Open main menu is the first and only privately owned free-to-air television station in South Africa. It is the fifth terrestrial television channel in the country, following three channels that are operated by the state-owned South African Broadcasting Corporation (that is SABC 1, SABC 2 and SABC 3) and the privately-owned subscription-funded M-Net.
Launched1 October 1998
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
SloganNumber 1 home of entertainment
Free your imagination
CountrySouth Africa
Broadcast areaSouth Africa
HeadquartersCape Town (Main Building)
Sister channel(s)eToonz
eMovies Extra
SentechChannel depends on nearest repeater
StarTimesChannel 156
StarSatChannel 160
DStvChannel 194 (South Africa)
Channel 250 (eAfrica feed)
OVHDChannel 104



Midi TV was the consortium that won the broadcasting licence in 1998 to operate the channel. It is owned by black empowerment group eMedia Investments (Formerly Hosken Consolidated Investments) and Remgro, a part of the Rupert business empire.

The consortium has had many changes in ownership, however the dominant player has always been HCI: it had bought out minority black shareholders who had failed to repay loans they used to purchase the Midi TV stake. Warner Bros. sold their 25% shareholding of the channel in 2001, concerned that they would never be able to exercise full ownership: South African media ownership law restricts foreign entities to owning no more than 25% of a television channel.

Marcel Golding, a former trade unionist, was controversially forced to resign as the station's CEO in late October 2014 following the controversial purchase of shares he made in South African electronics equipment maker Ellies.[1] HCI had insisted in court documents that the purchase of the R24 million stake in the electronics maker, which also produces digital set-top boxes, was without authorisation. Golding had in court documents, challenging his removal as CEO, stated that attempts to get rid of him was due to the ANC government wanting to control the station's news output through direct interference.[2]

Controversy and milestonesEdit

In January 2001, showed floor plans and other blueprints for renovations of Genadendal Residence, the official residence of President Thabo Mbeki, on air. The government responded by threatening legal action, citing that the station contravened The Protection of Information Act.[3] In August, it was reported to be the fastest-growing channel in South Africa.[4] After the September 11, 2001 attacks, joined other South African broadcasters in agreeing to continue broadcasting statements by Osama bin Laden.[5] It was also the site of an anthrax scare in October.[6]

In 2002, the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa exonerated from overstepping its code of conduct after complaints were received following its screening of series from the Emmanuelle soft-core porn series.[7] In June, it failed in its attempt to stop M-Net from acquiring a new broadcast licence.[8]

In 2003, it was awarded a contract from Uthingo to broadcast the National Lottery results live.[9]

In 2004, was reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority after launching a series of newspaper advertisement in which the SABC was purported to be a "state broadcaster" and "lacking editorial independence."[10] In October, it failed in its bid to force the court to allow a live broadcast of the proceedings of the Schabir Shaik trial.[11] In November, it was reported that Midi TV owed ICASA R7 million in licence fees.[12]

In 2005, it was fined R55 000 for two offences of broadcasting 18-rated movies before 9pm.[13] It was also prevented by court ruling preventing it from airing a documentary concerning a prominent baby murder, but upon appeal was ordered to show the documentary to the case's prosecutors for review.[14][15] The station also fired prominent personality Soli Philander after a year's involvement.[16][17][18] It also garnered controversy from conservative and religious groups after it decided to broadcast softcore pornography late at night over weekends. It was also to be subpoenaed to appear before the Parliament's home affairs portfolio committee after failing to attend a hearing on pornography; subsequently claimed that they were given too short notice.[19][20]

In 2006, it refused to air a controversial interview with P.W. Botha before his 90th birthday, which both the SABC and M-Net refused as well.[21] They also received 14 complaints after a contestant was injured in an episode of the local Fear Factor; the station retorted, saying they "gave fair warning" to participants prior to the show, which was upheld by the BCCSA.[22][23]

The news reports of are sometimes critical of the SABC for having "close ties" to the ruling African National Congress. Both print and outdoor campaigns by imply an inherent bias in the SABC's news coverage. More recently, joined a coalition of media outlets in a lawsuit to force the courts to allow live audio and/or video feeds to be broadcast from trials involving government officials and other prominent figures.

