Tuesday, June 27, 2017

You can't pirate Netflix's latest new show as the video streamer launches a series of 'choose your own adventure' style stories.

You can't pirate Netflix's latest new show - a move that might signal what might be waiting in TV's future - as Netflix rolls out the first in a series of interactive shows where you get to choose what happens next.

Netflix is going interactive and is now offering users the interactive, choose-your-own-adventure children's story, Puss in Boots: Trapped in an Epic Tale. Two more shows are set to follow with Buddy Thunderstruck following 14 July and Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout coming in 2018.

Netflix calls the new shows an experiment.

Puss in Boots: Trapped in an Epic Tale, released globally and produced by DreamWorks Animation, gives viewers 13 choices throughout the story to choose a different branch, making it highly rewatchable for kids to try other possibilities.

The shortest story that Puss in Boots: Trapped in an Epic Tale can be - depending on all of the variable choices - is 18 minutes but the episode can stretch to a full 39 minutes at the longest with different choices.

Puss and the evil narrator (the cat is trapped in a magic storybook) offer their suggestions at various points in the story after every two to four minutes, and the user each time gets to choose a different "branching" between two choices.

This new Netflix show is virtually impossible to pirate. It's available on some modern smart TVs by using a remote control, game consoles and iOS devices like iPhones and iPads, but doesn't work on the internet, Apple TV, Chromecast or Android devices yet.

"The chilren's programming space was a natural place for us to start since kids are eager to play with the favourite characters and are already inclined to tap, touch and swipe at screens," says Carla Engelbrecht Fisher , Netflix, director of product innovation, in a statement.

"They also talk to their screens as though the characters can hear them. Now, that conversation really can be two-way".

She says Netflix said it came up with the idea by thinking of what type of stories only Netflix can tell. "Netflix is an interactive device ecosystem. We're not beholden to terrestrial television. We’re not beholden to linear schedules."

MultiChoice close to touching 12 million African pay-TV subscribers in 2017 as share of top-end DStv Premium subscribers continues to decrease and growth comes from lower-tiered bouquets.

Pay-TV operator MultiChoice is within reach of 12 million pay-TV subscribers across Africa with its subscriber base that added 1.5 million DStv and GOtv subscribers to top 11.9 million although the bulk of the subscriber growth is now coming from lower-tiered, cheaper bouquets.

On Friday afternoon Naspers released its annual financial results for the year until 31 March 2017 that revealed that its pay-TV business MultiChoice added another 625 000 DStv subscribers in South Africa in the past year (11% growth) to reach 6.36 million households.

In addition, MultiChoice experienced its highest net DStv subscribers growth ever over a 6-month period, and increased its spending 13% on TV programming and production costs that's paid in dollar.

It means that South Africa with over half of all MultiChoice's pay-TV subscribers in one country, remains MultiChoice's biggest pay-TV and DStv market in Africa by far, despite ongoing erroneous articles mistakenly citing countries like Nigeria as being the largest.

Naspers says its South African direct-to-home (DTH) pay-TV business delivered a "solid all round performance".

Sadly the plunge in Nigeria's currency has been debilitating on the entire MultiChoice Africa operations - a gaping black hole that led to a whopping $358 million trading loss and that wiped out MultiChoice's operational progress in lowering costs and streamlining operations.

It will likely take a couple of years for MultiChoice in Africa to return to profitability.

While the number of DStv subscribers are growing, the share of DStv Premium subscribers - the top-tier of users subscribing to the most expensive bouquet - is once again shrinking and continuing to contract, now down to 16%.

While mid-tier DStv Compact subscribers are remaining stable at 27%, the share of subscribers paying for lower-tiered bouquets is now the fastest growing, increasing its share from 53% to 57%.

PVR users in South Africa and across Africa growing fast
MultiChoice's streaming and catch-up service, DStv Now, is "gaining excellent traction" as available TV channels added to this service, and users grow, Naspers said.

Elsewhere in Africa, MultiChoice's digital terrestrial television (DTT) service, GOtv, is already profitable in four African countries. Overall GOtv is inching towards profitability, with MultiChoice that now has 3.001 million DTT subscribers in Africa.

In South Africa MultiChoice saw a 10% growth in the number of DStv subscribers, compared to 2016, who have and use its personal video recorder (PVR) decoders. With this bigger PVR use, the average revenue per user (ARPU) for PVR decoders in South Africa increased by 2% in 2017.

