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SABC3’s New Strategic direction

Posted by radio On December - 11 - 2019 ADD COMMENTS

The South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) commercial television channel, SABC 3, has embarked on a process to review its overall performance regarding the schedule‘s key pillars and programming investments. This review is in line with the channel adapting to the current changes in the media landscape and the increase in audience and revenue performance targets.

This review exercise is being undertaken in line with the SABC 3’s turnaround plan, with the intention to deliver and become a competitive and commercially viable public commercial service platform, through compelling and relevant content.

The recent programme changes on the channel are part of this review. The channel, through its strategic plans, will continue to commission concepts in line with market consumption patterns and needs analysis. The channel will provide local producers more opportunities as we celebrate being locally relevant and globally present.
Viewers are invited to stay tuned for more exciting new content on the channel in the new year.

 

SABC 3 “The Stage is yours – OWN

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For more than six decades, the Miss Universe pageant has attracted millions of viewers worldwide, every one of them cheering for their homegirl. This year, it was our turn to do the cheering when our brilliant representative Zozibini did us proud, proving to be outstanding in every category she competed in.

 

It’s the world’s largest pageant competition in terms of live TV coverage, with more than 190 countries tuning in. The Miss Universe competition has a worldwide audience of over 500 million people, and this year was no different in terms of popularity.

If you never saw the live broadcast of the event, never fear – you can now tune in to watch all the tears and laughter first-hand.

 

 

The pageant was hosted by talk show host and comedian Steve Harvey for the fifth time – he’s been allowed to continue despite his spectacular gaffe four years ago when he accidentally announced the wrong winner! His evening wasn’t completely without errors this year either though, as he incorrectly announced the winner of the Best National Costume as the Philippines, when it was in fact Malaysia.

 

Zozibini’s stunning win brings the number of times South African beauties have won the crown in the past to three: Demi-Lee Nel-Peters won just two years ago in 2017, and prior to that, Margaret Gardiner was our last winner back in 1978.

 

 

Zozibini has wholly embodied the pageant’s motto of ‘Confidently Beautiful’ with her strong message of how young women should never be scared to be leaders. Her incredible achievement is a win for all young girls who have ever had a dream, and for the whole universe who believes in her message.

Want to see why Zozibini won?

Watch Miss Universe 2019 on Sunday 15 December on Vuzu 116 at 20:00.

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NOW STREAMING: AfriDocs Anytime Migrant Stories

Posted by radio On December - 10 - 2019 ADD COMMENTS

AfriDocs, Africa’s only free streaming platform for documentary films, is once again bringing some of the best documentaries to TV screens across the continent. The 2019 edition of Migration Stories is sees six powerful and moving documentaries about the various realities of migration from an African perspective.

With the support of the German Government, AfriDocs will once again present powerful stories that reflect the difficulties of migration as faced by thousands of people looking for a better life in Europe.

 

This diversity of films from Kenya, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Burundi as well as from Europe bring in to stark focus the hardships that drive many Africans to leave their homelands, as well as the stark realities awaiting those who do.

 

The films are being screened as a way to increase awareness around migration in the communities that are most affected. You can join in the conversation on the AfriDocs social media platforms: https://www.facebook.com/AfriDocs/ and on twitter @Afri_docs. Use #MigrantStories to add your voice to the conversation.

 

The films are available to stream on Africa’s only FREE streaming platforms for documentary films, AfriDocs Anytime, www.afridocs.net that will stream all six of the documentaries anytime for anyone viewing from Africa.

 

Free to Air TV screenings will also take place in the Horn of Africa and  in Nigeria and Ghana during December and January.

 

The following films are available to stream now on #AfriDocsAnytime

 

Cinema Dadaab |  Kati Juurus | Kenya | 2018 | 58 min
Dadaab is a dreamlike place forgotten by the rest of the world: a huge refugee camp on Kenya’s border to  Somalia. The refugees cannot leave, but they let their  minds escape by going to the cinema to watch films  and to dream of other countries

 

 

 

Special Flight | Fernand Melgar | France | 2011 | 52 min

Special Flight is a dramatic account of the plight of undocumented foreigners at the Frambois detention center in Geneva, Switzerland, and of the wardens who struggle to reconcile humane values with the harsh realities of a strict deportation system. The 25 Frambois inmates featured are among the thousands of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants imprisoned without charge or trial and facing deportation to their native countries, where they fear repression or even death. The film, made in Switzerland, is a heart-wrenching exposé of the contradictions between the country’s compassionate social policies and the intractability of its immigration laws.

