eNews blames DStv after channel freezes


The eNews Channel is fuming after it went off air for 47 minutes on Monday during President Jacob Zuma’s press conference at which he axed two of his ministers and announced a wide-ranging cabinet reshuffle. The channel says it is compiling a report into what happened and will demand answers from DStv, owned by MultiChoice, which it is blaming for the incident.

The fault started at 2.08pm on Monday, shortly before Zuma began addressing the media. Hundreds of frustrated viewers took to social media services like Twitter to vent their frustration.

eNews, which is a sister channel to free-to-air broadcaster e.tv, is blaming a “signal failure to DStv” that resulted in a “freeze frame” on air. “A second redundant line to DStv was operational, but engineers at DStv were unable to switch over immediately,” says Rob Brown, head of technical operations at eNews.

“Usually the switchover to the second signal would take only a few seconds, or minutes at most,” says Brown. “DStv regrettably took longer than expected to switch over.”
Group head of news Patrick Conroy says eNews is “very disappointed that the switch over took so long”.

“We have redundancy lines in place for just this kind of problem and should never have been off air. We have received numerous complaints from viewers, which is entirely understandable.”The channel says a full report is being drawn up ahead of the matter being raised with DStv management.