In the rest of Africa the growth of PVR decoders by DStv subscribers have been even more phenomenal - a whopping 26% jump, although the ARPU in the rest of Africa declined by 23% in the financial year.

MultiChoice is responding to increased content costs by removing and renegotiating non-essential TV content.

MultiChoice focused on "bouquet restructuring and reduction of non-performing content, holding subscription prices steady in key markets, better customer focus and retention, reducing set-top box prices and rightsizing operations".

Naspers' subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service, ShowMax, completed its first full year of operations and is now fully localised in South Africa, Kenya and Poland.

Consolidated development spend for Naspers' video entertainment segment was $102 million compared to 2016's $85 million - up 20% year-on-year (YoY).

Naspers says increased investment in ShowMax was offset by scaling of the GOtv DTT platform.

Another SABC1 show jumps to pay-TV as a former SABC1 format show, Take Me Out SA, moves to VUZU AMP on DStv and is retitled Take Me Out Mzansi.

The SABC has lost yet another format show that used to be on the public broadcaster to pay-TV with Take Me Out South Africa that used to be on SABC1 that's getting retitled to Take Me Out Mzansi and jumping to VUZU AMP.

After facing financial trouble at the cash-strapped SABC in 2014 during its first season after sponsors jumped ship, the FremantleMedia/Thames format dating show is jumping to VUZU AMP (DStv 103) complete with presenter Phat Joe.

Take Me Out Mzansi, produced by Rapid Blue, will kick off on Monday 10 July at 19:00 in which an eligible dater picks, chooses and eliminates from a gaggle of potential suitors.

Where the first and sole SABC season focused on a single guy, the Mzansi Magic version is changing the format dating show, allowing for episodes with a line-up of both guys and girls in the parade of 30 wannabe lovers a contestant gets to pick from.

In Take Me Out Mzansi, a contestant is introduced to a panel of 30 men or women and tries to persuade them to keep their "lights" on. If some of the 30 are not impressed, they too can walk away by switching off their podium lights.

As the show continues, a date seeker has to continue to impress the remaining panelists.

"Take Me Out Mzansi has all the ingredients for a weekly dose of great viewing: humour, surprises, romance and unadulterated fun," says Sphumelele Sibeko, the head of reality for local entertainment channels at M-Net, that has picked up the show for a pay-TV audience. "Phat Joe tops off an already perfect mix, to make for brilliant television."

Monday, June 26, 2017

Ghana's media regulator orders 3 TV channels to stop broadcasting pornography; says 'actual sexual intercourse shouldn't be transmitted'.

Ghana's TV regulator, the National Media Commission (NMC) has ordered three of the country's public TV channels to immediately stop broadcasting pornography, saying "actual sexual intercourse between humans should at no time be transmitted" with no exceptions.

The TV channels, XYZ TV, Thunder TV and Ice TV told the regulator they're broadcasting pornography because other TV channels that they compete with, are also doing it.

While the NMC can't fine the TV channels over showing pornography since Ghana's regulations doesn't currently make allowance for that, the NMC said it can order the stations to stop.

After complaints, the NMC said the channels' broadcasts didn't meet the NMC's broadcasting standards.

"The stations apologised and committed themselves to ensuring that there would be no more pornography on their stations," said Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng, NMC chairperson in a statement.

"They however, drew the attention of the Commission to other radio and television stations which they considered to be carrying similarly offensive content."

One of the channels, Ice TV, that said it will abide by the directive, has reportedly now threatened the NMC with court action over the decision, saying they want Ghana's courts to give clarification on whether the regulator has the right to stop it from airing pornography on Ghana's free-to-air TV airwaves.

Samuel Owusu Asare, Ice TV general manager, told Ghana's radio station Citi 97.3 fm that "we will come back to seek more clarification from the court because you cannot tell us to stop showing pornographic materials and later on we'll see other TV telecasting such materials. We wouldn’t take that kindly".

Babes Wodumo fails to make it to the BET Awards 2017 after not applying for a visa in time, now blames Viacom Africa 'for inability of BET to arrange visa'.

Singer Babes Wodumo (real name Bongekile Simelane) who posed around airports and did airport interviews failed to make it to the BET Awards 2017 in Los Angeles following the incompetent failure to apply for a United States visa in time and now the singer is blaming the BET channel.

Babes Wodumo was nominated in the best international act from Africa category and was supposed to fly to Los Angeles for Sunday's awards show but ended up being a no-show due to hilariously only strolling into the American embassy on Tuesday last week.

Hilariously Babes Wodumo thought she would still be flying to the United States and told magazines and newspapers she "won't miss the BET Awards 2017".

