SABC attacks MMA over research findings

2012-09-07 09:30
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town – The SABC has gone on the defensive and has launched an attack on Media Monitoring Africa's (MMA) report findings.

The SABC said that it finds it "disappointing that the organisation chose to make public findings that are based on dubious methodological methods that were conducted in isolation".

The SABC said the MMA's only intention with the research study was "simply to grandstand the SABC".

The MMA's research found that the SABC is awash in repeats, soap operas and not meeting its language mandates.

The MMA decided to analyse the SABC's schedules between April to mid-May and watched all of the news bulletins after which it compiled the scathing research findings indicating that over 20% of the SABC's programming are repeats, with soap operas dominating and the quality of news and language diversity suffering.

"There is no basis for the criteria assumed by MMA in assessing the corporation's performance," said the SABC in a press statement.

"The SABC operates within the ambit of licence conditions, regulations and legislation wherein the criteria is fully set for assessing the SABC's performance," said the public broadcaster.

Research was self-serving

The SABC said the research conducted by MMA "was self-serving and never sought to test the SABC's performance against the regulatory requirements set by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) - the only authority and legitimate body with genuine power to assess the performance of the broadcaster".

The SABC said the broadcaster has implemented an intensive turnaround strategy to ensure the organisation's sustainability in the future.

"The report claims to be assessing quality and diversity of content, but failed to provide authentic and researched criteria that has been benchmarked against any source of authority. The criteria utilised remains MMA's opinion of what should go into news or content schedules," says the SABC.

"The most interesting part is that the MMA did not consult with the SABC as a subject of the research and also did not consult or do any audience survey," says the SABC.

[The MMA in its research finding however note that it did try, but was unsuccessful in obtaining final control centre (FCC) sheets from the SABC.]


According to the MMA research, although English is only spoken as a first language by 8% of the population and the SABC is required to broadcast in all official languages, English dominates in SABC programming (76%).

A massive 65% of all locally produced content broadcast by the SABC is in English. The next biggest languages trailing far behind are Afrikaans at only 6% and Zulu (5%), Xhosa, Sotho and Tshivenda (3%).

According to the MMA research, SABC1 uses 28% of its broadcasting time for repeat programming, SABC2 uses 21% of its airtime for repeats and SABC3 allocates 15% of its broadcasting time for repeats.

Furthermore only 41% of the content on SABC3 is local. That means that almost a quarter - 21% of all broadcasting time on the SABC - is devoted to rebroadcasts.

Public forum

The SABC said "the methodology applied in determining percentages on genres and languages is flawed and has no basis in the license conditions or regulations".

The MMA invited the SABC to the public forum held on 31 August where the research findings were announced, but the SABC declined.

"Given that prior consultation with the SABC on matters raised in a public forum did not take place, the SABC felt it could not participate in the forum to discuss the findings of the report as requested by the MMA," said the SABC.

"It is clear from our review of the document that the intention was simply to grandstand the SABC.

"It is of grave concern that MMA, which is supposedly an industry leader in its field, despite acknowledging its own limitations in the research, continued to make the report public."


  • ianon.ym - 2012-09-07 09:35

    Listen SABC - you are friggen useless - period !!!

      philani.goba - 2012-09-07 09:56

      that is why there are pay channels mate..ow wait they also repeat rephrase - TV is friggen useless

      merkwaardig.obskuur - 2012-09-07 13:07

      If you get a bad report card, study harder. Don't blame the school!

      klippies.coke.7 - 2012-09-07 14:42

      Not related directly, but I watched SA Got Talent on ETV last night. They had 5 minutes of advertising between each act. After act 3, when the next bunch of advertisements started I turned off the TV. All I'm saying is that ETV isn't much better than SABC.

  • nicolaas.geldenhuys - 2012-09-07 09:56

    They're only attacking because they know they are caught in a corner. Just accept it SABC, you are a pathetic joke!

  • 1CRAZYONE - 2012-09-07 10:01

    come on SABC prove the research wrong... put original programming on.... put intelligent progamming on... lose the soaps!

  • wesley.bischoff - 2012-09-07 10:04

    SABC... you are PATHETIC... just accept it

  • stirrer.stirrer - 2012-09-07 10:10

    Interesting to note that nowhere does the SABC dispute the actual figures and findings - their only complaint is that MMA had no right to judge them :-)

  • peter.ndamase - 2012-09-07 10:12

    Here is another research finding....... SABC is useless, promoting international material, they do not listen to what the viewers want...

  • senzo.mathebula - 2012-09-07 10:14

    Watch the news on SABC and Etv tonight, Ull c that MMA is right. SABC is a joke!

  • Okuhle Usher Nkcubeko Cullen - 2012-09-07 10:25

    its so true hey, iv been watching the SABC for the last 10 years, their middle name should be repeats, we were forced to buy DSTV coz of them findings are so true

  • mbulelo.pikoli - 2012-09-07 10:50

    SABC is a joke really prove them wrong,do something

  • mark.haupt.31 - 2012-09-07 10:51

    The SABC is the propaganda arm of the ANC and I bet nobody who works(?) in the organization even watches the crap they broadcast. By the way, "Grandstanding" is a poor choice of word - "Highlighting low standards" may have been more apt. I wouldn't trust the SABC to provide the time of day, never mind entertain, inform and amuse me.

  • sarel.brits - 2012-09-07 10:51

    Does anybody still watch SABC? I don’t think the SABC watch SABC ?

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-09-07 14:14

      Does anybody still pay a TV licence? It's the wrong thing to do.

