Tuesday, October 24, 2017

'M-Net does not tolerate racism," says pay-TV broadcaster in the wake of shockingly racist 'White, English' TV exec job listing.

"M-Net does not tolerate racism."

So says the pay-TV broadcaster in the wake of a shockingly racist and "abhorrent advertisement" for a "specifically White, English" commissioning editor that a recruitment agency placed on behalf of M-Net and that saw the contracted out Ambit Recruitment that subcontracted its work to Kandhi Consulting both immediately getting the axe.

M-Net says its still in the dark as to why Kandhi Consulting changed the advert that damaged M-Net's reputation, after a TV executive job listing surfaced that was "specifically looking for a White, English speaking commissioning editor".

M-Net called the racist advertisement that appeared "abhorrent" and moved swiftly to distance itself from the ad's language that it said was done without M-Net approval.

The Randburg pay-TV broadcaster tells TVwithThinus "we don't know why the sub-contracted agency changed the advert. We sent them a legal letter and we are still awaiting their response".

After the racism scandal the fired recruitment agency has taken full responsibility for their part in the shocking mistake.

"They also apologised unreservedly," says M-Net. "We would like to re-iterate that M-Net does not tolerate racism and we take incidents such as these very seriously. We would never be associated with any advertisement which only invites white applicants, as this is contrary to our recruitment policy, our values and the Constitution."

M-Net was asked what the company is doing differently and changing because of the ugly racist job recruitment ad.

"Our talent acquisition team in our human resources function are reviewing and tightening up our engagement process with recruitment agencies to ensure that incidents like this don’t happen again," says M-Net.

"The talent acquisition team is responsible to drive the recruitment process for M-Net and always ensures that the company gets the best talent from all walks of life. They only use external recruitment consultants as a supplementary service, and this process will be tightened further".

M-Net says the racist job advertisement has been removed from all platforms by the relevant suppliers.

Two big African award shows - CNN International's one for journalists and Viacom Africa's one for artists - both scrapped for 2017.

Two of Africa's biggest awards shows - CNN and MultiChoice's prestigious one for African journalists and MTV Africa's one for musicians and achievers - have both been scrapped for the year and won't be taking place.

Both the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2017 from CNN International (DStv 401) that culminates in an awards show celebrating the best of pan-African journalism, and Viacom International Media Networks Africa's (VIMN Africa) 2017 MTV Africa Music Awards that celebrates African musicians and achievers, won't be taking place this year.

Both the CMAJAs and the MAMAs usually take place in October, and both CNN and MultiChoice, as well as Viacom Africa, say they remain committed to their respective competitions and glitzy award shows although both are taking a break.

It's sad news for the African continent's journalists and artists whose best work for 2016/2017 won't be recognised and celebrated.

Specific reasons for this year's no-shows have not been given by the organisers, leading to speculation that a lack of big and enough sponsors are to blame for the continent's creatives losing out.

CNN International and MultiChoice have called the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards the "most prestigious and respected award for journalists across the African continent", honouring the best in journalism.

The competition held over the past two decades have seen the number of entries grow rapidly every year as it fostered respect and understanding for journalists and their important work, something that's very often a dangerous and thankless job in Africa.

The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards also served as an incentive for various African nations to improve their press freedom laws as they vied to be a host country, gave valuable exposure to a country's local tourism as a large group of journalists from across the continent would annually descend on a specific country, and provided an economic boost for the host city putting up the awards show.

2017 would have marked the 22nd time that African journalists in print, online, radio and television across Africa would have entered this competition, with winners who get cash prizes and the overall winner getting the chance to visit CNN Headquarters in Atlanta and participating in the CNN Journalism Fellowship.

In a joint response CNN and MultiChoice Africa confirmed that the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards that took place in South Africa and various African countries over alternating years and broadcast on CNN International (DStv 401), is not happening again this year.

"CNN and MultiChoice are currently reviewing the format of the African Journalist Awards. We are committed to supporting and celebrating journalism across the continent, and we will share details as soon as we are ready," they said in a statement in response to a media enquiry.

The MTV Africa Music Awards that last year moved from Durban to Johannesburg for the first time and that have struggled to finally get the South African comedian Trevor Noah on stage as host for the awards show broadcast on MTV Base and e.tv, says the MAMAs needs collaboration from Africa's entertainment biz to work.

It means that this year's African music stars and those who made the most impact on youth culture on the African continent won't get their due from the MAMAs.

"At Viacom International Media Networks Africa we have been working to reinvent the MAMAs to create a deeper music experience that will be more immersive for our fans and partners in 2018," says VIMN Africa in response to a media enquiry.

"The campaign will continue to be fully reflective of the continent's great music and lifestyle that is shaping the continent."

"The MTV Africa Music Awards requires collaboration with the industry, partners and broadcasters to bring this world class event to life."