Babes Wodumo and her incompetent management had her glitz up her remaining time before Sunday's BET Awards 2017 doing publicity schmaltz like attending a celebratory eThekwini municipality “send-off breakfast” paid for by South African tax payers, instead of queueing for an application and interview for an American visa in her passport.

After failing to get an American visa, Babes Wodumo is now blaming the BET Africa (DStv 129) channel from Viacom International Media Networks Africa.

In a hastily arranged Friday evening press conference in Durban to admit defeat, Babes Wodumo and her incompetent management team told the media that BET was supposed to do all the travel arrangements and the visa arrangements.

BET was allegedly too busy with "a number of priorities" to give proper attention to Babes.

"As part of on-going discussions between WestInk and BET, it was understood that all arrangements pertaining Babes and an additional person would be made by BET team," said team Babes Wodumo at the press conference.

"This included transport, accommodation and visa application. Due to the fact that BET was busy with a number of priorities, a communication was sent to WestInk Administration on the inability of BET to arrange Babes’ visa."

Team Babes said by the time they were told BET isn't helping anymore and Babes must do her visa herself, there wasn't enough time left.

VIMN last week told TVwithThinus in response to a media enquiry that "as Viacom International Media Networks Africa, we have assisted the 2017 BET Awards nominees in securing their travel requirements in a speedy manner" and tried to help.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The SABC now says the old 7de Laan theme song won't be return after SABC2's Jacqui Hlongwane told the media the original theme song would be back.

The SABC now says the old 7de Laan theme song won't be returning.

The SABC's statement comes after SABC2's programme manager Jacqui Hlongwane reportedly told media that the original theme music of the weekday soap would be making a comeback.

SABC2 in a statement said it noted "with great concern" the "unfortunate misleading media reports regarding the return of the original signature song of the soapie 7de Laan".

Caxton's community newspaper AlexNews first reported what Jacqui Hlongwane told invited media who attended the cash-strapped public broadcaster's media event at the Gold Reef City theme park in Johannesburg.

After dumping the Sunday 7de Laan omnibus in mid-February without any prior warning to viewers - a move that saw SABC2's Sunday ratings tank - the channel reversed course on the decision and made the official announcement that it will be bringing back the weekend repeats of the Danie Odendaal Productions soap from Sunday 2 July at 13:30.

According to media, Jacqui Hlongwane also said that the old 7de Laan theme song that was dropped in June 2015 as part of a series of transformative changes to the weekday Afrikaans soap, would be making a comeback. 

For years, dogs across South African TV households, would start to howl as soon as the iconic Soweto String Quartet violin melody, composed by Louis van Rensburg started - a canine alarm calling owners to their TV soap.

That however changed when the new song from Joe Niemand along with a new opening sequence was introduced.
Jacqui Hlongwane who reports to SABC2 channel manager Gerhard Pretorius, told the media that is "breathing down our neck" according to AlexNews and that SABC2 is aware that the SABC will have to produce better content if it's to keep its viewers.

"Our relationship with our viewers should not be a one-night stand but one that will last for eternity. We need not take them for granted as they now have more options at their disposal. is breathing down our neck and the only way to stay relevant is to beat them at this viewership and we can do that by producing top class material for the viewers," said Jacqui Hlongwane.

She said SABC2 is aware that line-up and schedule changes the channel introduced touched a raw-nerve that negatively impacted viewership. "I can assure them that we have listened and we're answering their numerous calls urging us to do something."

Jacqui Hlongwane said that SABC2 has gone through a lot of changes and that "we could have invited you to  ahotel and gave you speeches but because we are game changers, we took this launch to a whole new level to communicate our strategy that is coming to fruition".

Zandile Nkonyeni, SABC TV head publicist didn't respond to a written media enquiry on Wednesday when she was asked for clarification specifically about what Jacqui Hlongwane said about 7de Laan and the show's theme song at the media event.

The SABC in a statement on Thursday afternoon, after reports surfaced that the old theme song is coming back, said that SABC2 announced "that the omnibus will return from 2 July at 13:30, however there was no mention that the old signature song will be returning. Our viewers have warmed up to the new signature tune and therefore reports are factually incorrect and misleading".

The SABC said in its statement that it "urges the media to report responsibly and not mislead the public".

I reached out to Johannesburg media who attended the press event on Thursday, who re-emphasised that Jacqui Hlongwane said the old 7de Laan theme song would be coming back.

