Major schedule changes ahead for SABC3

2013-03-12 15:03
Thinus Ferreira
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.


  • Peter EethomKitty Gundlach - 2013-03-12 15:43

    Very smart plan.... dinner and watching news ? kids will have to bath after the news now. Ill have to leave work 30 mins earlier so I can get everything done to settle down... SABC there is nothing wrong with your time slots... your programming SUX all of it all three the channels... its the truth.... if DSTV Compact bouquet is making money OFFER THOSE TYPES OF PROGRAMMING ???

  • ShottaZee Nchema Rapoo - 2013-03-12 15:49

    Brilliant move, I always find SABC3 news heavy in content compared to etv's 3 news-item one that runs for 15min as they try to squeeze in as many ads. Also enews are too Cape Town and urban, while SABC3 covers most provincial news.

      Klipkop de Groote - 2013-03-13 13:07

      SABC News (especially on 3) = ANC news eNews = independent news in the type of English that I understand. Just my opinion.

      Kamogelo Ecyt Manace - 2013-03-26 10:03

      Wow. True what exellent put truth people watch etv 4 news that dont matter becouse they dont care about s.a. And its problems which SABC highlights

  • Pete3730 - 2013-03-12 15:50

    Is SABC 3 still operational? I havn't tuned in since DSTV became available.

  • Priscilla Smith - 2013-03-12 15:53

    And we, the licence paying suckers, are supposed to get sooo excited about there changes..... WHY??? And news at 18.30? Give me a break! Who are these people they supposed to have asked and done surveys with? No one asked my opinion! Or don't I matter?

  • blessing.khumalo.90 - 2013-03-12 16:04

    Whats the point,half an hour will be taken by ad. brakes 10 min interviewing or showing Anc's cold meetings

  • blessing.khumalo.90 - 2013-03-12 16:05

    Who did u asked,where did u find the mandate ?

  • Sisie Indola - 2013-03-12 16:17

    All they need to increase viewership is update their movies to something from 2005 rather than pre-1994 and move the series (Law&Order etc) to a decent time. If they want talk talk then put them on at a later time. At the moment i go to bed about 8pm because TV is useless.

  • Jo van Katwijk - 2013-03-12 16:24

    OMW! A one-hour newscast when it's nearly dinner time. Enough to put you off your food.

  • Deepesh Thomas - 2013-03-12 16:30

    wow!! amazing news, now they might start showing movies from the 90's instead of the 80s

  • bearpup - 2013-03-12 16:35

    who cares....who watches that crap anyways?

  • Mahomed Mather - 2013-03-12 16:38

    They will still lose views from 7pm when ppl will change over to the other news stations. A 1 hour news program is to long for a commercial station. The reason why the comedy block is not working is because they are showing the Cosby Show, although funny, its more than 25 years old. This was shown on TV 4 back in the days. Top Billing moving to 830, is a mistake, ie being a family show and running to 930pm, they will see peole switching off and going to sleep after 9. Yes bring decent, current series and movies and you will bring back an audience. Glad though they showing The Client List. Excellent show.

  • Tlotlo Phele - 2013-03-12 16:38

    True, same as etv which sounds pro DA, that's y mamphela ramphela recieves no publicity

      Kamogelo Ecyt Manace - 2013-03-26 09:58

      Tjo! I never saw it like that n your speaking the trueth and etv head offices are in cape town so is the Da

  • Refiloe Thelma Shikwambana - 2013-03-12 16:56

    Macgiver remain saturday and everyday durng the wk. Jo! Boring.

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2013-03-12 17:42

    An hour long news means more time for ANC propaganda. This country is depressing enough, now we have to still watch it on the news. I read international news so I can hear the truth.

  • Bizarro Jerri - 2013-03-12 23:48

    Someone take Top Billing 'round the back and put it out of its misery...

  • Grant Logan - 2013-03-13 13:03

    Maybe if more people will pay their tv licence which only costs you R250 per YEAR we will be able to get better programming. Remember it works out less than R1 per day. I'm happy with my SABC and Etv and my downloads. Rather that than have dstv where you have to pay R600+ per month for reruns, sport and 50 other channels that you never watch.

  • eduard.l.goldschagg - 2013-03-13 14:45

    SABC News??? More like ANC News! We still prefer eNews.

      Kamogelo Ecyt Manace - 2013-03-26 09:55

      What ever u saying its only a matter of time before you eat your f*en words. Mxm

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