"Curtain call" for the Royalty Soapie Awards
After two years of not happening, South Africa's Royalty Soapie Awards also initially confused by announcing a "curtain call" - industry lingo meaning an end to things.

The PR company that issued the statement actually meant that the Royalty Soapie Awards is being revived for a 2018 awards show after it was last held in 2015.

The awards show celebrating South African TV operas and their production companies and that has been beset by problems in the past, will be taking place for a third time on 17 March 2018 at the Durban International Convention Centre, promising a "new and improved event" and "a night that will never be forgotten".

"We are excited to be back and the awards event promises to deliver more shimmer and shine than ever before," says Winnie Ntshaba, the Royalty Soapie Awards CEO.

The awards show said it's establishing the Royalty Soapie Foundation (RSF) to help young South Africans from poor communities and rural areas to gain skills in the country's film and TV industry.

Monday, October 23, 2017

REVIEW. ANN7 on MultiChoice's DStv throws M-Net under the bus for M-Net's racist job advert - but makes several on-air mistakes in its bad on-air segment.

It was all kinds of cringe on Monday evening watching how ANN7 (DStv 405) on MultiChoice's DStv decided to throw pay-TV broadcaster M-Net under the bus for its racist recruitment ad in another sarcastic Sindy segment marred by mistakes.

ANN7 on Monday followed up on reporting that M-Net fired Ambit Recruitment for a patently racist job ad seeking a "Specifically White, English commissioning editor". 

M-Net - the pay-TV broadcaster and the Randburg-based company distanced itself from Ambit Recruitment.

It's important to note here that M-Net the company, also runs a TV channel that's also called M-Net, on channel 101 of MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform.

Keep in mind that the shockingly racist advert was for a commissioning editor job position that was advertised by the company - the corporate part - not the TV channel part.

M-Net in response to a media enquiry from TVwithThinus on Sunday said Ambit Recruitment subcontracted the job recruitment ad placement out and did so without M-Net's knowledge, to Kandhi Consulting.

M-Net said that the company never specified any race demographic requirement in its brief to Ambit Recruitment.

M-Net called the job ad "abhorrent", and M-Net - rightly so - caught a lot of flack from South Africa's TV industry and South Africans who called the pay-TV broadcaster out for the blatant racism.

Now cue ANN7.

The Mzwanele "Jimmy" Manyi owned TV channel decided to chime in on Monday evening with another one of its eye-rolling ANN Prime segments with anchor Sindy Mabe where slanted, leading questions is an ANN7 format forte.

These always end in a question mark so as to cushion thinly-veiled statements and opinions as questions, sort of like asking "Is ANN7 a disgrace to South African television and sowing racial division or is it trying to do TV news?"

While M-Net was legitimately bad and deserves a lot of criticism for the racist job recruitment ad, ANN7 could have produced the segment a lot better in bringing real proper context to this issue of racial discrimination in the job seeking sector.

Instead ANN7's toxic talking heads format came across as worsening and inflaming existing racial divisions in South Africa - something that more than 12 500 DStv subscribers have already signed a petition over this year.

Also keep in mind that ANN7 used DStv's airwaves on Monday evening to do so.

DStv subscribers, whether they watch this hot mess or not, are still forced to pay for this type of badly done television.

The Monday evening trash piece was cringe-worthy to watch.

Let's review the ANN7 Prime segment that ANN7 did and the several problems with it, using the same "slanted question method" that ANN7 loves to employ.

"In its segment about M-Net's racist job recruitment ad looking for a "White, English" speaking person, was it wrong and bad for ANN7 to decided to use only one in-studio guest who is White and English speaking, to comment?"

"Does that one guest and several caller comments adequately frame the important issue and help viewers to understand the issue better?"

"Could ANN7's segment possibly have been better if it booked and used the admitted plagiarist Prof. Sipho Seepe that ANN7 often employs as a commentator on subjects? Where was he to tell the nation about M-Net on Monday night if he's used for a wide range of topics like the SABC?"

"Were interns on duty in the ANN7 control room, or why did ANN7 decide to leave out stuff again like the word 'been' that belongs between "not" and "revealed" in its screen card?"

"Why did ANN7 use the M-Net HD channel logo (and an old outdated one as well) that refers to a specific TV channel, when the issue is about M-Net the company and a broadcaster business?"

"Why did Sindy erroneously say that M-Net's 'got a recruiting agency, Kandhi Consulting, who then subsequently got a third party to do the project or the campaign' - when it's actually exactly the other way around?"

"Will ANN7 and Sindy perhaps again be forced to do an on-air apology by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission like it had to do last month?"

"Why does Sindy Mabe waste precious on-air time with sarcasm, saying things like 'such a lovely letter to reassure us that look, they couldn't make the time to come in studio, nonetheless that they took the effort to write a responding email to our questions?"