"She even said literally that some viewers were complaining that even their dogs now don't know their meal times as they were being fed when that original signature song was playing and she said she was happy to say it will be returning," said one veteran journalist who attended SABC2's Gold Reef City presser.

American TV news channel MSNBC on StarSat increasing its live weekend programming hours over weekends from this Saturday; adds new Hugh Hewitt show.

The American TV news channel MSNBC (StarSat 263) has announced that it will be extending its weekend live programming  - two days when it runs a lot of repeats and recorded shows - from this Saturday and rolling out further new shows in July.

The conservative American talk show host Hugh Hewitt will anchor a new Saturday interview show on MSNBC from this Sunday, 24 June, at 8:00 in America and seen 14:00 in South Africa.

Hugh Hewitt's show will provide interviews and analysis on the week's news with a panel discussion.

From July MSNBC will increase its number of live programming hours over weekends and will be live on Saturday and Sundays until 03:00 in the mornings (South African time, 21:00 in America).

From July, Thomas Roberts will return to MSNBC to anchor two hours on Saturday and Sunday evenings.

MSNBC weekend programming will now be Joy Reid presenting AM Joy on Saturday and Sundays from 16:00 - 18:00; MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber as the presenter of The Point on Sundays from 23:00 - 01:00 and Alex Witt and Richard Lui anchoring on weekends.

There is also Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle, as co-anchors of Velshi & Ruhle on Saturdays from 18:30, JJ Ramberg doing Your Business Sundays at 13:30, and Rev. Al Sharpton as the presenter of PoliticsNation on Sundays from 14:00 to 15:00.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Discovery Science to cover The Great American total solar eclipse on 21 August with a TV special as well as tracking it on Facebook Live.

Discovery's Science Channel (StarSat 222) is ramping up coverage plans for the first total solar eclipse in 99 years to span the United States on 21 August.

It's not yet clear whether the Science Channel seen in South Africa and Africa, a European channel feed of Discovery Networks International's American subsidiary will be showing the same live coverage and programming, but some of the off-television content will be accessible by South African viewers.

On 21 August the Science Channel will broadcast the once-off, one-hour TV special, The Great American Eclipse (working title), that will include same-day footage of the total solar eclipse.

The Science Channel will be in Madras, Oregon in the United States and will be partnering with the Lowell Observatory on the Lowell Solar Eclipse Experience (, as astronomers and educators narrate the eclipse as it happens.

Madras is considered by experts to be one of America's premier viewing spots, because of its location in the high desert of Central Oregon, typical weather patterns, and unobstructed views.

The Science Channel is planning to provide live footage from other prime viewing destinations across America including locations in Tennessee, Idaho, Nebraska, and South Carolina, as well as offering glimpses of the eclipse taken from the International Space Station.

"The Great American Eclipse is truly once-in-a-lifetime," says the Science Channel.

"With live coverage and a post-eclipse special, along with updates throughout the day on our digital and social platforms, Science Channel promises to be the destination for this mind-blowing experience."

The Science Channel has launched an eclipse micro-site on that contains blog posts, photo galleries and an original eclipse companion guide video series.

Besides the TV special, on August 21, the Science Channel will Facebook Live the eclipse from Madras, capturing crowd reactions of the remarkable spectacle, and will offer live eclipse updates throughout the day.

The Great American Eclipse will be produced by Pioneer Productions with executive producers Thomas Viner, Stephen Marsh and Helen Williamson. Kyle McCabe will serve as  the executive producer for the Science Channel.

The SABC repeats a wrong episode of Uzalo in prime time on SABC1 without any apology as viewers take the SABC to task over its latest mistake.

The SABC remains silent about its latest on-screen blunder while Uzalo fans are angry and wondering what went on, after SABC1 on Wednesday night replayed an old previous Uzalo episode without telling viewers what's going on.

The SABC knew it was a mistake but kept showing the wrong Uzalo episode at 20:30 and failed to offer any apology to the viewing public over messing up the third season of the Stained Glass Productions produced soap.

SABC1 that didn't do an on-screen scroll or acknowledged the mistake, failed to tell viewers to stay tuned for longer, since the channel decided to then show the next and new episode after the repeat, by which time viewers have tuned away from SABC1.

While viewers settled in to see the outcome of Zekhethelo confronting Mxolisi for betraying her dad, Nkunzi in Uzalo - the SABC's most watched show - all they got SABC1 was a repeat in prime time.

SABC TV head publicist Zandile Nkonyeni didn't immediately respond to an emailed media enquiry on Thursday seeking comment as to why SABC1 replayed an old episode in prime time and how the mistake happened.