  • tshifhiwap1 - 2012-09-07 10:58

    MMA, s'100% correct,wueva z runnnin sabc,s'nt creative,sabc haz been doin dis 4 decades,dey r useles,waistin taxpayers money 2 inrich demselfs, bt nt givin wt de views wt dey want,

      dewaldmontgomery - 2012-09-07 13:01

      Although I broadly agree with you, I have serious difficulty understanding you.

      mike.lindsay.7927 - 2012-09-07 13:30

      Gees. You should rather be at school, learning how to spell and write/text correctly. But maybe you moonlight for the SABC. Try to change kleva into intellegent and add something to positive to our country. Otherwise you remain part of the problem.

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-09-07 14:15

      He's the guy doing the subtitles for 7e Laan.

  • roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-09-07 11:01

    What an utter useless service the SABC has been providing with its rubbish "soaps" and the constant repeats from Monday to Sunday day in and day out. Are these people at the SABC to stupid to understand that,those who pay for the service,are so fed up with this RUBBISH? Wish everyone in this country would wake up,those that pay,would ALL refuse to cough up these fees.

  • John Badenhorst - 2012-09-07 11:22

    Hahaha....I was a teenager when i watched Mcgyver back in the day and its now part of their regular shows. Oh and you just gotta love Idols and Amazing Race from two seasons ago. Programmes have a shelf life and they are paying next to nothing for this drivel.

  • mondli.ngcobo.98 - 2012-09-07 11:29

    I don't watch new Dramas coz I know I will watch Repeats in 2014. We watched 'the death of a rain queen' in 2009 but SARC(S A repeating corporation) is playing it again.

      shebi.samu - 2012-09-11 22:32

      Hey mondli, u killed Bror...what, SARC (South African Repeating Corporation)? hhayi I really like this one.ACE!

  • steve.gibson.146612 - 2012-09-07 11:45

    Repeats Cosby Show made half cetury ago??????. It would be interesting if people could nominate who should receive the TV licence between DSTV or SABC. Guess who would go off the air????

  • DuToitCoetzee - 2012-09-07 11:55

    When everyone in SA knows the SABC is crap, even the people that works there and the management defend the SABC like this it means they protect there jobs, power and income at all cost. It also means that when not admitting your faults you cant make improvements. If maintaining that attitude I will greet you today. Good night SABC. Your sun has set.

  • beatrice.marshoff.5 - 2012-09-07 12:04

    Ya i agree wth de MMA's research findings SABC rpets a lot of shows dey a boring n useless.only news u cn watch

  • shebi.samu - 2012-09-07 12:22

    Please read this comment very carefully: for once SABC is right, their performance is spot on for the ff reasons: (1).Peformance targets:ensure u hav a technical glich every now & then; Play slomos in sports games during heated action depriving viewers critical action; Dedicate up to 2hrs or round about to American soapies in pick time daily. Dedicate TV viewing to Insurance companies racking in hunderds of thousands per second,per minute,per day, accounting for hundreds of millions in annual turnover & then go on to report losses in profits in Annual Financial Reports; Circulate repeat programs every season; Schedule old senseless American movies (feeding viewers american propaganda & BS);...and I suppose the Board of Directors is happy hence peformance bonuses for executives & management bt once thing for sure, this state of affairs leaves a viewer with no option bt run to da nxt available option: Pay Channels. In a nutshell what I'm saying is, SABC'S priorities are skewed, they have made underperformance,corruption & incompetence an acceptable norm in their ranks (top to bottom) which is why they hav a nerve of defending such Hogwash & they know it.

  • tshepo.maganedisa - 2012-09-07 12:34

    Does the SABC still exist or only when Zuma makes the state of the nation address?

  • paul.mahlangu.94 - 2012-09-07 12:42

    Now whether MMA got permission or not their findings are true.SABC is full of S..T.All they know is repeating their programmes.Full stop.

  • doug.logan.58 - 2012-09-07 12:46

    Socially Accepted Bureau of Corruption

  • sifiso.msimango - 2012-09-07 13:57

    sabc response is just a smokescreen

  • thabang.bonang.7 - 2012-09-07 13:59

    I saw an article today that says SABC journalists are on strike regarding the issue of Zuma opponents being silenced. This relating to the instruction ANC gave to SABC executive that they should not show anti-Zuma and Malema coverage but more of Zuma. Eish! One problem after another for SABC.

  • anakin.skyvader - 2012-09-07 16:36

    SAUK weervoorspellings TV2: Maandag: Droë lug is in sirkulasie en geen reën word vir die... Dinsdag: Droë lug is in sirkulasie en geen reën word vir die... Woensdag: Droë lug is in sirkulasie en geen reën word vir die... Donderdag: Droë lug is in sirkulasie en geen reën word vir die... Vrydag: Droë lug is in sirkulasie en geen reën word vir die... Saterdag: Droë lug is in sirkulasie en geen reën word vir die... Sondag: Droë lug is in sirkulasie en geen reën word vir die... Maandag: herhaal nou weer van bo af...wat van 'n bietjie verandering in die formaat...ASB.?? Dankie...

  • jacqui.grigg - 2012-09-07 20:15

    Ag SABC just quit your whining. Just ask any planner in a media agency to give their opinion when planning a TV campaign and they will tell you.....soap, after soap, after soap, after soap and repeats ad nauseum. Oh and lets not forget continuous programme changes. Why? because you are a government mounthpiece and when they say you will flight a programme, you say, sure for how long and shall we repeat it in a 'trip down memory lane' phase, 25 yrs later. And then you get caught out by independent research (read: not SABC funded) and you cry wolf about methodology?!?! puhlease.

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