"Why does Sindy Mabe throw M-Net under the bus by asking about 'that lovely note, that the M-Net CEO is unable to even pick up the phone and engage us on this platform but they send out their carefully crafted PR statement' when ANN7 itself is terrible with responding to media enquiries and rarely respond to emails from the media?"

As a TV critic covering South Africa's TV industry, I feel that ANN7 wasted a golden opportunity to do a more nuanced exploration of a very serious issue.

ANN7 failed to actually advance the story and did a disservice to the country's TV biz and in general to South African pay-TV viewers.

ANN7 failed by not more adequately doing a proper and more representative segment on a very serious issue and a big mistake that could - and must - serve as an important talking point.

DAILY TV NEWS ROUND-UP. Today's interesting TV stories to read from TVwithThinus - 23 October 2017

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

■ Messy Bessie.
SABC acting chief operating officer (COO) Bessie Tugwana is one of top SABC executives embroiled in extremely dodgy deals of millions of rand now under investigation by the Special Investigative Unit (SIU).
Other SABCers embroiled in the money wasting mess are the suspended head of sports, Sully Motsweni; manager in the office of the SABC CFO, Thandeka Ndlovu; and Marcia Mahlalela, strategy and planning manager in the SABC Sports division.

MUST READ10 things TStv should have done differently before it tried to launch.
Incredibly insightful and spot-on article with 10 excellent points as to why TStv in Nigeria is probably going to fail.

TStv hype turned out to be a fake flash in the pan.
What will happen to failure-to-launch TStv after the arrival of Kwesé Nigeria since "TStv is having too much suspicion around them as to their credibility"?
Kwesé TV Nigeria launches while TStv that made a lot of noise has no decoders to sell.
Nigerian xenophobia against DStv and MultiChoice Nigeria while TStv is actually responsible for it's own mess and failure to launch.

■ Star Trek fans shocked by profane Star Trek: Discovery's F-bombs and should Star Trek use the F-word?
Is Star Trek: Discovery on Netflix about to copy the Tribble Kingon twist from "Trouble with Tribbles"?
Jason Isaacs reveals the chaotic nature of Star Trek: Discovery scripts and script changes.
What the hell is Star Trek: Discovery; spending time with these characters feels like a drag.

■ Netflix settles with a former executive who accuses Netflix of "tolerating harassment and discrimination".

■ Actress Sean Young says sex predator Harvey Weinstein pulled his penis out of his pants before her.
"You know, Harvey, I really don't think you should be pulling that thing out, it's not very pretty."

■ Actress Heather Kerr says sex predator Harvey Weinstein forced himself on her.
Unzipped his pants, pulled out his penis, grabbed her hand, forced it onto his organ, and held it there.

■ Mickael Chemloul, former chauffeur of sweaty "The Pig" Harvey Weinstein reveals the sex predator's filth.
Kept condoms in the car, binged on sugar before orgies, fury when prostitutes didn't show, raped women in cars and hotels, fed so much at Naomi Campbell's party his gastric band burst.

■ How sex predator Harvey Weinstein exploited the fashion industry as a pipeline to get models.
Project Runway also used to funnel young models to the abuser.

■ Blaise Godbe Lipman accuses APA agent Tyler Grasham of getting him drunk and sexual assaulting him. Film and TV editor Lucas Ozarowski says Tyler Grasham groped him.
The APA agency suspends Tyler Grasham and then fires him over the sexual abuse claims.
The star of Netflix's Stranger Things, Finn Wolfhard, dumps APA.
The Disney Channel's (DStv 303) Descendants actor Cameron Boyce is also done with APA.
Several complaints over Tyler Grasham "hip-pocketing" teenage actors.

■ People in Northern Ireland urged (by the TV Licensing Department!) to turn their TV Licence papers into origami - like paper swans.

■ StarTimes is an embarrassing no-show at the press conference of the sport it sponsors.
Akorfa Dnajkui, StarTimes marketing manager in Ghana is embarrassingly missing without an excuse.

■ Oppressive Mauritania government shuts down all TV stations.
except the state broadcaster, TVM.
Mauritania's five privately owned news stations - Dava, Sahel TV, Chinguitt, al-Watania and Al-Mourabitoun TV - are all shut down amidst civil unrest in the country on orders of the Mauritanian Radio and Television Broadcast Authority.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

M-Net fires recruitment agency Ambit Recruitment after 'abhorrent' and racist job ad from Kandhi Consulting advertising for 'specifically White, English' M-Net commissioning editor.

A racist M-Net job ad seeking a commissioning editor for the Randburg-based pay-TV broadcaster is shocking South Africa's TV industry with its apartheid-style discriminatory requirement put out by Kandhi Consulting "specifically looking for a White, English speaking commissioning editor".

M-Net says it has fired Ambit Recruitment over the "abhorrent advertisement", with Ambit Recruitment that according to M-Net, subcontracted Kandhi Consulting without M-Net's permission or knowledge.