Stained Glass Productions in response to a media enquiry said it can't comment on the SABC's scheduling mistake.

While the SABC kept silent, viewers on Wednesday on social media were quick to make their voices heard:

KEEP CALM. Epic TV news blooper leaves BBC News in utter silence as news anchor Huw Edwards sits quietly for over 4 minutes.

Technical problems at the Beep left the BBC News channel out of news and viewers looking at the stoic BBC news anchor Huw Edwards who literally sat in silence for over 4 minutes behind the anchor desk in London.

Besides the BBC World News (DStv 400 / StarSat 256) channel seen in South Africa and worldwide, the BBC also runs the domestic BBC News 24-hour TV news channel that experienced problems on Tuesday night, creating an epic "silent movie" blooper for the ages.

At 22:00 on Tuesday night, viewers watched in silence as Huw Edwards simply sat in silence and proved why the British are renowned for their "Keep Calm and Carry On".

After four minutes the BBC managed to sort out the technical problems and Huw Edwards calmy said sorry to viewers and apologised for "a few technical problems".

Later during a radio interview he said that "it has never happened before. No matter how experienced you are, and I have been presenting for 25 years, its a very unusual set of circumstances".

The BBC said its system crashed and the BBC had to switch to a back-up system.

Some viewers were quick to chip in with chirps on Twitter:

Babes Wodumo failed to apply for an American travel visa on time and might end up missing the BET Awards 2017.

She posed for airport pics and did airport interviews but singer Babes Wodumo might not actually be able to use an airport and end up missing the BET Awards 2017 on Sunday that she is supposed to attend in Los Angeles.

Babes Wodumo doesn’t have an American visa and failed to apply for one in time.

While Babes Wodumo (real name Bongekile Simelane) posed for the cameras last week and had time to attend a celebratory eThekwini municipality “send-off breakfast”, she hasn’t yet applied for her American travel visa for her first visit to the United States and only went to the American Embassy in Durban on Tuesday.

That is not enough time for the still to happen person-to-person interview, visa documents to be processed and for the visa to be inserted into a passport for Babes to still fly to Los Angeles for Sunday’s BET Awards 2017 at the Microsoft Theatre that will be broadcast on BET Africa (DStv 129).

The Durban rapper Nasty C also attending the BET Awards 2017 is already in America. The two South African artists are nominated in the Best international African artist category.

Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa) that operates the BET channel, says they are aware that Babes is still sitting without an American visa and can’t currently enter the United States.

VIMN tells TVwithThinus in response to a media enquiry that "as Viacom International Media Networks Africa, we have assisted the 2017 BET Awards nominees in securing their travel requirements in a speedy manner".

"However it has been brought to our attention by the management of the nominee in question that she has not secured a visa. We are in contact with the nominee’s management and are working together to find a solution."

Will Babes get her behind in a BET Awards seat in time?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Financial Services Board bars ANN7 business editor Clive Ramathibela-Smith from giving financial advice after clients' funds were not invested according to instructions.

The business editor of ANN7 (DStv 405) Clive Ramathibela-Smith is off the air and gone from TV screens after the Financial Services Board (FSB) withdrew the licence of Clivera Consulting and barred economist Clive Ramathibela-Smith from providing further financial advice.

The registrar of financial services providers on 26 April 2017 debarred Phelegetso Ramathibela from rendering financial services, according to a FSB statement.

The decision to debar Clive Ramathibela-Smith came after a FSB investigation on Clivera Consulting and Clive Ramathibela-Smith following complaints from Clivera Consulting clients.

The effect of the registrar's decision is that Clivera Consulting and Clive Ramathibela-Smith are prohibited from rendering any financial services or to give financial advice according to the FAIS Act.

According to the FSB two clients - one of who is a pensioner - lost money. Both said that they approached Clive Ramathibela-Smith for investment advice to invest money.

According to the FSB "our investigation into the complaints found that funds sent to Clivera Consulting's bank account were not invested according to their instructions," but ended up being misinvested by Clivera Consulting.

According to reports Clive Ramathibela-Smith will appeal the decision.

National Geographic reveals that the second season of Genius will move on from Albert Einstein to Pablo Picasso.

National Geographic (DStv 181 / StarSat 220) has announced that the second season of its fictional, factual drama series Genius will move on from Albert Einstein and again cover a white male genius, the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso.

Casting on the second season of Genius has not yet started, with the second season that will again flip between time periods as did the first, of the life of the artist who died aged 91 in 1973 after created over 50 000 works.