Because of its liberal policies on adult content and its continual reinforcement of being free-to-air while it broadcast blockbuster movies, seems to have won the ratings war against SABC, especially on weekends.

StatSat TV (formerly known as TopTV) has now announced the arrival of eMovies+, eKasi+ and e Africa+ in its R99 bouquet in December 2013. The provider later apologized that the channels will not arrive until January 2014. In May 2017, information was leaked about eToonz, eMovies, eMovies Extra & eExtra on DStv and launched on 17 May. In 2018, launched a women-orientated channel called eBella on 5 March on Openview HD and DStv.

Starting in April 2013, the channel launched "e on Demand", a catch-up service that allows registered viewers to watch past episodes of their favorite TV shows as well as watch exclusive content.[24] Many of's own productions are available to view including its popular weekday soap opera Rhythm City.

In November 2018, launched two additional channels OpenNews and eReality.


Local Productions

In early days had a strong focus on local content. Many of e.TV's shows received high ratings, beating those of the SABC.

Backstage, set in an arts college in Cape Town, started off on a high note when it first aired in 2000, but things soured when had a dispute with the production company, and several popular cast members left the show. Because of low ratings to other shows in its time slot, Backstage was cancelled as of the end of June 2007.[25] Backstage has since been replaced by "Rhythm City" which is set in the South African music industry.

Scandal!, set in a mass media company in Johannesburg, experienced increased ratings after its timeslot was changed from 8pm to 7.30pm. In its previous timeslot, the soapie clashed with SABC 1's established soapie Generations. In 2015 the channel introduced new dramas such as Ashes to Ashes, Matatiele, Umlilo, Z'bondiwe, Gold Diggers, Traffic, Broken Vows and eKasi: Our Stories. It also introduced new South African reality shows such as Coke Studio. Ashes to Ashes was renewed for a second season. The channel is currently airing another series, Imbewu: The Seed

From 2009 the channel also broadcast Superdance South Africa, a Latin dance competition.[26]

International content

In South Africa, hosted some HBO shows like The Sopranos, Six Feet Under and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

From January 2016, is the first free-to-air channel in South Africa to air the hit show Empire. The channel also broadcasts Lip Sync Battle from USA and the South African versions . In September 2017, Days of Our Lives moved from SABC3 to etv.

The channel also airs Family Feud, the celebrity edition and Minute to Win It

Sports previously secured broadcast rights of the UEFA Champions League and the World Wrestling Entertainment's various shows;[27] which aired on weekdays and weekends, these received the highest ratings in their timeslots. broadcast WWE programming everyday and had come to brand itself as "the home of WWE". As of 2009, WWE pay-per-views were and aired only 7 days after the US premiere. But viewership started to decline and a demand on movies increased. The rights are now carried on DStv's Supersport


The channel started broadcasting news bulletins from both Cape Town and Johannesburg, until 2016, when the channel started broadcasting news from Johannesburg. Initial news broadcasts were criticised[ for being too focused on Cape Town, with news from other regions not given enough prominence. The channel's master control still runs from its Kloof Street production centre in the city. For unknown reasons, stopped broadcasting eNews 1 PM, eNews Headlines & eNews 7 PM. eNews 1 PM was repleaced by OpenNews 1 PM and eNews 7 PM was replaced by eNCA's Flagship Programme, News Night

eNews Morning (Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Setswana)

The Language team brings you news, sport and weather in your favorite languages. It is aired on weekdays at 8 AM.

OpenNews 1PM

The OpenNews team brings you an update on news, sport and weather. Airs weekdays at 1 PM.

eNews 8PM

Sally Burdent and Tony Ndoro re-cap the day's stories, sport and weather. Ars weekedays at 8 PM.