M-Net told TVwithThinus that the pay-TV broadcaster is "appalled by the advert, which was not authorised by us" and that "the advert you have alerted us to is racist, unlawful and disgraceful".

While the advert is legitimate and M-Net is indeed urgently looking for a commissioning editor for its scripted and reality division, M-Net is distancing the pay-TV broadcaster from the racist advert that was apparently contracted out and then subcontracted out again.

It's not clear if M-Net checks job adverts after they're placed - or if not, why M-Net doesn't scrutinise it's own job placement adverts when it's contracted out.

Ambit Recruitment has been working with Kandhi Consulting who has been subcontracted to run the shockingly racist job recruitment advertisement.

The job offer of R800 000 CTC (cost to company) M-Net executive position is for "a White, English speaking commissioning editor as this role is for someone who will produce soapies and programmes in this specific demographic".

"Please note: We are specifically looking for a White, English speaking commissioning editor" says the ad.

M-Net says it has sent letters to Ambit Recruitment giving notice of termination; to Kandhi Consulting demanding that it apologise and remove the advert from all platforms; and to Executive Placements, the website where the ad was found, asking that they remove it immediately.

"M-Net is appalled by the advert, which was not authorized by us," says the pay-TV broadcaster in a strongly-worded statement in response to a media enquiry on Sunday.

"M-Net would never be associated with any advertisement which only invites white applicants, which would be contrary to our recruitment policy, our values, the Constitution and other legislation. The advert you have alerted us to is racist, unlawful and disgraceful."

"We have established that without our knowledge, our recruitment agency sub-contracted another agency to advertise M-Net's vacancy for a commissioning editor."

"Our proposed advert sent to our recruitment agency for this vacancy made no reference to the race of the applicant," says M-Net.

"Our recruitment agency has advised us that it did not mandate the sub-contracted agency to word the advert in this racist manner."

"Our attempts to reach the sub-contracted agency by telephone have not been successful. We view this in the most serious light and are investigating the matter."

"We will take appropriate and firm action (including of a disciplinary nature) should we find that anyone on our behalf was involved in the production of this abhorrent advertisement."

"M-Net has a zero-tolerance approach to racism and takes incidents such as these very seriously," says the pay-TV broadcaster.

"Our employee profile is representative of our country's demographics at every level to the highest office. We have a level 1 BBBEE rating and we produce local shows that reflect our country's diverse cultures and languages."

MultiChoice introduces a new smaller and improved DStv HD decoder; first DStv decoder where the smartcard can't be removed.

MultiChoice is putting a new DStv HD decoder in the South African market that resembles the design of the DStv Explora decoder and has the smartcard integrated into the decoder.

MultiChoice didn't announce a recommended retail price for the new DStv HD Single View decoder that is similar to the existing DStv HD decoder with some improvements to create a more reliable viewing experience.

MultiChoice says the new DStv HD decoder is smaller and more compact and is also the first DStv decoder with a built-in smartcard that subscribers can't remove since smartcards are married to the decoders they come with anyway and can't be used in different boxes.

The latest DStv HD decoder comes with a new remote control, model B6, which allows customers to programme up to five buttons to control their TV and home theatre from a single remote.

"We're proud that this decoder and its software is made here in South Africa," says Gerdus van Eeden, MultiChoice's chief technology officer.

"Our Explora is made in a dedicated factory in East London, and the DStv HD Decoder 5-series will be made in Durban and Randburg. This represents a vital contribution to the manufacturing sector in South Africa."

MultiChoice says the DStv HD Decoder 5-series will be available from various retailers, DStv Service Centres and agencies from 1 November 2017.

DStv subscribers with newer newer installations who have a DStv Explora 2 and smart LNB, will be able to set up XtraView without having to update their installation or needing to run a dedicated cable between the two decoders, as they will communicate via the installation cables.

MultiChoice says subscribers who don't currently use a smart LNB in their installation should check with a DStv accredited installer for alternate solutions.

Two South African shows, Disney Cookabout and Revolting Rhymes, nominated at 2018 International Emmy Kids Awards.

Two South African shows have been nominated for the 2018 International Emmy Kids Awards, Triggerfish Animation's Revolting Rhymes and Penguin Films' Disney Cookabout.

Children's programming from 16 countries received 28 nominations for the 2018 International Emmy Kids Awards across 7 categories that will take place in Cannes on 10 April 2018.

Revolting Rhymes is nominated in the animation category at the 2018 International Emmy Kids Awards. Revolting Rhymes is produced by Magic Light Pictures and was animated at Magic Light’s Berlin studio and Cape Town’s Triggerfish Animation.

Disney Cookabout was nominated in the non-scripted entertainment category at the 2018 International Emmy Kids Awards. Disney Cookabout is produced by Penguin Films with episodes of the second season currently on Saturdays and Sundays on The Disney Channel (DStv 303).