 

Espoir Voyage | Michel Zongo | Burkina Faso | 2011 | 80 min

In Espoir Voyage, Burkinabe director Michel Zongo sets off on a personal journey in search of traces of his older brother Joanny. Like many others, Joanny left his village at the age of 14 to go and earn money for his family working on plantations in the Ivory Coast. Nobody had heard from him since he left. Many years later, Joanny’s family received a message saying he had died. How had he lived? Why did he die? Via his brother’s life story, Zongo tells the story of migration within Africa and reflects on its consequences: the solidarity and conflicts between migrant workers and the concern of the families left behind.

 

Chez Jolie Coiffure | Rosina Mbakam | Belgium | 2018 | 72 min

Sabine works in Matonge (Brussels) as hairdresser in a salon. While she is working, she is at the same time waiting for a regulation of her case. In that place where she use to work, with other girls, they live under threat of national police who chase them. Sabine works no less than thirtheen or fourteen hours per day and sometimes tourists come and visit the place where she works and look at them as in a museum.

 

Uncertain Future |  Eddy Munyaneza | Burundi | 2018 | 70 min

Burundi, April 2015. Demonstrations against Pierre Nkurunziza’s third term bring thousands of people to the streets of Bujumbura. A failed coup d’état further plunges the country into repression and violence. Whole families are fleeing the country. Eddy, director, films the demonstrations, then the first executions and the victims. His artistic and social commitment dislocates his family, who decides to leave without him. Faced with the violence that is gaining ground, he is eventually also forced to flee his country. As a refugee in Senegal, far from his family, he begins an internal journey caught in the images and memories of the crisis that shakes Burundi. Nine months later, he goes in search of his children in Rwanda. On both sides of the border, he meets those who stayed in Burundi or chose the path of exile. Their stories, often fragmentary and brutal, show great uncertainty.

 

No Way Back | Louise Hunt | The Gambia | 2019 | 8 min

No Way Back’ explores the realities of life in Italy for two asylum seekers from Gambia, both called Lamin, who risked their lives to reach Europe in the hope of getting an education and jobs. But since the Italian government changed its immigration laws in November 2018, they are at risk of joining the thousands of undocumented migrants who are forced onto the streets or seek shelter in squalid camps and squats, such as ‘The Ghetto’, a derelict factory in Rome.

 

A Walk on the Tightrope | Sandra Budesheim, Sabine Zimmer | Germany 2017 | 52min
In the asylum procedure in Germany, applicants and case officers meet on only one single occasion – at the personal interview. A decision is then made about who stays and who has to leave.

 

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After a very successful five years of empowering the next generation of storytellers through on-the-job training and the opportunity to work with experienced producers for hands-on experience, M-Net’s Magic in Motion now starts a new chapter as MultiChoice Talent Factory ZA.

The programme, which consists of the internship academy and a bursary programme, immerses its participants in a 12-month long  industry readiness programme. In addition, the internship also affords participants the opportunity to learn from some of the leading TV producers in the country while acquiring valuable experience in the directing, producing, cinematography, commissioning, art direction and many other skills.

 

MTF ZA will continue to play a critical role in providing qualifying young people skills and experience in TV and filmmaking through the academy, as well as bursaries to qualifying students studying film and television.

 

Be on the lookout for more information on the 2020 MTF ZA opportunities.

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DStv to launch three new channels

Posted by radio On November - 21 - 2019 ADD COMMENTS

The festive season is approaching fast and we’re preparing to enter a new decade. At DStv, that’s even more reason to bring our customers brand new explosive entertainment for the whole family.

From brand new channels and shows to contracts that will keep two of your favourites on your screens for years to come, we’re giving customers so much more entertainment to enjoy this festive season and beyond.

