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SABC admits: Viewers hate its schedule switching

2015-08-19 13:51

Cape Town – Newly appointed SABC CEO Frans Matlala revealed during his first report to parliament that viewers totally hate it and tune out when the SABC switches programming from one channel to another.

Frans Matlala said switching programmes between channels like SABC1 and SABC2 seemed like an "innovative" idea, but blamed the move for a drop in audience figures in the latter part of 2014 and said the SABC had since reverted back to its "original" schedules for the channels.

The SABC's audience share remains flat at 49% for the third quarter of 2014 which the public broadcaster reported on, and missed its target of 52%.

"From just immediately after the World Cup we changed our schedules," said Frans Matlala.

"We moved some programmes from SABC1 to SABC2, which is something that our viewers didn't like very much. And of course we lost audience there.

"The second one was Generations was cancelled [on SABC1] during that particular period and it took us a while to come up with an alternative," he said.

"Immediately after the World Cup we had to deal with the issue of Generations – that it had been cancelled – which had to be replaced with another property of ours, which is Skeem Saam.

"It took a while for the audience to get used to Skeem Saam, but far more importantly, we had to negotiate with the different advertisers on this particular change, and of course the [viewership and advertising revenue] figures were affected somewhat by this change," said Frans Matlala.

"A lot of our audiences came back to us to say that they don't appreciate those changes and we've since reverted back to the original schedules that we had for SABC1 and SABC2. So the reasons for the decline in our audiences are internal," said Frans Matlala.

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