"We are thrilled that Disney Cookabout has been acknowledged by the Academy at this year's International Emmy Kids Awards," says Christine Service, senior vice president and country manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa.

"Season 1 garnered an amazing response from viewers and with season 2 we hope to further encourage them to create Cookabout's array of exciting, locally-inspired recipes in their own kitchens with their families."

Roberta Durrant from Penguin Films and creative producer of Disney Cookabout says "It is always so rewarding working with the youth on any production and we are very grateful to the excellent cast and crew that have worked tirelessly to make this show the success that it is."

At least 13 SABC staffers allegedly took bribes in pay-for-play payola; facing disciplinary hearings for illegal dealings with musicians.

At least 13 staffers are allegedly involved in taking pay-for-play bribes - known in the industry as "payola" - as well as other illegal dealings and are facing disciplinary hearings at the South African public broadcaster.

City Press on Sunday reported that more than a dozen SABC staffers are implicated in various illegal practices, including payola, with SABC music compilers who took money directly from artists in return for their music being playlisted on the various SABC platforms.

The SABC music compilers allegedly went to a workshop organised by Arthur Mafokate and there allegedly took money. Arthur Mafokate reufsed to comment.

More than 15 South African artists confessed they've paid bribes to SABC music compilers for their music to be played.

SABC music compilers allegedly received payment from artists for their music to be playlisted and broadcast on air.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

CNN International expands its TV-Facebook hybrid show, CNN Talk with Max Foster, to twice a week from Monday.

CNN International (DStv 401) is expanding its weekly CNN Talk on Fridays to a twice-weekly show from Monday, adding a Monday episode.

CNN Talk with Max Foster will now run on Mondays and Fridays.

CNN Talk will be broadcast at 13:00 (South African time) on Mondays and Fridays on CNN International.

CNN Talk is CNN International's first fully integrated TV and digital show that is simulcast on TV and on social media, incorporating real time viewer comments throughout the show and allowing the audience to drive the discussion.

CNN International says CNN Talk has been successful with CNN’s Facebook audience, often reaching over a million Facebook viewers, and with a predominantly young viewership - it's most watched in the 25 to 45 age bracket.

The addition of the CNN Talk Monday show will allow Max Foster and his regular panel of commentators to look ahead to the stories likely to dominate the week's news, with Friday's programme that will continue to focus on the hot topic news story.

StarTimes (again) takes Africa reporters to China as it ignores South Africa, while StarSat hits an infamous 1 year anniversary.

The Chinese pay-TV operator StarTimes has once again scooped up a gaggle of Africa reporters for a propaganda-like trip to China while ignoring South Africa's press.

Meanwhile StarSat, StarTimes' affiliate in South Africa, is marking a whole year of doing literally nothing  in terms of any programming publicity that is supposed to be sent to media.

In the past week, StarTimes took 51 Africa journalists from 25 African countries - the bulk of whom will end up doing absolutely nothing and no actual reporting about it - for an "educational" 10-day tour to the People's Republic of China as part of a so-called "enriching relationships" junket.

After several days, there's literally been just one story - probably not the return of investment StarTimes wants. On the other hand, it could also be that getting actual press coverage for this isn't the actual aim.

Interestingly StarTimes couldn't be bothered with South Africa, where StarTimes South Africa and On Digital Media (ODM) run the StarSat satellite pay-TV platform.

StarTimes decided to take the African journalists to Beijing and Guangzhou in China for a media tour to interestingly co-incide with the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China that started on 19 October and lasts for a week.

The African journalists toured the StarTimes Media headquarters in Beijing on Monday.

Also on the itinerary - besides the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China taking place in Beijing - are visits to an industrial fair, a technological park, a textile park, port, agricultural park and a agricultural equipment manufacturing plant.

How bad is StarTimes' media liaison? This bad:

Guo Ziqi, StarTimes vice president at the StarTimes Media headquarters spoke about StarTimes' investment in pay-TV in Africa.

TVwithThinus asked Luke Liu, handling StarTimes overseas public relations, for a transcript or statement of what she said, but was told there is none.

Gao Wenzhi, another StarTimes vice president, spoke about StarTimes' research, StarTimes' content security and StarTimes' future development slate.

Again, TVwithThinus that asked Luke Lui for a transcript or statement of what Gao Wenzhi said - was told there is nothing StarTimes can share.

Luke Liu said that Guo Ziqi and Gao Wenzhi answered questions from African media and that "there is no transcript or press release".

How media covering StarTimes is supposed to report on what StarTimes executives are saying and doing when they do so publicly, is anybody's guess.

Luke Lui says "StarTimes is a Chinese company and a leading digital TV operator in Africa at the same time. We are very glad to be a bridge between China and Africa with promoting exchanges of the two sides".

