SABC blames pay-TV growth for failures

2013-04-26 13:32
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town – In its third-quarter report presented to parliament on Tuesday, SABC CEO Lulama Mokhobo blames the growth in pay-TV in South Africa for the beleaguered South African public broadcaster's ongoing failure to deliver on most of its targets.

Mokhobo - accompanied by Hlaudi Motsoeneng who is back as acting chief operating officer (COO) after being removed from the position by the previous SABC board - was in parliament on Tuesday to present yet another bleak third-quarter report as well as another three year corporate plan.

Makhobo blamed the growth in pay-TV uptake in South Africa and the ongoing and increasing fragmentation of the viewing audience who are getting more choices and TV channels to watch, for the SABC's failure to deliver on targets.

Pay-TV fuelling audience fragmentation

Mokhobo said a more competitive environment and the growth in subscription television is fuelling audience fragmentation and that the SABC's situation has been worsened by delays in procuring new content.

The SABC continues to lose TV viewers, especially in the higher LSM brackets of upper income viewers, those which advertisers pay a premium to try and reach.

Furthermore the SABC failed to maintain an average TV audience of 60% which is the previous target which was set, and only managed 53% average viewing. The SABC failed to launch three new TV channels last year including a new 24-hour news channel and the SABC Sport channel.

Overshot expenditure again

Mokhobo told parliament that the SABC had fallen short on revenue targets and had also overshot expenditure targets.

For the current financial year the SABC has only met 15 out of the 25 key performance targets set.

"The SABC continues to strive to achieve the targets set and has intensified the focus on the corporation's turnaround initiatives," Mokhobo told parliament.

Officials from the auditor-general's office blasted the SABC's 2013 to 2016 corporate plan, telling parliament that 84% of targets were not well-defined or verifiable. Officials said that 76% of the SABC's targets were not specific and can't be measured.

The AG's office said this gave an error rate of above the 50% limit meaning that half of what the SABC wants to do can't be measured. This will force the auditor-general to issue an adverse opinion or disclaimer if an audit was done on the SABC's latest three year corporate plan.

A new low

The past four years has been dismal for the SABC. The suffering public broadcaster has been constantly lurching from the one corporate, executive and board room scandal to the next, corruption and charges of corruption, and forced to take a government bail-out of R1.4bn in the form of a guaranteed loan after the SABC came to the brink of financial collapse in 2009.

The SABC has failed to meet several of the agreed-upon targets, deadlines and requirements under which the bailout was given and continues to miss targets.

The broadcaster plummeted to a new low last month when the entire SABC board resigned en masse and was replaced by yet another interim SABC board. Jackie Motsepe, the SABC's former general manager of international content left the broadcaster at the end of last year.


  • Democrazy - 2013-04-26 13:38

    You guys couldnt arrange a piss up in a brewry....)btw. My tv license is up to date. ....phoooie!!!!

      Rabble Rouser - 2013-04-26 14:04

      Perhaps the SABC should look up the meaning of the word "competition".

      Heini Botes - 2013-04-26 14:04

      "Mokhobo told parliament that the SABC had fallen short on revenue targets and had also overshot expenditure targets"....hahahaha, no sh*t, and he's probably saying this while he and every board member drives a BMW X6 and having got a 3R3 million bonus last year each, plus perks! hehehe fool!! You cANCer cadres crack me up!!

      Chris Clark - 2013-04-26 14:04

      PU is a brewery is their forte'

      jeremy thorpe - 2013-04-26 14:13

      So how come eTV - which isn't a a pay-TV channel does so well? Maybe it's because, unlike the SABC,it delivers a quality product. Oh yes, and it doesn't get license fees either. Basically the reason the SABC is doing so badly is because it's poorly-run and loses millions to corruption and inefficiency. It doesn't even have a 24-hour sports channel for heaven's sake!

      Marius Van Der Walt - 2013-04-26 14:36

      Pay TV is growing because of the crap on SABC. The SABC is not failing because of the growth of pay TV. Pay TV is growing because of the failings of the SABC. !!!! If the SABC had quality content, the motivation for pay TV is much less.

