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e.tv Press
e.tv is South Africa’s biggest independent, free-to-air television channel. With over 16 million viewers, e.tv appeals to all races, ages and income groups and is the most viewed English language channel in the country.

Primetime to pull its news for e.tv

According to eMedia Investments, parent company of e.tv, an application has been submitted to ICASA by the free-to-air broadcaster to amend its licence and allow it to broadcast its eNews bulletin outside of prime time.

Last year e.tv moved its eNews prime time slot from 20h30 to 18h30 weekdays but would like to remove the eNews segment from prime time altogether. Under its current licence conditions (clause 6.2 of section 10 of the Electronic Communications Act of 2005), e.tv is obligated to broadcast at least two hours of news programming per day, of which at least 30 minutes must be packaged as a single programme and broadcast during prime time.

eMedia Investments’ Group chief operating officer Mark Rosin said their viewers were “consuming news on demand,” and that “the idea of relying on a single prime time bulletin has inevitably become antiquated, e.tv needs to be able to take this into account with regard to its overall programming scheduling,” he said.

The statement included that revenue challenges from a decline in ratings are cause for this request in news times but did not state which time slot it wants to move its news bulletin to.

E.tv expands Volicon Observer System to support growth

E.tv has expanded its Volicon Observer digital video monitoring and logging system
to accommodate compliance recording for simulcast channels, as well as to support
reconciliation of visual ad-runs and in-house air-fault investigation.

Aadil Jaffer, senior engineer at e.tv commented, “We knew that implementation of
the system would be easy, and our staff members already were comfortable using
the interface to browse and monitor any channel on the internal IT network and to
create clips for mail distribution as needed.’

E.tv undertook the upgrade of its Observer system in conjunction with its move to a
new facility. The broadcaster now has two eight-channel Volicon systems that
capture two SD channels and six HD channels, providing four spares and another
four for further expansion.

The Observer system automatically records e.tv broadcasts, with every second
captured time-stamped and securely maintained so that the station remains in
compliance with government regulations for content archiving. Providing convenient
access to content, straightforward search functionality and simple clipping tools via
an intuitive browser-based interface, the Volicon system also makes it easy for
staff to respond to inquiries — whether internal, from the public, or from
advertisers — with a visual record of performance. When investigating the quality
of transmission on simulcast events, staff members use the flexible Observer
interface to preview two or three channels simultaneously.

Russell Wise, vice president of global sales at Volicon said, “As this popular channel
continues to grow, the Observer system will help ensure both the integrity of its on-air product and its responsiveness to viewers, clients, and regulators.’

e.tv extends HD offering to include DStv customers

From Friday, 27 November 2015, e.tv will be the first free to air channel available in High Definition (HD) across all DStv packages.

The eHD Channel, which was exclusively available on OpenView HD (Channel 104), will now also be enjoyed by DStv customers (Channel 194).

DStv customers who have HD decoders will be able to view the channel’s shows such as Scandal!, Rhythm City, Gold Diggers and Umlilo amongst others.

Shows such as Z’bondiwe, Umlilo and Ashes to Ashes will return for second seasons early next year on South Africa’s entertainment destination of choice. Local shows such as the travel show, Double Up, action thriller Heist and the home-grown super hero series, Jongo, are some of the offerings eHD viewers can look forward to in the new year.

e.tv announces new local telenovela “Gold Diggers’

The next local e.tv telenovela, Gold Diggers, premieres on 10 August at 20h00. The much awaited Gold Diggers is an intriguing story which brings key issues affecting the South African working class to the fore. It explores the various dynamics of love, money, family feuds, debts and economically motivated relationships. It is set against the strong backdrop of the mining industry.

Gold Diggers tells the story of an aging, polygamous miner, Patrick who typically spends most of his time underground. Above the ground, he has a very challenging life. His two feisty wives hold the family homestead together in the rural areas while he is away in the city digging for gold. Constantly under pressure to ensure that he fulfills his role of providing for his large family and taking care of his demanding fatal sickness, he is tempted to cross moral lines that make him question who he is.