A year of StarSat doing no programming publicity...
... and counting

Meanwhile October marks an infamous first anniversary for StarSat that stopped providing South Africa's media with any programming publicity material, monthly programming and scheduling and channel updates since October 2016.

South African media can't report about StarSat's month-to-month and day-to-day content or specific channel highlights because they literally don't know what it is due to a lack of information.

StarSat doesn't have any publicist or PR people communicating anything regarding any general content on StarSat - either about self-packaged or third-party channels, or specific shows or programming - to the South African press.

StarSat is trying to make inroads in growing its StarSat subscriber base but isn't communicating to the media what the content, channels and shows worth watching are that are available on its pay-TV platform.

Of course ordinary viewers and consumers don't buy decoders - they buy an experience and entertainment.

That's the reason why it's important - in fact crucial - for a pay-TV operator to issue programming publicity material to the press.

Yet, for 12 months now and counting, StarSat has failed to do the most basic communication in terms of programming - information that StarSat gets anyway on a monthly and weekly basis from overseas third-party channel providers, but doesn't bother or care to issue to the local media.

You don't see StarSat programming highlights in the newspaper and magazine that you read if it carries TV listing pages, and that is the reason why.

StarSat - formerly TopTV - used to have both in-house publicists (plural), and also paid external PR companies and PR people that it cycled through, to do this work.

For a year now it's not being done, after all of the TopTV and then StarSat publicists exited until only one was left; and after one PR company's contract was ended and a single external publicist got the task until her contract was also unceremoniously axed.

Without even a goodbye or advisory to media, emails suddenly bounced back this week a year ago in October 2016 with an "unfortunately I am no longer contracted to StarTimes Media SA".

And that was the end.

At this point in time it's anybody's guess what exactly StarTimes Media SA and ODM's media strategy is for StarSat as far as its basic programming communications strategy with journalists and the press covering StarSat and television in South Africa is concerned.

StarSat doesn't care about having, or building and strengthening, media relations with South Africa's press and TV critics or it would have employed a publicist or publicists months ago - or would have made an effort to put a PR company on retainer to communicate its programming on its behalf.

If it were important for StarSat to have the South African TV industry know what it's doing, and its programming, it would have appointed South African publicists months ago.

Instead, nothing.

If it were important for StarSat to educate the South African press about what it is and what it's doing, it would have made an effort to include South African journalists in things like the current StarTimes Media educational to Beijing for African journalists - or at the very least have reams of press releases and information about it on hand and available to send out.

Not communicating properly, not having a point-person or people in the form of publicist, and in effect shunning South Africa's press isn't having no effect - it's having a continued detrimental effect on StarSat.

Beyond being disappointing to the media trying to cover StarSat and its programming, it's practically damaging as well.

StarSat is damaging it brand but the press also isn't able to effectively do their work - telling potential viewers what there is on StarSat's various channels that's worth watching.

The press doesn't think highly of StarSat and that's a PR and perception problem.

In fact journalists - beyond not really knowing what StarSat is and what it's doing and showing - doesn't quite know what to think of StarSat, and that's bad if you're selling a service that even the media covering it, is unsure, skeptical and uninformed about.

Of course TV critics and journalists would rather write about StarSat's actual programming instead of ruminating about what a satellite pay-TV service is not doing, but in the absence of any actual programming info push, it is what's left.

Last month in parliament one of the then SABC board candidates and now a SABC board member, (still) referred to StarSat as TopTV - 4 years after and since it had changed its name.

It's just one example of how uninformed the general South African public is about StarSat.

That is StarSat's executives fault for not seeing PR and programmatic communication to the media as absolutely crucial to its existence, growth and brand image.

South Africa's consumer market, TV industry, media and trade press are much more evolved that the rest of Africa.

That makes real, effective, relevant and constant communication from a company to the media extremely important.

This past week, Netflix South Africa over 2 days communicated more with South Africa's media covering television than what StarSat had over the past 2 years.

Why should potential and existing StarSat subscribers remain or sign up for the service if they see nothing about StarSat and its programming in the press?

If StarTimes can afford to take over 50 journalists - who are likely not going to report to the public what StarTimes wants to communicate - to Bejing for 10 days, then StarTimes Media and StarSat can afford to pay to have a South African publicist communicating about its programming.

Sadly that realisation seems not have dawned yet on StarSat and its Beijing-based parent StarTimes Media.

Friday, October 20, 2017

VIA adds French and South African fusion cooking show, JAN, with Michelin-star chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen from 24 October.

VIA (DStv 147) is adding a new cooking show blending French and South African food fusion with JAN that will be starting on Tuesday 24 October at 19:00.

In a departure from the Afrikaans lifestyle channel's shows, JAN, with the South African chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen, not all episodes will be 100% Afrikaans but will incorporate Afrikaans, French and Italian, with English subtitles.

