the hit show, South African broadcasters are left in the lurch as even poor countries like Angola and Mozambique have joined the buzz and zeitgeist by producing The Voice versions of their own.

In South Africa SABC3 showed the American version of The Voice until M-Net took over the rights and started showing newer seasons of The Voice on M-Net (DStv 101) and M-Net Series Showcase (DStv 113).

But there's been no local season yet of The Voice, like The Voice SA, while the show has raced past lamer, clearly tired formats like Idols and Got Talent.

Now Angola's Banda TV picked up Talpa Media's format for a Portuguese version of the show which is watched by 500 million viewers globally.

A local version of The Voice would surely reinvigorate M-Net's programming line-up in South Africa which has had Idols as its sole locally produced singing reality format competition, done in conjunction with Mzansi Magic (DStv 161).

A local South African version of The Voice could even be done for M-Net Series Reality (DStv 114) to put that DStv channel on the map and give it a tentpole, signature show of its own - or Mzansi Magic Music (DStv 321).

SABC3 won't do The Voice - the channel couldn't even keep up with just the buying of the rights to the American version. won't take a duelling format while it is still doing SA's Got Talent which will roll around for another season in 2014.

On Digital Media's (ODM) constantly restructuring local content team which failed to do any mid to large budget local content programming roll-outs in the past three years is definitely not capable of doing The Voice for Star One (StarSat 110).

It leaves M-Net as currently the sole hope for a local version of The Voice.

BREAKING. Come Dine with Me South Africa cancelled after three seasons; BBC Worldwide looking for a new format show to adapt for SA.

The well-received, well-liked and highly successful Come Dine With Me South Africa on BBC Entertainment (DStv 120) has been cancelled and will not see another season.

BBC Worldwide says the format show will not see more local versions for South Africa, although BBC Worldwide is looking for a new format show to adapt for South African viewers.

Come Dine With Me SA won't see a 4th season being produced in South Africa, but BBC Worldwide says it will make a new locally produced format show for South Africa.

The first two seasons of the snarkily delicious show were well-liked, although viewers started complaining about over-commercialisation of the third season with sponsors and ads which became too intrusive in the viewing experience.

Rapid Blue produced the three seasons of Come Dine With Me South Africa, with the format belonging to ITV Studios, with exceptionally high production values which delighted viewers and South African TV critics alike.

"Come Dine With Me South Africa was a huge hit for BBC Entertainment and we are very proud of the series," says Joel Churcher, the vice president and general manager Africa for BBC Worldwide.

"We feel the time is right to take this experience and seek new opportunities for a fresh, innovative local format for audiences to enjoy. We are committed to investing in the very best quality programming for our channels and are actively looking at all opportunities," says Joel Churcher.

MultiChoice and StarTimes could be dragged to court over pay-TV operators' continued inability to give subscribers what they pay for.

MultiChoice and StarTimes in Kenya face possible court action over allegations from consumer protection organisations that the pay-TV operators continue to "non-deliver" when it comes to GOtv and StarTimes subscribers having to pay for TV channels they're simply not getting.

MultiChoice runs the DStv and GOtv satellite and terrestrial pay-TV services; China's StarTimes is also the backer of South Africa's StarSat where subscribers have seen a continuing interruption of channel blackouts and bad video and sound quality since December 2013 when StarTimes took over.

In Kenya the Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) is fed-up with terrible pay-TV subscription services from MultiChoice and StarTimes, saying that Kenyan pay-TV subscribers are simply not getting what they're forced to pay for.

The Supreme Court of Kenya ordered MultiChoice, StarTimes and two other pay-TV operators in Kenya to immediately cease broadcasting free-to-air (FTA) TV channels from Nation Media Group, Standard Media Group and Royal Media Services, since they do not have valid and proper retransmission contracts and permission to broadcast these channels.

"The disruption in the continued reception of these key channels creates heavy inconvenience to consumers who are not party to the dispute between the two broadcast signal retailers GOtv and StarTimes on one hand and the three media houses on the other," says Cofek in a statement.