The telenovela is a classic South African story that captures the reality of many South Africans scraping the surface of the country’s economy – ordinary South Africans digging out a living in the mining industry, which has largely shaped the country’s cultural, economic and social dynamics.

The telenovela also highlight traditions and culture in the modern world, as well as social issues such as health, education and prostitution.

Gold Diggers is produced by Urban Brew.

Pat Pillai leaves e.tv for youth development

Veteran broadcaster and prime time news anchor Pat Pillai will be leaving e.tv news at the end of February after a ten year term. Pillai has resigned in order to focus more on his youth development work at Life College, an organisation he founded in 1997. They have helped over 55 000 South African children, teaching them life skills and boosting academic and entrepreneurial potential.

Commenting on his departure Pat Pillai says, “It’s been a memorable ten year journey that saw many news firsts, many stories that have shaped our political, economic and social landscape and many heartfelt moments of human triumph. I will miss the people I’ve worked with and the viewers who tuned in regularly. From now on, I will join as a loyal viewer.’

Pat, who qualified as a teacher in the eighties, founded Life College in 1997 (now named LifeCo UnLtd SA).

“With recent investments totaling up to R40 million, the demand for our work has grown nationally and needs a special focus. Our youth leaders and entrepreneurs need us more than ever,’ says Pillai.

From Monday, 2 March 2015, the weekday bulletins will broadcast at 20h30, to cater for a later evening news audience.

Pillai’s last bulletin will be at 19h00 on Thursday, 26 February 2015.

Umlilo premieres this March on e.tv

A story of revenge set against the backdrop of a polygamous family, Umlilo is e.tv’s new ground-breaking drama that makes its debut on Monday, 2 March 2015 at 21h00. Umlilo offers both a heart-stopping mystery, and a deeply affecting family drama.

The show features a moderately affluent Johannesburg family headed by the dynamic patriarch Mnqobi (played by Hamilton Dhlamini), a self-made man in his 40s. Mnqobi is a successful businessman and global player on the brink of landing a lucrative business deal that would make him and his partner happy.

His first wife, 40-year-old Cebisile (played by Gcina Mkhize), is his childhood sweetheart from their rural village in KwaZulu Natal. They have been married for close to two decades and have two teenage daughters. Cebisile is a staunch traditionalist who misses her rural surroundings. Although not very happy as a matriarch of the family, she is the glue that keeps the family together.

The second wife, 30-year-old Dumile (played by Nokuthula Ledwaba), is a city girl born and raised in Soweto. She hasn’t bore Mnqobi any children yet, although he’s yearning for a son. Dumile, by virtue of her upbringing, is very different from Cebisile, the first wife. She was abused as a child and grew into a party animal. She has a very loosely-based modern outlook to the marriage.

Despite their inherent differences, Cebisile and Dumile live a relatively amicable life as Mnqobi’s two wives, until somebody lights up a spark, much to their chagrin.

“Audiences must expect mystique, rich cultural and a traditionally textured modern day storyline. This project is set to heat up television screens, as it explores the life and relations of a layered polygamist home. This is the type of production that is bold, adventurous and will get tongues wagging, especially within the urban market that may find the theme a bit taboo. We hope the series will inspire dialogue for many weeks to come,’ said Monde Twala, managing mirector for e.tv’s channels division.

Umlilo starts Monday, 2 March 2015 at 21h00 on e.tv and e.tv HD on channel 104 on OpenView HD.

e.tv scoops three PromaxBDA Africa awards


On Friday, 21 November 2014, e.tv took home three awards at the PromaxBDA (Broadcast Design Association) Africa awards. The e.tv creative services team won gold for Best Edited Promo, silver for Best Use of Original Music for e.tv’s 15th birthday campaign and another silver for Best Outdoor Creative for the Rhythm City illustrated billboards.

PromaxBDA represents thousands of companies and individuals at every major media organisation, marketing agency, strategic and creative vendor and technology providers. The association is considered to be a leading global resource for education, creative inspiration and career development in the media and media marketing sectors.