Besides the linear broadcast on VIA, JAN is also made available on Naspers' subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service Showmax.

JAN follows Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen, South Africa's first Michelin-star chef, as he combinesFrench and South African cooking in his restaurant, JAN, in Nice, France. 

According to the producers, JAN will give viewers "an intimate look into the life of a creative artist, and also the processes that inspires Jan-Hendrik to create his award-winning culinary creations".

"We discover how his childhood on a dairy farm in Mpumalanga prepared him for opening his restaurant, and why he received the highest accolade in the restaurant business three years later".

Izelle Venter, VIA's channel head, says "Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen is one of South Africa's exports that fills us with pride. It is a great honour to be able to explore his inner world through the camera lens".

"The programme is in Afrikaans, English, French and Italian, but the entire series has English subtitles, so everyone can watch it."

The first season of JAN consists of 9 hour long episodes. Guest appearances include Springbok players Duane Vermeulen and Juandré Kruger as well as actress Julia Stiles, head chef at JAN, Kevin Grobler and local chef Rutger Eysvogel.

JAN starts in his restaurant on the French Riviera, where Hollywood stars, international sportspeople and other VIP guests queue for a table. 

The cameras then follow Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen to the small Italian village of Apricale, where he goes to recharge his batteries and to explore distinctive ingredients in the company of local characters. 

Each episode ends off with a spectacular dish inspired by the episode's characters and ingredients.

"Guests at my restaurant should not only say they enjoyed eating there – they must say they had a great experience," says Jan-Hendrik van der Wethuizen who is in Cape Town for the launch of JAN on VIA.

"The same goes for the series: we are taking the viewers on a visual and sensory journey. If viewers feel that the programme was an experience for them as well, then we have done good work."

Minnie Dlamini's wedding special Becoming Mrs Jones lifts VUZU AMP to a ratings high for the channel on DStv - but the AR is still very small.

The first episode of Minnie Dlamini's 3-part TV wedding special Becoming Mrs. Jones, that started last week Friday, lifted VUZU AMP (DStv 103) to a channel ratings high with 98 698 viewers.

According to M-Net that packages and programmes the VUZU AMP channel for MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform, the first episode's audience rating that's just short of the 100 000 viewership tally "is officially the highest rated show in VUZU AMP history".

There are however two caveats.

In context the audience rating (AR) of 98 698 viewers aged 15 and older for Becoming Mrs. Jones is still very small given the total DStv and free-to-air TV household audience available in South Africa.

That's because the channel is only available to subscribers on MultiChoice's most expensive DStv Premium bouquet, limiting the number of people who have access to it.

Secondly M-Net counts VUZU AMP's start as a channel from its launch out of the existing VUZU channel as October 2014.

It means that VUZU AMP is just 3 years old - so there's not a lot of "VUZU AMP history" as far as AR's are concerned.

On a relatively new TV channel starting from a small viewership base, audience share often rises over time as awareness, incidental sampling and the hours of original or unique programming on it expand.

What is making the Becoming Mrs. Jones debut on VUZU AMP impressive however is that it more than doubled the audience that tuned in for Bonang Matheba's reality show Being Bonang that was also on VUZU AMP filling the same exact same genre and timeslot.

Becoming Mrs. Jones at 98 698 more than doubled the 44 614 viewers who tuned in for the most-watched Being Bonang episode - although it's a TV programming truism than a wedding and wedding reality drama will lure more eyeballs than a day-to-day, cinéma vérité style reality series.

Becoming Mrs. Jones was produced by Beautiful Day Productions with Minnie Dlamini as executive producer for the first time.

DAILY TV NEWS ROUND-UP. Today's interesting TV stories to read from TVwithThinus - 20 October 2017.

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

■ France Got Talent abruptly suspended after judge accused of sexual harassment.
Judge Gilbert Rozon is abruptly gone, and the 12th season is suddenly suspended after 9 women accused him of sexual harassment.

■ Netflix and why the future of streaming video services looks like old-school TV.
The same flip side that is dragging down traditional pay-TV subscription TV providers will eventually also come for Netflix - here's why (and how).

■ German naked celebrity reality show set on a tropical island returns.
German rapper Farid Bang declined to appear saying his massive ding-dong would scare viewers.

■ Romance is dead in TV's new crop of dating shows.

■ British TV industry facing catastrophic consequences because of Brexit.
UK faces disastrous exodus of actors, directors, highly-skilled special effects technicians.
Britain's TV bosses says harsh post-Brexit immigration rules will damage their biz.

■ Qatar hit by Egypt in a beIN sports rights fight.
beIN Sports dragged into the political fallout between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as Egypt's prosecutor-general drags beIN Media Group CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi into a commercial court case alleging "monopolistic practices" and allegedly violating Egyptian laws.
beIN has cut off its beIN Sports channels from Nilesat, forcing subscribers of Egypt's Nilesat service to switch to the Qatar-owned Sohail service.