"An apology, silent on resumption date by the broadcast retailers, is certainly not enough," says Cofek.

"Consumers prepay for the services under the oral and/or written contract of prerequisite FTA channels being part and parcel of all their offerings".

"Consumers must be compensated for the period the free-to-air TV channels have been off-air," says Cofek.

Cofek says it is considering a class action suit against MultiChoice's GOtv, China's StarTimes and the two other smaller operators.

BREAKING. SABC bans yet another paid-for political TV advert, this time the EFF party featuring Marikana, again for 'inciting violence'.

The SABC has again banned yet another paid-for political party TV commercial, this time the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, which the SABC once again is saying is "inciting violence".

The SABC's banning of the Democratic Alliance (DA) paid-for political TV commercial saw the broadcasting regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) order the SABC to play the DA advert until such time as the SABC can actually provide documents and proper reasoning as to how and why the public broadcaster pulled the commercial off the air.

Now the SABC went and banned a second TV commercial after having been unable to provide Icasa with reasons and documentation of why, how and the process it followed for pulling the DA political advert off the air.

The EFF advert contains some of the same content regarding the police and the same image in the commercial as the DA advert. The EFF commercial which has victims of the Marikana bloodbath speaking, also in text asks voters to destroy the e-tolling system.

The SABC tells TV with Thinus in response to a media enquiry that the EFF advert was banned "amongst other reasons, as there is a clear incitement to violence in the ad, with the statement 'Destroy e-tolls physically".

"This statement in our view is promoting a criminal activity, which is not permitted in terms of the Icasa regulations. Icasa has been informed," says Kaizer Kganyago, SABC spokesperson.

"Again the reason the SABC gives is incitement to violence. Again the images used are all in the public domain and it seems difficult to imagine how they could be said to be inciting violence," says William Bird, director of Media Monitoring Africa (MMA).

"Perhaps the only one which might raise an issue is the message at the end to destroy e-tolls physically. But that I am sure is intended to be read as what they would do if elected".

"Either way it is once again deeply disappointing and we hope the EFF lodges a complaint as a matter of urgency. In the interim we call on the SABC to urgently and without delay broadcast the advertisements and follow and adhere to their existing editorial policies and the elections regulations," says William Bird.

MultiChoice slashes DStv decoder prices by almost half (43%) as SuperSport launches 'We Are Brazil'.

MultiChoice is slashing DStv decoder prices by almost half - 43% - in Nigeria, as SuperSport is launching its "We Are Brazil" slogan and promotional coverage campaign in the run-up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Nigeria's Business Day reports that MultiChoice is dropping its DStv decoder prices by 43% to enable uptake of DStv decoders and gain new subscribers for the satellite pay-TV platform as part of a soccer watching promotion.

At a press conference SuperSport launched its "We Are Brazil" moniker for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, with the SuperSport channels on DStv which will carry all the games live and in high definition (HD).

Besides the 2014 FIFA World Cup matches that will be broadcast and stacked for later playback on the DStv Explora, SuperSport will also broadcast four dedicated magazine shows.

These SuperSport magazine shows will have additional TV content around the 2014 World Cup away from the soccer field which will showcase the World Cup, Brazil and interacting with fans.

FAIL. eNCA messes up again as the TV news channel again incorrectly identifies someone during election season.

This is not Mmusi Maimane.

Other obvious statements would be to say that someone at eNCA (DStv 403) is new, that somebody is not doing their job, that there is a major problem with on-screen editorial oversight of eNCA lower-third barker content, and that clearly nobody is getting fired, or has been fired for the shocking on-screen oopsies of late.

After this unapologetically bad mess on eNCA just a week ago, the 24-hour TV news channel is again clueless when it comes to incorrectly identifying people - and showing that there is nobody else checking and correcting other people's mistakes.

It's alarming that mistakes like these - in quick succession - is happening on eNCA in the TV channel's news coverage, with just days to go to South Africa's next big general election.