Cape Town – In another surprise scheduling move, the SABC is shifting its highest-rated show Generations tonight from SABC1 to its channel with the smallest reach – SABC3 – due to soccer.
Generations, usually shown on weekdays at 20:00 on SABC1, will be shown at 19:30 on SABC3 tonight in the place of local telenovela High Rollers, so that the SABC can broadcast the international friendly soccer match between South Africa and Ghana from 19:00 live on SABC1 from the Moses Mabhida stadium.
The move will apparently happen again on 15 November when SABC3's High Rollers will be switched for Generations in its timeslot.
It's the first time the SABC has replaced one locally produced SABC TV soap with another of its locally produced TV soaps.
The SABC's disruptive move is bad for several reasons:
- Previously when the SABC had to move Generations due to soccer broadcasts it was to another timeslot on SABC1, or like for instance during the African Nations Championships to SABC2 where the channel's target audience has a bigger overlap with SABC1.
- SABC3 can only be received by 77% of South African viewers and the channel's target audience is the furthest from SABC1. It makes no sense for the SABC to move its most watched show with an audience of 8.1 million viewers to a channel where millions of viewers won't be able to see it, won't know it's on there, and in another timeslot.
- As debilitating as it is for Generations and that soap's audience, it's even more devastating for High Rollers and that show's audience of just over 600 000 on SABC3. Not only does the SABC with the unusual move signal that High Rollers "matters" less as local SABC content than Generations as local content, it also will impact negatively on the specific demos and audience ratings both channels and both shows try to reach.
- The SABC is literally damaging itself and its brands with self-inflicted wounds. Generations ratings for this week has no other place than go down; High Rollers ratings will also definitely be down. And keep in mind viewer sentiment. Viewers, especially serialised soap watchers, find it confusing and get angry when they come back after they missed, or were forced to miss an episode and struggle to try and fill in what they've missed and then resent TV channel brands for "messing" with their stories.
- The SABC will very likely lose advertising income on two streams – for advertisers who bought airtime during what would have been Generations' 20:00 timeslot on SABC1, as well as SABC3's 19:30 High Rollers timeslot. The SABC will have to do what the biz calls "make-goods", give paid and booked advertisers more timeslots in future to reach the right audience they lost out on in the first place, which means less available ad inventory available for the SABC can sell.
- The SABC will also lose money from the sport broadcast during which it can't sell the highly lucrative ad spots commercial advertisers want during Generations.
SABC1 has been silent about what's going on with the channel's other erratic moves.
The new third season of sitcom Tempy Pushas was scheduled to start this past Friday on SABC1 but was suddenly a no-show with no word from the channel as to why it didn't start and why Shuga continued. The new Tempy Pushas was this week suddenly rescheduled to start on Friday 28 October but there's been no reason given for the delay. And then it got rescheduled for a third time within days to now start on 14 October.
The new street dance reality show Street Cred has been rescheduled to start this Thursday at 18:00.
The SABC also did a U-turn and decided to keep its ratings successful talk show Zaziwa on Thursdays at 19:30.
SABC1 recently decided to drop Zaziwa from its highly successful primetime timeslot of 19:30 and to move it to the bizarre timeslot of 21:00 from this week where it would not just no longer be a hit but struggle to find any audience up against SABC2's Venda soap juggernaut Muvhango and pay-TV ratings hit The Queen on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161).
Zaziwa will now suddenly be staying in its 19:30 timeslot on SABC1.
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