Here’s everything you can look forward to this November:

Three brand new channels

MultiChoice recently announced the launch of three new channels to the DStv platform. CuriosityStream, CBS Justice and Euronews will be available from Thursday, 21 November 2019.

“We’re thrilled to announce the launch of these channels that will expand the line-up of new programming for our DStv customers to enjoy,” says Yolisa Phahle, CEO of General Entertainment at MultiChoice Group.

 

“CuriosityStream will give our viewers informative entertainment that the family can enjoy together and it’s with great pride that we are able to launch CBS Justice, a new true crime channel which is part of the CBS AMC Networks EMEA portfolio of channels. We’re also delighted to expand our viewers’ choice of news and actuality programming with Euronews so they’re kept in touch with what’s happening around the world.”

 


CuriosityStream and CBS Justice will air for the first time in Africa on DStv channels 185 and 170 respectively, to ensure fans of factual entertainment and true crime stories enjoy their favourite programming on familiar channel destinations. Euronews, which is currently available to DStv customers in the rest of Africa, will now be available to Southern Africa on DStv channel 414.

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CJ ENM, Korea’s No.1 media entertainment company, and its subsidiary Studio Dragon, Korea’s leading production studio, and Netflix, the world’s leading internet entertainment service, have entered into a strategic partnership, highlighted by a multi-year content production and distribution agreement.

 

As part of a three-year partnership beginning in 2020, Studio Dragon and its stellar roster of creators will produce original series that will be available to Netflix members all over the world. Netflix will also receive distribution rights to other select Studio Dragon titles.

 

 

 

This arrangement extends and deepens the relationship between CJ ENM, Studio Dragon, and Netflix, which has already been streaming Studio Dragon hits like Stranger, Mr. Sunshine, Memories of Alhambra, Romance is A Bonus Book, and Arthdal Chronicles.

 

 

“CJ ENM is leading the market and expanding its huge achievement in Korea to overseas. As we have continuously focused on strengthening borderless content and expanding global distribution, the partnership with Netflix will introduce Korean content to global audiences, while providing new experiences and values,” said Minheoi Heo, CEO of CJ ENM.

 

 

“Today’s announcement is a recognition that Korean storytelling and production capabilities are beloved by global audiences and reaffirms the content creation prowess of both CJ ENM and Studio Dragon. Studio Dragon will try its best to leap forward as a global major studio,” said Jinnie Choi, CEO of Studio Dragon.

 

 

“CJ ENM and Studio Dragon represent the gold standard in Korean entertainment and we are excited and honored to work with them. This partnership with CJ ENM and Studio Dragon demonstrates our commitment to Korean entertainment and allows us to bring more top-tier Korean drama to Netflix members in Korea and all over the world,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with both CJ ENM and Studio Dragon and look forward to a prosperous relationship for many years to come,” said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

As part of the partnership, CJ ENM will have the right to sell up to 4.99% of Studio Dragon shares to Netflix.

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The Apple Original Stars Academy Award Winner Octavia Spencer, Emmy Award Winner Aaron Paul, Lizzy Caplan, Elizabeth Perkins, Michael Beach, Mekhi Phifer, Tracie Thoms, Haneefah Wood and Emmy Award Winner Ron Cephas Jones

Apple celebrated “Truth Be Told” today with the global premiere of the original series at The Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles, California. The limited drama series follows podcaster Poppy Parnell (Octavia Spencer) as she is compelled to reopen the murder case that made her a national sensation and comes face-to-face with Warren Cave (Aaron Paul), the man she may have mistakenly helped to put behind bars. Based on the novel by Kathleen Barber, “Truth Be Told” provides a unique glimpse into America’s obsession with true crime podcasts and challenges its viewers to consider the consequences when the pursuit of justice is placed on a public stage.
Beginning December 6, the first three episodes of “Truth Be Told” will be available to watch on Apple TV+ in over 100 countries and regions around the world. New episodes will continue to roll out weekly, every Friday.
Apple TV+, the first all-original video subscription service and home for today’s most imaginative storytellers, launched on November 1 in over 100 countries and regions. The service is available on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, as well as select Samsung smart TVs, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices and online at tv.apple.com, for $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. Customers who purchase any new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch starting September 10, 2019, can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ for free.Beginning November 1, customers can initiate the one-year free offer in the Apple TV app on the device running the latest software.
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DStv Now served more than 500,000 unique users during match day.

