Channel24 investigates the recent abrupt changes made to South African TV schedules, as well as the failed launch of the TelkomONE streaming service.
- No season 18 for The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Vuzu
- SABC1 postpones the launch of The Braai Show with AKA
- TelkomONE streaming service fails to start on scheduled launch date
- e.tv drops Fight Sports channel
- PBO TV channel missing from StarSat
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Last week The Ellen DeGeneres Show abruptly disappeared from DStv without explanation. The 17th season ended on 29 October on VUZU (DStv 116), and although the 18th season has already started to air in the US, the new season is not currently airing in SA.
Instead, M-Net (DStv 101) is rebroadcasting episodes of the first season of The Kelly Clarkson Show on VUZU in what used to be The Ellen DeGeneres Show's timeslot.
Channel24 asked M-Net about the schedule change. Nomntu Mngengi, M-Net spokesperson, in response to our enquiry said: "The license for The Ellen Show is currently being re-negotiated with the studio. The Kelly Clarkson Show season 1 will therefore be scheduled on Vuzu until then."
The Braai Show with AKA
On 26 October SABC1 announced that a new 13-episode series, The Braai Show with AKA would start on 5 November at 19:30 on the channel.
The Braai Show with AKA would have seen the rapper braai and get a "glance into the lives of Mzansi's most-intriguing and controversial South African personalities".
On Wednesday, SABC1 abruptly did a schedule change, quietly removing The Braai Show with AKA from its schedule without any explanation - a day before it was scheduled to start.
Channel24 asked executive producer David Phume of Cake Media what happened. He said: "Television stations change schedules for a variety of reasons. At this stage, we do not know why SABC1 has made changes to their schedule. As such we eagerly wait to hear from SABC1 about a new time slot for the show."
In response to a media enquiry, Phillip Mabitsela, SABC1 publicist said that the show would no longer start on the scheduled day, but gave no reason, saying a new date would be communicated.
On Thursday morning the SABC announced that The Braai Show with AKA would start on 12 November at 19:30.
Telkom's TelkomONE streaming service
Wanda Mkhize, Telkom's executive for smart home and content, said that Telkom would launch its new TelkomONE video-on-demand (VOD) streaming service in South Africa on Thursday 5 November.
The launch date arrived, and TelkomONE failed to materialise.
On Wednesday at 22:00 DNA Brand Architects abruptly cancelled a TelkomONE media launch event with the press that was set for Thursday without any explanation.
The SABC that plans to have the public broadcaster's linear TV channels added and be available on TelkomONE, also abruptly cancelled pre-arranged interviews with executives that were set up for Thursday, again without any explanation.
At the time of publishing, there's been no official communication as to why TelkomONE failed to launch.
Fight Sports channel on Openview
e.tv quietly removed The Fight Sports channel after just a year on its free-to-air Openview satellite service last Thursday without any announcement to the media.
On 29 October Openview tweeted: "All good things come to an end. Fight Sports." e.tv added the Fight Sports channel to Openview in November 2019.
Premium BoxOffice Television on StarSat
On 30 September China's StarTimes pay-TV service, run under the StarSat brand banner in South Africa, announced that it was adding the Premium BoxOffice Television (PBO TV) channel to StarTimes across sub-Saharan Africa, and to StarSat in South Africa from October.
The channel from the Nigerian production company Big Idea Mediaworks was supposed to go live on StarSat channel 184 as a Nollywood TV channel.
After adding PBO TV to its website as a channel listing and an announcement, StarSat has now removed all traces of it after subscribers kept asking why it was announced and failed to start.
Luyanda Cele, StarSat publicist, told Channel24: "PBO TV is pending approval from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), but it has been launched in other countries for StarTimes. Once we have a confirmed date for South Africa we shall communicate and share."