Pablo Picasso's passionate nature and relentless creative drive were inextricably linked to his personal life, which included tumultuous marriages, numerous affairs and constantly shifting political and personal alliances.

The artistic genius lived most of his life in the vibrant Paris of the first half of the 20th century and crossed paths with writers and artists including Ernest Hemingway, Coco Chanel, Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall, Gertrude Stein, Georges Braque, and Jean Cocteau.

Genius from Imagine Entertainment and Fox 21 Television Studios will again be executive produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, with production that will start later this year and the second season that will be broadcast in 2018 on 171 feeds of National Geographic globally.

"We are excited to be delving back in to the concept with season two," says Courteney Monroe, CEO of National Geographic Global Networks in a statement about Genius' second season.

"More so than any of his contemporaries, Picasso's work dramatically expressed the modern age and defined new cultural norms. We are excited to explore his life and his genius with the incredibly talented team behind the series."

"The remarkable story of artistic visionary Pablo Picasso is the perfect subject for season two of Genius," says Ron Howard, executive producer.

"Picasso was a trailblazer who left a profound artistic and cultural impact on the world and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership with National Geographic and Fox 21 Television Studios in telling the untold story behind the brilliant individual."

RIDICULOUS. The mind-boggling reasons Kenya's censor board gives for why it banned cartoons on Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Disney XD on DStv.

The outright ridiculous reasons are now surfacing as to why Ezekiel Mutua, the censorship tsar of Kenya's censorship board, last week abruptly banned 7 cartoons on Nickelodeon (DStv 305), Disney XD (DStv 304) and Cartoon Network (DStv 301) for being "pro-gay".

The bisarre reasons provided by Kenya's Film Classification Board (KFCB) it seemingly took straight from the internet without having actually watched and screened the various kids cartoons, are mind-bogglingly insane and shockingly unbelievable.

Ezekiel Mutua, KFCB CEO, told MultiChoice Africa the 7 cartoons singled-out, must be off the air on the DStv and GOtv satellite pay-TV platforms over seemingly-insane reasons, ranging from one character "who has a dick for a head", to two characters who go on an (unseen) "implied romantic vacation".

While on a superficial level Kenya's censorship and banning of kids cartoons might seem silly, it has systemic and operational real-world consequences for South African and African TV viewers far beyond the borders of the East African country.

Since channel distributors often only has one TV channel broadcast feed for Africa, a ban of content on a channel in one country, like Kenya or Nigeria - that a channel distributor then must agree to - means one of two things.

Either the whole channel must be completely blocked and be made unavailable in the affected country, or the content deemed offensive on the TV channel must be removed from the linear broadcast schedule.

Since there's only one similar channel feed for more than one country, this means that the content is taken away not just from viewers in the country affected, but from millions of DStv subscribers right across several African countries, including South Africa.

I asked the KFCB when the censor board saw the actual shows to properly evaluate their content since the majority of the now-banned shows are not even being broadcast on the various channels across DStv at the moment anyway.

The KFCB failed to answer when the 7 cartoons were actually broadcast and watched by the board and responded to the question in a non-sensical fashion by saying, in part, that broadcasters must "ensure that Kenyan identity is developed and maintained in programmes" and that they "observe standards of good taste and decency".

The 7 cartoons are now abruptly banned, with the KFCB's shocking censorship that is creating problems for not just MultiChoice and DStv, but also the channel and content providers Walt Disney Africa, Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa) and Turner Broadcasting EMEA that respectively run and programme the Disney XD, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network channels.

Some of the cartoons are not even airing anymore and ended years ago - for instance the now-banned The Legend of Korra that finished its run in 2014.

Yet it seems as if the KFCB, on an apparent gay hunt, did a basic desktop Google-search to find possible justification for a ban on the shows, and then decided to ban them based on what the internet sites it visited, said.

Responding to a media enquiry from TVwithThinus, the KFCB says the 7 cartoons -  Loud House, The Legend of Korra, Hey Arnold, Clarence, Steven Universe, Adventure Time and Star vs the Forces of Evil are TV children programmes "with homosexual themes".

The KFCB says it doesn't matter that the shows don't include or show any overt on-screen "gayness".

If a show's creator said a character is gay - in the way that JR Rowling after the conclusion of the Harry Potter series said that Prof Dumbledore is gay - that is enough for Kenya's censors to order a ban on a kids cartoon on MultiChoice's DStv platform.