In addition to the Springboks making history at the 2019 Rugby World Cup Finals this weekend, another revolution has been quietly underway. This year marks the point that live-streaming of sports went mainstream in Africa, breaking all-time online viewing records.

Much like the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup campaign, sport live-streaming had a somewhat rocky road to the final. But when things really counted, streaming delivered a record-breaking performance.

In the opening game, as South Africa faltered against New Zealand, DStv Now had its own challenges with some viewers missing out during the first half of the game. Fast-forward to the Final six weeks later and the situation was dramatically different, with viewing breaking all-time records for concurrent users and throughput, and this was all achieved with no downtime or outages.

Speaking about this, Niclas Ekdahl, CEO of the Connected Video division of MultiChoice said:

 

 

“Live events are the single biggest challenge a streaming service like DStv Now can face, as the huge number of concurrent users not only puts our systems under unprecedented load, it also strains the systems of the companies downstream from our servers who deliver the stream to customers. It’s fair to assume that the load during the Final was the largest ever seen in Africa, with three times more peak concurrent viewers than in the first game and double the number who watched the 2018 football World Cup Finals. Over the course of the day, we served more than half a million unique users.”

 

 

The number of active DStv Now users is four times higher than just two years ago, and there’s no sign of growth slowing. The number of hours streamed in a single day on the service now regularly tops one million, which is more than 100 years’ worth of viewing for a single person.

Talking about what the company changed to see the turnaround in DStv Now performance between the first and last games of the Rugby World Cup, Ekdahl said:

 

 

“We were disappointed at the problems we experienced early in the tournament. We’d of course done load testing and provisioned plenty of capacity, but we didn’t anticipate how congestion in one specific system could cascade into others. I’m proud of the work our engineering team has done to learn from that mistake, to rework systems architecture, and also work with partners who deliver the stream to customers to sort out bottlenecks affecting image quality. Our customers rightly expect systems to work, and in the face of record-breaking demand during the Final, DStv Now delivered the goods.”

 

The data carried by content delivery network partners during the Final peaked at more than 500 Gbps (more than 4,000 GB of data per minute), another record for DStv Now in Africa.

“This was a major test of our systems and the capacity of distribution networks and ISPs in the region. I’m pleased we came out on top and look forward to working with our partners to beef up streaming ability ready for 10 times and even 100 times the traffic we’re seeing now because the one thing we know for sure is that streaming video is going to keep growing,” concluded Ekdahl.

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Understanding video quality when streaming

Posted by radio On October - 31 - 2019 ADD COMMENTS

It’s really frustrating when streaming video goes fuzzy and pixelated or sometimes stops playing altogether. Why does this happen, and why does it seem worse at peak times?

 

Starting with the basics, streaming video is delivered over the internet. Every few seconds, our streaming apps test the speed of the viewer’s internet connection and based on that we send higher or lower resolution video packets. Put simply, a slow connection generally means lower video quality and a faster connection supports higher video quality. If the speed is really slow, the video will stop altogether (the dreaded buffering spinning wheel).

My video quality was fine, but as soon as the big game started it fell apart – so the problem is clearly with your service, right? 

We plan ahead for big games and make sure we’ve got enough capacity, so no that isn’t likely to be the cause. The simplest explanation for video quality falling during high demand times is congestion downstream from our servers, and there could be a number of factors causing that.

An example of how congestion affects someone connecting via mobile is that lots of people are accessing the same mobile base station at the same time (e.g. as the game starts) and because the base station has limited capacity, the quality of the mobile connection drops.

We use world-class CDN (content distribution network) providers like Akamai, and these companies specialise in delivering the highest possible video stream to the end-user. Under extremely high load situations, even CDN companies can run into capacity constraints or can run into bottlenecks elsewhere in the system. More information on this here.