News Night

eNCA's News Night Weekend Team, Gareth Edwards and Faith Mangope, recaps the weekend's news, sport and weather. Airs weekends at 7 PM

Sister ChannelsEdit


LaunchedJune 1, 2008; 11 years ago (2008-06-01)
Picture format16:9 (576i, SDTV)
SloganNo fear. No favour.
CountrySouth Africa
Broadcast areaWorldwide via (eNCA International)
HeadquartersJohannesburg, South Africa
Formerly calledeNews Channel
(until 19 August 2012)
DStvChannel 403

eNCA (also referred to as eNews Channel Africa) is a 24-hour television news broadcaster, owned by, focusing on South African and African stories. The broadcaster became South Africa's first 24-hour news service when it launched in June 2008.[28] first ever news channel that is available exclusively on DStv. Previously called eNews Channel.

24-hour movie channel. Previously called eMovies+.


eExtra is a South African digital satellite television channel which replaced the defunct eKasi+ channel on OVHD offering a variety of premium entertainment in HD including sitcoms, drama series, reality, telenovelas, court shows, lifestyle and movies. Previously called eKasi+, displays's series which have either appeared on the channel before or yet to be shown and comedic movies on weekends

Sister channel of eMovies+ and eExtra showing mostly action and thriller movies

A children's cartoon channel featuring cartoons already shown on e such as Pokémon and their original characters, the Cool Catz. Previous called eToonz+

A second news channel from eMedia Investments that launched exclusively on Openview.

It promises to be a binge watchers paradise with thrilling real-life stories, fascinating characters, and raw human emotion. There's something compelling for everyone.

New lookEdit

To fit in with their new 24-hour news channel eNCA, changed their look on 1 January 2008, giving it a simplistic look and modern design.[citation needed]

The channel once again went through a redesign of its graphics package, with a more 3D appearance in January 2013.[citation needed]

In November 2017, gave eMovies+ and eToonz+ a new look to fit in with their other channels red look and dumped the '+' sign from both these channels proclaiming them as eToonz and eMovies from that point onward.

In November 2018, the channel changed their red look to a golden look. This was in commemorating the channel's 20th Anniversary, but stopped in 2019.

In April 2019, underwent a brand, new look. In the new look, has done away with the hard red square background border, opting for a "faded edge" look, giving a softer tonal impression

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "E-tv may be charged with security breach". News24. 11 January 2001. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  4. ^ " growth outstrips other channels". 21 August 2001. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  5. ^ "SA media take a stand". News24. 12 October 2001. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  6. ^ "Anthrax hoax lands man in court". News24. 19 October 2001. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  7. ^ " wins Emmanuelle case". News24. 13 March 2002. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  8. ^ " fails to close Open Time". News24. 10 June 2002. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  9. ^ " to call the lucky numbers". News24. 28 March 2003. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  10. ^ "SABC 'not a state broadcaster'". News24. 20 April 2004. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  11. ^ "Shaik: broadcast bid fails". News24. 13 October 2004. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  12. ^ "M-Net, owe Icasa millions". News24. 8 November 2004. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  13. ^ "Commission fines R40 000". News24. 4 March 2005. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  14. ^ " to fight Jordan ruling". News24. 26 August 2005. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  15. ^ "Jordan: must show film". News24. 26 August 2005. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  16. ^ "Soli to host new show". News24. 1 December 2004. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  17. ^ "Soli, at loggerheads". News24. 5 December 2005. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  18. ^ " 'We fired' Soli". News24. 6 December 2005. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  19. ^ "Porn lands in trouble". News24. 15 November 2005. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  20. ^ " 'disappointed' over porn". News24. 17 November 2005. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  21. ^ " says no to PW interview". News24. 17 January 2006. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  22. ^ "Fear Factor draws complaints". News24. 27 January 2006. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  23. ^ " 'gave fair warning'". News24. 28 March 2006. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  24. ^ "e On Demand - Featured". Retrieved 15 January 2014.
  25. ^ "Backstage takes to court". News24. 16 March 2002. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  26. ^ "Superdance South Africa launches". Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  27. ^ "Get ready to rumble". News24. 6 December 2002. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  28. ^ Issa Sikiti da Silva (2 June 2008). "eNews 24-hour channel takes to the airwaves". Retrieved 21 August 2012.

External linksEdit