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Proposed TV licence plan for DSTV, Netflix mobile viewers

South Africans who watch DSTV and Netflix on their mobile devices could find themselves paying a TV licence fee to the SABC even if they do not watch any of the broadcaster’s channels.

However, the proposal from the government to charge people with mobile devices the cost of a television licence and then transfer all the subsequent income to the SABC has been widely rejected as unworkable and unwise, before the February 15 deadline for public comments.

Last month in a written response to a parliamentary question about the proposal by Michael Waters (DA), Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said: “The proposals require review and consequential amendments to the TV licence fee section to broaden the definition and collection system for television licences.”

The campaign group Dear South Africa (Dear SA) has run a poll on its website about the proposal, and spokesperson Rob Hutchinson said: “Out of 34 000 comments received so far, it’s a resounding ’no’ to the SABC’s proposal from 32 851 participants. Meanwhile, 318 are in favour while 760 sit on the fence.”

“Top concerns from all surround the new licence framework with many comments on SABC content, value for money and the sheer quantity of available online content,” said Hutchinson.

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga said: “This proposal goes against the whole deregulation process, and logistically the plan looks like it can never work. They should know that TV viewing has evolved a great deal. A lot has happened, including how content is delivered, and SABC has not innovated to keep up.”

“Today we have Smart TVs, and these do not rely on terrestrial channels. You can stream series and films and never once have to watch SABC,” said Mathekga.

Cosatu’s provincial secretary, Malvern de Bruyn, said: “The proposals, if they ever come to be, will be difficult to implement. I don’t think it’s practical.

“How will people with phones that cannot access the internet be treated? It will be a mammoth task to convince them to pay for something they cannot make use of,” said De Bruyn.

Economist Mike Schussler said: “That is another tax and it would mean many poor people would have an added cost to their phone calls. This is not a wise idea.

“The current R28 pm fee would add at least 10% to about half of all cellphone subscribers costs. That would defeat the object of cheaper data etc.,” said Schussler.

Trade union Uasa spokesperson Stanford Mazhindu said: “To allow the state broadcaster and the Department of Communications to broaden the definition of a TV licence to increase its revenue is preposterous. To burden the public even more to save yet another failing and poorly managed state-owned company is too much to ask.”

Last year in response to the proposal, SABC spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo said: “The SABC will be making a detailed submission on the paper to the department, including comments on the new licensing framework for audio and audiovisual content services; the funding model for the SABC and mechanisms for funding the public broadcaster’s unfunded public mandate.”

Legalbrief Policy Watch spokesperson Pam Saxby said: “Amendments to regulations do not require Parliament’s involvement. At this stage, the only proposals in the public domain that could affect SABC revenue generation are for changes to the must-carry regulations, which are the focus of an ongoing Icasa inquiry,” said Saxby.

How Government wants Netflix to change

The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies said that it plans to enforce local content quotas on streaming services such as Netflix in the near future. The proposal is contained in the department’s white paper on Audio and Audio-visual Content Services policy framework which is currently open and available for public comment. The department presented the framework to parliament on Wednesday, the 25th of November.

The department’s chief director of broadcasting policy Collin Mashile, in his presentation,  said that local content should be ‘enabled’ by further policy interventions within the audiovisual broadcasting space. “Where video-on-demand subscription services come and operate in South Africa, everything that they show to South Africans in terms of their catalogue – 30% of that catalogue must be South African content,” Mashile said.

“What this means is that we are trying to create opportunities for the production and creative industry sector.”  US-based streaming service Netflix have increased local content output in recent years, but making just under a third of all content on the platform local may prove particularly onerous for the streaming giant. Mashile however addressed this by pointing to the popularity of local shows in South Africa. “We were asked where we got the idea that South Africans are interested in this 30%,” he said. “The most popular shows in every country remain the local shows.”

The White Paper also broadens definition of a “broadcasting service” to include online broadcasting services. This would require payment of a license fee for viewing any “broadcasting services”.  This will include all streaming services, regardless of the device.  In November, the SABC’s head of TV licences Sylvia Tladi said that changes need to be made to South Africa’s broadcasting regulations – including an expanded definition of a ‘TV set’ or now, a broadcasting device.

Some of the devices which are being considered under this expanded definition include:

  • Laptops;
  • Tablets;
  • IPTV;
  • Internet;
  • Decoders;
  • Set-top boxes;
  • Smartphones.

Tladi argued that these devices, which have resulted in new media platforms and content dissemination channels, have a direct impact on TV licence legislation and said that the SABC’s submission also calls for an overhauled TV licence fee system and changes to the legislation regarding public funding strategies envisaged by TV licences.

“To ensure maximum compliance with legislative requirements concerning the payment of TV licence fees, the SABC proposes that the act should place stricter obligations on all relevant stakeholders or role players because the ‘traditional’ television set is no longer the only means of receiving a television broadcast. Therefore, to administer compliance on the payment of licence fees, the SABC is of the view that other entities must be compelled to report on the sale, lease or usage of these ‘television sets’ or ‘viewing devices’.”

‘Princess Di’ in new season of ‘The Crown’ starting 15 November

According to BBC Entertainment, 73 million households around the world have watched and streamed the series since it first aired in 2016. The Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy awarded show is back with a bang for a penultimate season.