The PromaxBDA awards stands for excellence in media marketing and speaks to every part of the business from promotion and design to branding. The jury for the 2014 awards was composed of a panel of industry leaders, who objectively reviewed the campaigns to decide which ones truly represent the most innovative and creative marketing campaigns in the industry.

“This is a true testimony of e.tv’s scope in the local and global community. We have a team that understands how to use copy and graphics to connect with our audiences, the same way our content does. We are pleased to see that we are pioneers in the media industry,’ said Monde Twala, managing director for e.tv Channels Division.

e.tv boosts local content

South African free-to-air (FTA) commercial broadcaster e.tv has commissioned new local content across its various channels, including some of the new channels that launch on 15 October 2013 on sister company Platco Digital’s new FTA platform, OpenView HD.

The new channels are eKasi+ (local content), eAfrica+ (African content), eToonz+ (kids progamming), and eMovies+ (films).

e.tv’s head of Channels, Monde Twala, admits that filling eKasi+ with round-the-clock local content tailor-made to appeal specifically to township viewers, will be a key challenge in the next few years.

“It will require innovation in the manner in which business models around content are structured,’ explains Twala. “Content ideas are not an issue and South Africa has a very healthy and competitive production sector that is able to deliver compelling and creative programming.

“However, we need to be cautious and work together as an industry; more channels do not necessary result in more production work. We need to look at sustainable ways to be able to fund and also recoup investments made by broadcasters and local producers.’

As from October this year all of e.tv’s locally commissioned content will be delivered and produced in high definition (HD).

Twala continues: “This includes all international content such as movies, kids’ animation and series. HD content will be phased in over a period, across all our themed channels. Content that is not filmed in HD will be upgraded as it is a standard for HD broadcasts worldwide.

“We are working closely with the production sector and international suppliers to ensure that we deliver a better and improved quality picture for our market. This also means South Africa will remain on par with international benchmarks and that the TV consumers in the country will be the ultimate winners. We have seen significant growth in HDTV sales and as a broadcaster we have to move with consumer trends.’

There has been much media speculation as to whether e.tv’s decision to launch its new channels on OpenView HD (an FTA satellite platform) was motivated by South Africa’s disastrously delayed digital terrestrial television (DTT) project. The migration to DTT has yet to commence and after June 2015, the International Telecommunications Union will no longer protect the analogue signal in Africa.

Twala responds: “It is e.tv’s strategy to be platform agnostic and make our channels available wherever it makes business sense. The fact that e.tv’s channels are available on OpenView HD should not be seen as competition to DTT. We are committed to South Africa’s digital migration process and look forward to launching a bouquet of channels on this complementary platform.”

As to whether e.tv’s four new channels were originally planned for DTT, Twala comments: “e.tv has always been planning for expansion and growth. Our channels have been developed over a period of time.”

Africa channel

He notes that e.tv decided to launch eAfrica+ because the broadcaster has been active outside South Africa since July 2009 with a view to become the number one entertainment network in Africa.

“Our research has proved that Africans are passionate about high quality African content produced by and for Africans,’ says Twala.

When asked how eAfrica+’s offering will differ from that of M-Net’s AfricaMagic pay-TV channels, Twala describes eAfrica+ as “the destination of choice for free pan-African entertainment’.

The channel will showcase original African stories, created by Africans, for Africans.
Content will range from African music, drama and news to the popular Nollywood genre.

“African content goes beyond just Nollywood movies, we have creative and diverse stories and programming to showcase, like fashion and documentary programming,” says Twala.

All the new channels are the result of a full market study and review of trends around TV consumption and genres, along with a clear brand alignment.

“It’s taken us a good few years to get the recipe right, and we continue to shape ourselves according to our audience’s needs,’ concludes Twala.

In terms of the revenue model for the new channels, e.tv pays transmission costs to Platco Digital and derives revenue solely from advertising.