■ Trouble in New Zealand where Sky TV sheds 28 000 subscribers.
That's a massive - roughly 3% - drop for a year for (the/a) traditional pay-TV operator in New Zealand. Sky TV now has 824 782 subscribers in New Zealand left.

■ That thing was out of control!
MUST READ! Kate Mtsitouridze, the head of Russia's Roskino film body, is the latest woman to accuse the vile sexual predator Harvey Weinstein of shocking sexual harassment.
- Press junket in corridor outside his hotel room; wondered if she screamed, anyone would hear.

■ And yet another incident: Marisa Coughlan says predator Harvey Weinstein wanted sex in exchange for film roles.

MUST READ!Lupita Nyong’o shares her shocking story of sexual harassment by Harvey Weinstein and the conspiracy of silence.

■ The Weinstein Company staffers slam serial sexual predator Harvey Weinstein in open letter.
They're saying they didn't know they're working for a monster: "We are as angry and baffled as you are at how Harvey's behaviour could continue for so long".

■ BBC reporter Rajini Vaidyanathan says there was no cover up at the BBC when a married sex pest who sent her sexually explicit messages was fired within days.

■ Amazon Studios' top executives now under scrutiny after exit of alleged sexual harasser Roy Price.
Joe Lewis, head of drama and comedy development, and Conrad Riggs, head of unscripted, will likely be gone from Amazon Studios as well soon.

■ Advertising executives say they haven't personally witnessed sexual harassment on their sets.
Notice how the very bad WWD article only interviews male advertising executives.

■ MultiChoice Tanzania doing a special 2-day exhibition to celebrate the 20th anniversary of DStv Tanzania.
Will take place at the Mlimani City in Dar es Salaam and will be open to the public; pay TV-operator now has 5 regional offices throughout Tanzania.

■ Update on the SABC's editorial policy review process.
The SABC got over 200 submissions from the public by email and from the SABC's provincial offices. The SABC's Editorial Policy project team is currently consolidating the oral submissions from the provincial public hearings.

■ Nigerians are finally becoming wary of the new pay-TV operator TStv that failed to start with no decoders available.
TStv that lies about TV channels it doesn't have any carriage agreements and contracts for is seeing its "buzz deflate day by day".

Viacom fires Chris Savino, creator of The Loud House on Nickelodeon, over shocking sexual harassment claims.

Viacom has fired Chris Savino (46), the creator of its hit animation kids series, The Loud House on Nickelodeon (DStv 305) over shocking sexual harassment claims a day after he was abruptly suspended.

The Loud House, seen in South Africa and across Africa on Viacom International Media Networks Africa's (VIMN Africa) kids channel, will continue production.

Nickelodeon in a statement says "Chris Savino is no longer working with Nickelodeon. We take allegations of misconduct very seriously, and we are committed to fostering a safe and professional workplace environment that is free of harassment or other kinds of inappropriate conduct."

"The Loud House, which is currently in its second season, will continue to air on Nickelodeon and be in production. Season three is scheduled to premiere in early 2018."

Besides the statement, Nickelodeon group president president Cyma Zarghami in an internal email to staffers told them that Viacom is encouraging anyone who has been the subject of or has witnessed "an uncomfortable situation at work" to speak out.

Cartoon Brew first broke the news about Chris Savino's suspension after more than a dozen women working at Nickelodeon came forward and accused him of alleged inappropriate behaviour - ranging from unwanted sexual advances, to threats of industry blacklisting after the end of consensual relationships with co-workers.

Some of the alleged sexual harassment dates back as far as a decade.

Chris Savino previously worked on cartoons for Turner Broadcasting System's Cartoon Network (DStv 301) like Rocko’s Modern Life, The Powerpuff Girls and Dexter’s Laboratory.

Anne Walker Farrell who is currently a director on Netflix’s Bojack Horseman animation series, on Twitter called Chris Savino "a predator and a liability. You would do well to dismiss him from his employment at Nickelodeon".

On Thursday over 200 women in the American animation industry - mostly artists based in Los Angeles - published an open letter demanding an end to sexual harassment in the animation industry.

It was sent to executives at the Los Angeles studios like Disney, Dreamworks, Warner Bros., Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Paramount, Sony Pictures Animation and several other major Hollywood studios.

"We are tired of relying on whisper networks to know who isn't safe to meet with alone. We want our supervisors to protect us from harassment and assault. This abuse has got to stop," they write in the letter.

In her email to staff, Nickelodeon group president president Cyma Zarghami writes "In the current climate, it feels necessary to say that if you should encounter an uncomfortable situation at work, or witness one, you are safe to speak up."

"If you hear something, and are unsure of what to do, you are safe to tell your supervisor or Human Resources. If you need help, in any way, you are safe to ask for it".

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.