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Bazinga! HBO Max wins US streaming rights for ‘The Big Bang Theory’
18 September 2019, 9:03 AM

HBO Max, the upcoming streaming service from AT&T Inc’s WarnerMedia, has secured exclusive five-year streaming rights in the United States to all 12 seasons of comedy hit “The Big Bang Theory”.

Ranked as the No. 1 comedy on US television for the past seven years, the show has garnered an audience of some 20-million people.

The rights for the show cost HBO Max between $500-million and $600-million, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

All 279 episodes will be available on HBO Max when it launches in the spring of 2020, WarnerMedia said in a statement.

Winning rights to hit shows has become expensive in a crowded streaming industry dominated by Netflix Inc, Hulu and Amazon.com’s Prime Video. Walt Disney Co and Apple Inc have also announced their own streaming services.

Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal said on Tuesday it would name its upcoming streaming service “Peacock” and offer a broad slate of original content, including “Dr Death” starring Emmy and Golden Globe winner Alec Baldwin.

Peacock will also offer classic sitcoms “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” and is scheduled to be launched in 2020, NBCUniversal said. The company owns traditional television network NBC, which features a peacock in its logo.

Netflix Inc, poised to lose “The Office” to Peacock in 2021, said on Monday it had landed the global streaming rights for classic TV sitcom “Seinfeld.”

“The Office” was the most-watched show on Netflix in the United States, followed by “Friends”, when measured by minutes streamed, according to Nielsen data for 2018.

HBO Max, which is expecting a slate of 10,000 hours of premium content at launch, got here the rights to stream US reruns of “Friends” from 2020 in July.

Television rights for “The Big Bang Theory” will remain with cable television channel TBS till 2028, WarnerMedia said on Tuesday.

The show about four brilliant but socially inept scientists that made geeks and comic book nerds pop culture cool, began in 2007 and went on to win 10 Emmy awards, four of them for Jim Parsons as quirky theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper.

Over the years, the series featured cameos by celebrities including British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, “Star Trek” actors William Shatner and George Takei, and Marvel comics legend Stan Lee.

South Africans urged to have wills as National Wills Week continues
17 September 2019, 4:53 PM

It is the National Wills Week in which everyone in the country is encouraged to seek free legal advice about creating a will.

Over 150 attorneys in the country are expected to help South Africans to create their wills free of charge throughout the week.

Thabo Mantyi, one of the lawyers that will offer his services, says having a will is very important as it could minimise disputes that may arise once a loved one has died.

“It speeds up the process of winding up of the Estate. Because in your will, you’ve nominated someone who’s going to wind up the estate. So, once a person has been appointed by will the process is quicker. Importantly, when there are minor beneficiaries, when you have kids, when it is a will you automatically create a trust. This trust is for the benefit of the children. So, the money that’s going to the children is kept in a trust which is very important.”

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Parliament
EFF debates state capacity through in-sourcing
17 September 2019, 2:36 PM

The National Assembly on Tuesday debates a motion brought by the Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) leader Julius Malema.

Malema will lead a debate under the theme building state capacity through in-sourcing of government and all state-owned companies’ workers’.

Parliament says Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel will also make a statement on ‘Brexit‘ and its impact on South Africa’s economy during the same plenary session.

SABC will not broadcast Rugby World Cup
17 September 2019, 9:58 AM

Free to Air Television and Radio viewers and listeners respectively will not get to watch or listen to the Springboks on the public broadcaster’s platforms.

The SABC has confirmed it will not broadcast the upcoming Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Public Broadcaster Spokesperson Vuyo Mthembu says that the cost of gaining the rights to broadcast the 2019 Rugby World Cup would not have been viable and there would not have been a return on investment.

“The SABC can confirm that it was unable to reach a sublicense agreement with SuperSport for the television broadcast of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. The SABC was negotiating the radio rights with another third party which was IMG and unfortunately an agreement there could also not be reached. The public broadcaster endeavours to broadcast sports of national interest as well as national teams of the respected sporting codes in fulfilling its public mandate. However, the cost of these particular right would not have been permissibly viable and there would not have been a return on investment for the SABC.”

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Pandor slams media over xenophobia
17 September 2019, 9:26 AM

South Africa’s delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in New York will be at pains to dispel views that South Africa is xenophobic.

The delegation will be led by International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor, who has blamed the media for fuelling tensions.

“I think it is South African media that is depicting South Africa as xenophobic because South African media is very keen to keep this impression alive and I would urge the media of South Africa to help us to start sending a different message. We are dealing with a very complex matter and as South Africans we truly regret what happened in our country and that we are working hard to ensure we don’t have a recurrence of such incidents, that as a country we would do more to ensure we build bridges across both South African people as well as non-national resident in our country.”

Next week’s trip to the UN comes just weeks after a wave of violence targeting mostly foreign nationals in some parts of Gauteng.

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Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa has again urged South Africans not to use foreign nationals as scapegoats for the country’s economic woes. He was addressing the South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union Congress in Durban on Monday.

“Our integrity has therefore been negatively affected. We will have to work very hard as South Africans to regain our stature, our position and in this regard, it was best to just stand up and say we are sorry for what happened and in having said so we now need to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”

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