That’s rubbish! YouTube is fine but DStv Now looks terrible, so clearly the problem is with your service. 

Great point! The key here is supplying pre-recorded content is different from supplying live content. In the case of YouTube or Showmax or Netflix, shows can be stored (the technical term is ‘cached’) close to the customer. In the case of live content, we’re taking the stream from Japan and distributing it in South Africa without the same ability to pre-load it as close as possible to the customer, so any bottlenecks downstream from our servers can have an impact on video quality. The other obvious difference is with YouTube or Showmax or Netflix, people aren’t all watching exactly the same thing at the same time – which presents a whole bunch of technical challenges.

So are you saying you can’t or won’t fix it?

Live streaming with huge numbers of concurrent users is a technical challenge that video services worldwide are grappling with – if it were as simple as just increasing capacity we’d most definitely have done that long ago. But we’re not backing down – we’re working with content distribution networks and others, and we are making headway.

What should I do?

To test if the issue is related to your ISP, one approach is to temporarily switch to mobile data (or to a fixed connection if you’re currently on mobile) and see if there is a change in quality. Obviously the other connection may also be congested but certainly if the quality improves you’ll have an indication that it may be worth speaking to the ISP or changing to another ISP.

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Why TV is still the biggest show

Posted by radio On October - 21 - 2019 ADD COMMENTS

Despite the proliferation of the internet, TV still remains widely popular in South Africa

• Over 90% of South Africans still watch live TV*
• Local soap operas, reality TV and sports continues to enthral the nation*
• The appetite for bigger, better screens is strong

 

From spellbinding soapies to edge-of-your-seat sporting moments, the beloved TV continues to entertain generations of South Africans. Living rooms in South Africa sometimes feel like arenas filled with an audience waiting to be amused, amazed and astounded. This is why the market for larger more immersive TV experiences is so significant. (do we have/need a SS stat?). An incredible example of these in-demand TV’s is Samsung’s 2019 QLED TV line-up, which features more screen size options, stunning picture quality, dazzling colours from every angle, exciting new design elements and intuitive smart TV upgrades.

 

“As family entertainment continues to evolve along with modern viewing habits, we’ve focused on the use of pioneering technology and AI to create unparalleled and personalised viewing experiences. The results are astounding,” says Nithia Pillay, Director of Consumer Electronics at Samsung South Africa

 

Here are a few good reasons why TV is still the biggest show in South Africa:

 

TV has Authority

 

These days information is everywhere. But television has a particular authourity. People know what they see on TV has been verified, produced and created by professionals. This is why television remains the most popular and trusted platform for news, culture, sports and entertainment.

 

TV Creates Communities

 

Great television programmes create communities. TV shows, live events and news bind people together and elicit reactions on social networks.

 

TV Inspires

 

Television is an amazing educational tool. It gives us a different perspective on diverse cultures, promotes tolerance and global understanding of international issues. Through current affairs, discovery, lifestyle, cooking shows and children’s programmes, television inspires scientific and cultural curiosity.

 

TV Scores Big

 

Without television, professional sport would not be the same. Millions enjoy watching live sport every week, in ever-higher picture quality, and enjoy the sense of unity that sports creates.

 

Technology is a GameChanger

 

Intelligent TV’s can now produce a picture that’s amazingly real. With Samsung’s ground-breaking 8K QLED every scene is amazingly vivid and real. It’s like 3D without the glasses. Powered by Samsung’s proprietary Quantum Processor, the QLED range has more colours than the human eye can see, infinite details and optimised audio you see, feel and hear as if the match has come to life in front of you. Additionally, as you watch, it analyses what’s playing and automatically fine-tunes the picture and sound to your TV space. Which means you’re able to hear and feel the stadium erupt with celebration during the biggest moments. Sports Season has just got a lot more riveting.

 

“The QLED line-up brings together innovative feature enhancements and exciting content and service partnerships to deliver a truly ground-breaking viewing experience and unprecedented value,” concludes Nithia Pillay, Director of Consumer Electronics at Samsung South Africa.

 

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Radio 2000 broadcast from Chiefs Village

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TRUfm launches the 2019 TRUTalent Search

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