The KFCB was specifically asked why content is banned that's not even being aired and isn't on-air currently.

The KFCB says its "investigations focused on both current and previous programmes that are not suitable for children. The fact that some of the programmes are 'no longer airing' does not negate the fact that they are unsuitable for children". 

The KFCB - that said it banned the cartoons because it believes that the Nickelodeon, Disney XD and Cartoon Network shows "are intended to introduce children to deviant behaviour" - was asked what this "deviant behaviour" is that it is referring to, and also how this children's programming is doing that.

The KFCB didn't offer up any explanation or clarity, and in response to the question says that it is "mandated to regulate film and broadcast content to protect children from exposure to inappropriate content. Promoting cultural and moral values through also constitutes our mandate."

The KFCB that said the cartoons are against its "understanding of the institution of family", was also asked what the KFCB's definition of family is and when this definition was decided upon.

The KFCB says Kenya's constitution "only recognizes marriage between people of the opposite sex. From these references to the Kenya Constitution 2010, it is clear that homosexuality is not part of the culture, national values and the concept of a family."

"Further, it is important to note that South Africa is the only African country that recognizes same sex marriages. Indeed, the Kenyan government has a responsibility to protect children against harmful exposure to negative media content and this is what the KFCB is doing as part of its mandate."

The KFCB provided the following reasons for why it banned each of the 7 cartoons on Nickelodeon, Disney XD and Cartoon Network: 

Loud House
The animated TV show airs on weekdays between 11am and 3pm and features a married, inter-racial same-sex couple, Howard and Harold McBride parenting ten year old Clyde McBride.
While the program does not make a big deal out of the fact that this couple is homosexual, we find that this is a veiled attempt by the creators of the show to pass off this kind of relationship as normal. 
The homosexual couple debuted on the show in July 2016 in an episode dubbed “Overnight Success” in supporting roles but they have continued to constantly feature in the show that Nickelodeon has rated 7+.
Loud House
DStv & GOtv
Disney XD
Star Vs the Forces of the Evil
A gay couple share a kiss in one of the episodes of the animated program in the children’s network. In yet another episode, two lesbian couples are seen cuddling.
Legend of Korra
The creators of the program state that the star and her co-star both of who are female cartoons are a lesbian couple. In one scene they are seen walking through a portal into the spirit world for an implied romantic vacation.
Cartoon Network
Adventure time
The creator reveals that two main characters, Princess Bubblegum and vampire Marceline are in a gay relationship.
Cartoon Network
Steven Universe
The show depicts two lesbian couples Ruby and Sapphire and Pearl and Rose Quartz.  The creator of the show explains the reason as to why she put gay characters in the series is that you can’t wait for children to grow up to let them know that queer people exist.
Disney XD
Gravity falls
The jokes in the cartoons are adult oriented for example one cartoon calls the other ‘bitch’, porn watching and gay cops.
Hey Arnold
Arnold is taught the wonders of sexual stamina and given stories about sex. Arnolds grandpa had a dick for a head – head is in the shape of a penis and somewhere in the scene there is a poster written "try my sausage".

Loud House
The KFCB is so uninformed that it missed the announcement of self-censorship by VIMN Africa in mid-2016 when Viacom International "assured" DStv subscribers that it won't be broadcasting on television anywhere in Africa the "Overnight Success" episode on the Nickelodeon channel featuring the flash-appearance of two gay dads.
The KFCB has now banned the Loud House series over an episode that was never even broadcast in Kenya in the first place.

Star vs the Forces of Evil
It's strange that the KFCB would ban a cartoon it couldn't possibly have seen yet.
Disney XD just started showing the second season of the show on the channel across Africa and is now at episode 8. It will be quite a while before episode 20, "Just Friends", makes it to actual TV screens that does contain a fleeting kiss - if you know where to pause and look closely in the background.

Legend of Korra
The KFCB decided to ban The Legend of Korra since the creator, after the conclusion of the show in 2014, said that two characters are lesbian. Yet nothing romantic during the duration of the show was ever shown on-screen.
Legend of Korra is banned although it isn't even showing on Nickelodeon currently.

Adventure Time
The KFCB decided to ban Adventure Time on fake reasons and alleges that "the creator said the two main characters are in a gay relationship".
Not only are Princess Bubblegum and Marceline not the main characters as the KFCB alleges, but the creator, Pendleton Ward, has never said anything to that effect ever.

The closest is actress Olivia Olsen voicing the character of Marceline, at a book signing, who said that in her personal opinion Marceline is likely lesbian but that the show will never venture into that territory since "in some countries where the show airs, it's sort of illegal".

