SABC viewership plunges to the lowest on record

7 April 2017

Regulation & Policy

The SABCs TV viewership keeps plunging and has now dropped to a disastrous 45% audience share its lowest on record while SABC radio station listenership also nosedived following the badly implemented 90% local content decree of its former chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Channel24 reported that while the viewership of SABC2 and SABC3 have been tanking over several months since mid-2016, even the stalwart SABC1 is now being affected and its viewership sliding, with overall SABC TV audiences that have slipped to just 45% in the last quarter.

The SABCs falling viewership and radio listenership comes in the wake of the disastrous implementation of Hlaudi Motsoenengs 90% local content decree in June 2016 thats drained the public broadcasters production coffers and saw viewers and listeners, and then also advertisers flee.

According to the SABCs latest group operations business review document of 22 March, the SABCs plummeting TV audience share has now hit the lowest on record.

Business Day on Friday first reported about the latest business review document.

The SABCs ongoing audience losses is however MultiChoices gain, with the SABC ironically supplying TV channels like SABC News and SABC Encore to DStv.

The SABCs internal research notes that while SABC audience share fell to its lowest level ever in the last quarter, that MultiChoices audience share for DStv has climbed from 25% to 28% - its its highest on record.

Meanwhile, the SABC keeps revising its TV audience share target downwards, but the 45% is even lower than the downgraded 51% it wants to try and meet.

Its not just the SABCs three terrestrial TV channels that are struggling the SABCs radio stations are hemorrhaging as well.

SABC radio stations bleeding

The SABCs predominantly English language radio stations Metro FM, Good Hope FM and even Radio 2000 saw significant declines since mid-2016 when Hlaudi Motsoenengs abrupt content policy change was enforced.

In the 9 months since the change the SABC hasnt done any qualitative market research, with the report now suggesting that qualitative research needs to be executed across different radio stations to test the effects of the 90% local music implementation.

SABC radio listeners from RSG to Lotus FM and Lesedi FM have been vocal in their dislike of how language and culture specific radio stations have been forced to play music falling outside of the market demographic of the consumers that specific SABC radio stations are supposed to be catering for.

The SABCs radio audience in the last quarter is now down to 71% according to the business review document.

On Thursday angry and fearful SABC staffers openly slammed SABC management as inept and ignorant, asking executives point blank if theres money as the SABCs cash reserves are plummeting with another financial crisis looming for the broadcaster.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago on Friday didnt immediately respond to a media enquiry seeking comment about the first quarter audience share reports.
Source: Channel24