Season four runs from 1977 to 1990, and shows the budding romance between Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. The first three seasons focused primarily on Queen Elizabeth 2 and her diplomatic ties to other countries, so it will be interesting to see other cast members receiving more camera time.

The 1970s draw to a close with much worry that heir apparent, Charles, is still unmarried at 30. Enter Lady Diana Spencer, who brings a breath of fresh air to the stiff monarchy.

“The nation begins to feel the impact of divisive policies introduced by Britain’s first female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson), tensions arise between her and the Queen which only grow worse as Thatcher leads the country into the Falklands War, generating conflict within the Commonwealth,” Netflix stated in the synopsis on its site.

Emma Corrin, who closely resembles the former Princess of Wales, joins the series as Lady Diana.

Judging by the trailer and reviews, it’s clear the 23-year-old actress has nailed everything from the late princess’s outfits to her famously coy expression as a young woman.

The American actress Gillian Anderson joins the cast as Thatcher, the first woman to assume the role of British Prime Minister.

The series ends before the nasty divorce between Charles and Diana, which will probably be revealed in the fifth and final season of the hit British drama.

Leon Schuster

ENTERTAINMENT: Netflix Shown interest in Leon Schuster Movies

Just a few days after a social media storm erupted following Showmax’ announcement that they have removed 6 Leon Schuster movies from their streaming platform, Leon Schuster said that Netflix has shown very real interest in his new Mr Bones movie.

The South African filmmaker approached Showmax, Netflix and other entities within Multichoice to fund the movie and according to him, Netflix really liked the concept.

Schuster and Gray Hofmeyr, a South African film and television director, have been working on the new film for over a year.

Leon Schuster has defended his films after Showmax removed it in fear of racial insensitivity, but Schuster maintained that South Africans of all races had always enjoyed his movies.

“People who ask me the most to portray a black person in my movies are black South Africans. We stay in South Africa, which is not a place for sissies or over-sensitive people.”

He said that the decision by Showmax annoyed him and added, “the first Mr Bones was released 20 years ago, and for all this time it was good enough for South Africans.”

The removal of his films from the popular streaming platform have not deterred Schuster at all and he plans to continue making movies for South Africans.

Source: IOL

South African produced Horror to be showcased on Netflix

SA produced Horror to be showcased on Netflix

If you are a fan of horrors, this movie is definitely for you. Just watching the trailer will give you nightmares!  Remember to set a reminder for 19 June 2020.


Proudly South African horror movie to be premiered on Netflix this Winter!

Written by TYLER LEIGH


What better way to spend lockdown than watching a proudly South African horror featuring local folklore and mythology; Netflix is premiering the movie next month!


South Africa (20 May 2020) – Those who appreciate a great horror movie are in for a treat as Netflix has acquired Africa rights for the local original film, 8.


The supernatural thriller, set to launch across Africa on June 19, 2020, is grounded in South African folklore and mythology in a dark story of atonement, rooted in traditional beliefs about ancestors and the spirit world.

Reality and superstition collide in the intersection where the world of the living meets the dead.


8 tells the story of an unaccomplished William Ziel (Garth Breyetenbach) who returns to the farmhouse he inherited from his estranged father with his wife, Sarah (Inge Beckmann), and their adopted niece, Mary (Keita Luna).

Soon after moving in, they meet a mysterious local outcast Lazarus (Tshamano Sebe), who carries with him a dark secret that will put everyone at risk. Lazarus persuades William to hire him in spite of Sarah’s reservations and successfully forges a kindred bond with Mary, who, like him, still aches for her lost kin.

But among the locals, Lazarus is an unwelcome menace who carries a dark secret in his sack: a demon reincarnation of his deceased daughter with an insatiable appetite for human souls.

In his pursuit to calm her nag, he facilitates several deaths and killings in the village, drawing the circle closer to the Ziels.


“We’re really excited about the quality of productions like 8 which was made in South Africa and will now be available for our members to enjoy,” says Ben Amadasun who leads Netflix Licencing and Co-productions in Africa.


“Through Netflix, creators now have the opportunity to reach more audiences. Our aim is to be a good partner for Africa’s creative industry. We’ll continue to create new partnerships that will enhance our library with a wide variety of powerful, engaging stories from across Africa. ”


The script of “8” came out of writer and director Harold Holscher’s personal connection to the story of loss and guilt, combined with his love for the genre of the supernatural and the complexities of South African culture.


“I love that one can take personal strife and place it within a film that can be watched and is relatable. The horror genre is a great genre to do this in, and I hope people enjoy and appreciate this for what it is,” says Holscher.


On the collaboration with Netflix, producer Jac Williams of Cape Town-based independent producers, Man Makes a Picture Productions says, “local stories are being told in ways that find credence abroad, and Netflix is geared at facilitating this new movement globally for filmmakers”.


In America, the movie will be known as “The Soul Collector” so keep an eye out if you are state-side. The rights have also been sold to Russia, Germany, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and France.


Watch the official trailer


Photo Credit: Goodthingsguy

Source: https://www.goodthingsguy.com/lifestyle/proudly-south-african-horror-netflix/

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