Steven Universe
The KFCB found a correct quote from an interview with the website Movie Pilot with the show's creator. Ruby and Sapphire are indeed lesbians, according to the show's creator, but viewers will have to watch the show with that specific subtext to see that.
The KFCB however seems to read a lot of fanfiction. Is Pearl and Rose gay? Nobody knows for certain and the show has never said that.

Gravity Falls
Explaining why it banned this cartoon, the KFCB again lies and says a character calls someone "bitch". Nobody says this to another character and the word is never spoken. 

What happens is that a character called Grunkle Stan once says "son of a ..." before the scene cuts away.

The KFCB also lies when it says the characters watch porn. It's never happened.
The show also finished in 2016 already. Like The Legend of Korra, the show's creator, after the conclusion of the series, said Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durand are gay, although its never ever mentioned or explored in the show.

Hey Arnold
The KFCB says "Arnold is taught the wonders of sexual stamina and given stories about sex". Nowhere in the series does that ever happen.
As proof of these and other simply not there things, the KFCB seems to have found a website that tries to find so-called "dirty jokes" in the cartoon.
The KFCB says Arnold's grandpa "had a dick for a head – head is in the shape of a penis and somewhere in the scene there is a poster written 'try my sausage".

To see a penis you have to take a pen and draw on grandpa's face in just the right way to create a penis, and you won't believe how a penis will then pop out. It's real, definitive proof according to the KFCB that Hey Arnold isn't meant for children.
Luckily Hey Arnold isn't even on Nickelodeon currently, so the KFCB didn't have to bother to watch actual episodes before banning the cartoon.

The KFCB didn't ban the evil Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, those anthropomorphic turtles who are luring unsuspecting kids to go live in the sewers, or The Powerpuff Girls where Donny the transgender pony who isn't horny believes that he's actually a unicorn - but it's probably just a matter of time.

THE HOUNDS WILL HOWL AGAIN: SABC2 backtracks, orders return of original 7 Laan theme song; says SABC2 doesn't want viewer-relationship to be 'a one-night stand'.

The hounds are going to howl again: SABC2 is backtracking on more of the SABC channel's bad decisions in the recent past and has ordered its weekday Afrikaans soap 7de Laan to bring back its original, iconic theme song as SABC2 channel bosses say it doesn't want its viewer-relationship to be "a one-night stand".

As SABC2's viewership and market share keep sliding, the TV channel is starting to undo some of the big and costly mistakes that saw ratings sag and that led to harsh and vocal criticism of viewers who've tuned out and tuned in to the rival commercial broadcaster's content offering.

After abruptly dumping the Sunday 7de Laan omnibus in mid-February without any prior warning to viewers - a move that saw SABC2's Sunday ratings tank - the channel reversed course and is bringing the weekend repeats of the Danie Odendaal Productions soap back from Sunday 2 July at 13:30.

SABC2 that also ordered the soap to drop its iconic themesong in June 2015 as part of a series of transformative changes to make the weekday Afrikaans soap more palatable to a broader audience, is now also reversing course on that decision and told 7de Laan to bring back the original theme song.

It's not yet clear from what date SABC2 viewers will again hear the memorable, violin-infused theme song done by the Soweto String Quartet.

For years, dogs across South African households, thinking they're little wolves, howled along as soon as the somewhat-melancholic violin melody composed by Louis van Rensburg started, literally notifying and calling their owners to TV sets.

That changed when the unmemorable new song from Joe Niemand and new opening sequence was introduced.

"The omnibus of 7de Laan is returning, including the original signature song of the show," said Jacqui Hlongwane, SABC2 programme manager, according to AlexNews.

Jacqui Hlongwane told the media that is "breathing down our neck" and that SABC2 is aware that the SABC will have to produce better content if it's to keep its viewers.

"Our relationship with our viewers should not be a one-night stand but one that will last for eternity. We need not take them for granted as they now have more options at their disposal."

" is breathing down our neck and the only way to stay relevant is to beat them at this viewership and we can do that by producing top class material for the viewers," Jacqui Hlongwane reportedly said.

She said SABC2 is aware that line-up and schedule changes the channel introduced touched a raw-nerve that negatively impacted viewership. "I can assure them that we have listened and we're answering their numerous calls urging us to do something."

SABC TV head publicist Zandile Nkonyeni didn't respond to a media enquiry on Wednesday seeking comment about why SABC2 decided to bring back the original 7de Laan theme song.