To access e.tv’s OpenView HD offering, viewers will have to pay a once-off installation fee of R1 599 that includes a decoder and satellite dish.

e.tv stars at Soweto Festival Expo

The Soweto Festival Expo runs from 20 to 22 September at the Joburg Expo Centre at Nasrec, with a star-studded line up of entertainment and personalities from e.tv.

e.tv will launch its new High Definition Open View (HDOV) digital subscriber platform with a daily high-energy outdoor activation. On Saturday 21 September crowds are in for a treat when celebrity cast members from many of the channel’s popular shows, take to the stage.

Fans can expect to see a number of personalities including:

Sandy Mokwena (Eddie), Joyce Skefu (Maletsatsi) Sello Maake kaNcube (Daniel), Refilwe Madumo (Palesa), Clint Brink (Tino), Siyabonga Shibe (Kila), Kagiso Modupe (Mangi), Lorcia Cooper (Erin); Masechaba Moshoeshoe (Mmadika), Marjorie Langa (Gloria), Mapaseka Koetle (Dintle), Gabisile Legodi (Gontse) and Abigail Kubheka (Gogo Nyathi)

Rhythm City
Amo Chidi (Reneilwe), Itumeleng Bokaba (Mampho), Samkelo Ndlovu (Lerato), Dumi Masilela (Sifiso), Mduduzi Mabaso (Suffocate), Siphiwe Mtshali (Bash), Mpho Molepo (Fats), Jamie Bartlett (David), Connie Chiume (Mamokete), Pam Andrews (Gail), Nolo Phiri (Niki), Sethlabi Taunyane (Kop), Peter Se Puma (Miles), Sandile Dlamini (Jafta), Sayitsheni Mdaki (Speshil), Tebogo Selebogo (Findo), Paul Maila (Toolkit), Magi Williams (Cuba), Bonga Dlamini (Mangaliso), Molobane Mbatha (Victoria)

Reality Check
Khanyi Mbau, Babalwa Mneno and Nonhle Thema

Club 808
Mo Flava, Thando Thabethe and DJ Zan-D

Rolling with
Mduduzi Tshabalala aka Mandoza

Zola Hashatsi, Phemelo Kabini, Thabile Ngwato, Ntokozo Molefe, Itumeleng Mashiloane, Mpho Sebeng , Lerato Kgalamono, Evan Creamer and Chanley Wong

Kaelo Stories of Hope
Lerato Mvelase

The event opens at 10h00 daily and activities will include a kids’ play area, a fun fair, braai area, beer garden, VIP area with jazz lounge and the Jozi FM annual Gospel Festival, which takes place on Sunday 22 September.

Tickets are R50 for adults, R20 for kids and pensioners and are available from Jozi FM and at the gate.

Follow the action on Twitter #etvKasiTours or visit http://www.sowetofestivalexpo.co.za/ for more information.

e.tv doccy triumphs at PSFF

A documentary produced for South African free-to-air commercial channel e.tv won the award for the best short film at the recent Portuguese Surf Film Festival (PSFF) in Ericeira.

Produced by Megan Steyn and directed by Olmega Mthiyane of Blue Fire Productions, Kushaya Igagasi encompasses stories of street kids who were saved by surfing, as well as the restoration process that took place in their lives.

Says Mthiyane: “I was quite thrilled to hear that our film Kushaya Igagasi won the award. The documentary is about four remarkable young men who did their best to tell their stories as honestly as possible, which helped convey the message and the plight faced by street kids. It’s important to always emphasise that there is hope for a brighter and safer future for street kids, especially when they are able to engage in healthy activities like surfing. We all have a role to play in raising a child.

“When we were filming the documentary we never imagined we would win an international award. It is so liberating to know that the children have been exposed to the rest of the world.’

e.tv head of Channel Monde Twala adds: “We are honoured that once again our local content is receiving international recognition. Kushaya Igagasi is one of many e.tv programmes that highlight the unique and often inspirational stories of everyday South Africans. The production team did an excellent job in conveying a story that our viewers can relate to.’

Kushaya Igagasi was broadcast on e.tv on 6 January 2013.

A new season of local documentaries will air on e.tv from Sunday, 5 January 2014 at 6:30pm.

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