Major schedule changes ahead for SABC3

2013-03-12 15:03
Cape Town - From April, SABC3 will be making some major schedule changes to its current line-up.

The channel will be dumping it's late afternoon comedy block, moving the news broadcast to 18:30 and extending it an hour-long bulletin, as well as move Top Billing yet again - back to Thursdays.

These radical changes for the South African public broadcaster's only commercial TV channel are part of a new programming shake-up that will come into effect on 1 April.

The major schedule overhaul comes as Lefa Afrika was appointed SABC3's new acting channel head after Ed Worster left in the middle of February.

There's been no official announcement from SABC3 as yet.

Hour long news bulletin

News @ 7, the SABC's flagship news bulletin, is losing that name when it moves to the 18:30 timeslot and will be expanding from a 30-minute to a 60-minute bulletin on weekdays.

It will be the first time in decades that the SABC will have a TV news bulletin spanning an hour again.

The SABC's television news division and SABC3 is trying to win back viewers of the Engligh news who've migrated to's eNews Prime Time and NewsNight on eNCA (DStv 403) as the subscriber growth of the DStv Compact bouquet continues to surge and South African TV viewers seek out television news alternatives.

According to the Television Audience Measurement Survey Ratings published by the South African Audience Research Foundation,'s eNews Prime Time averages twice as many English news viewers as SABC3's News @ 7 broadcast.

As a result of this news shift, SABC3 will be dumping its 18:30 comedy block. "The comedy slot wasn't working," an insider revealed.

"SABC3 is now going to be, and focus on, 'bringing you the news first' - therefore at 18:30 when everyone else is at 19:00," another well-connected source said.

"The new move is now to rather invest in news which the SABC is doing in-house anyway, and to expand on bringing viewers more of the day's news and showcase that before they see it elsewhere," according to the insider.

Top Billing moved (again)

The weekday news update News in 60 Seconds is also being cancelled from April.

Top Billing, SABC3's long-running premiere local magazine show will be going through yet another timeslot change. In April it will return to Thursdays where it was before it was moved to Tuesdays exactly two years ago in April 2011. From Thursday, 4 April it will also move to a new timeslot at 20:30.

The Nate Berkus Show
, on weekdays at 09:30, will be moving to 14:45 from Monday, 1 April.

The revamped Hawaii Five-0, starring Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan, which premiered on M-Net two years ago, will be starting on Monday 1 April at 21:30.

The Sportswrap segment, which is featured weekdays, will be moving about an hour later on the SABC3 schedule from April.

A Days of Our Lives omnibus of the week's episodes has now also been introduced on Saturdays at 11:00.

Kids' show Barney & Friends will be broadcast on weekdays at 08:30 from April, with the Saturday morning cartoon line-up undergoing a complete overhaul as well.

The late night matric revision rebroadcast will also be making a shift over from SABC1 to SABC3.

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