      Elgh Elgh - 2013-04-26 14:39

      When the #$%^&* hell will these people start pointing the finger at themself for their own failures instead of blaming other people. Surprised they don't blame it on apartheid.

      Louis Venter - 2013-04-26 14:47

      Perhaps the SABC should also look up the meaning of the words "incompetence", "greed", "useless" and "brain dead" and include these 4 words in their slogan for inquiring new management.(sarcastic)

      Faerra Bra - 2013-04-26 15:05

      Get another line the brewery crap is stale

      Buzzbar - 2013-04-26 15:11

      Maybe it's apartheids fault? Or the evil colonists who brought TV here in the first place. Grow a pair and start taking accountability you fools.

      procold2 - 2013-04-26 15:13

      gov dept, always blame someone else

      Anton de Beer - 2013-04-26 15:15

      @Jeremy Thorpe. You hit the nail on the head. Despite receiving free income via licences the SABC is still not able to survive while eTV who has to fight all the odds thrives. Proving once again, it doesn’t matter how much money you through at a dead horse, it still won’t win. This is exactly the case with the toll roads also. They can claim whatever they want but the money collected via toll gates will not be able to rescue the dead horse called SANRAL, there are too many corrupt parasites siphoning of the money.

      Buzzbar - 2013-04-26 15:17

      Next they will claim that the state of emergency In the 80's pushed up viewership artificially....

      Democrazy - 2013-04-26 15:19

      This for my Ferrero Bra - the SABC is so useless they couldn't organise an orgy in a whorehouse!'s that for a fresh approach? LOL

      Bullet Proof - 2013-04-26 16:01

      Stop been a government propaganda machine. Be impartial (if the sloping fore heads understand what that means) Get rid of the AA since they are just plain useless. Take a salary cut. Start showing decent up programs not 20 year old repeats or just do us all a favour and close down. Even blame it on apartheid. Just goes to show you blacks cannot organize a piss up in a brewery or a knock in a knock shop. You are just plain pathetic and I still have to pay a TV license. Id'd rather pay Multichioce R700.00 per month than one cent to you sabc anc propaganda twits

      Fred Murgatroyd - 2013-04-26 18:42

      Pay TV only flourishes because the SABC is so incredibly useless, much like it's leadership.

      Gauchet Van Antwerpen - 2013-04-27 15:53

      I wonder how SABC competes against the free services of etv? I don't think etv has the blaming culture that the parastatal have....

  • David Khasebe - 2013-04-26 13:44

    Thanks to cronyism and cadre deployment.

  • Godfrey Welman - 2013-04-26 13:45

    LOL...cadres blame pay-tv rather then the quality of their programs. Time to close at least 1 of the 3 propaganda channels. reduce the salary bill, especially those on suspension with FULL PAY.

  • Ndi Mainganye - 2013-04-26 13:46

    This coming from a company that PAYS for their staff's DStv. So i guess if ur COO doesnt have a matric, and messes up, it must be because of DStv. Hahahahahahaha. Zapiro was right, this is a circus!

  • Compos Mentis - 2013-04-26 13:46

    Laughs.... and then he called the tooth fairy as a witness

  • Gugu Lethu - 2013-04-26 13:46

    Utter Nonsense!! That's lyk blaming ur wife's hot boyfriend for ur not satisfying ur wife in bed. If u don't perform well she'll get it elsewhere

  • Alex Scott - 2013-04-26 13:49

    SABC is absolutely RUBBISH. I would far rather fork out the R700 a month on a premium DSTV subscription than watch politically biased news and a poor choice of OLD movies and other crappy series.

  • Steven Tich - 2013-04-26 13:50

    i think its the other way round actually. SABC failures led to the growth of Pay TV. To get good tv we are now been held hostage by multichoice and SABC is not an alternative all the while Top Tv wants to feed us porn, so ya we stuck. Maybe mismanagement is the root cause, have you tried to look at that

  • Deon du Plessis - 2013-04-26 13:50

    Heyyyy, it is easy!!!! BLAME APARTHEID AND NOT PAY TV.

  • Jeannette Thomas - 2013-04-26 13:52

    They should be thanking pay TV as their subscribers are probably the only people actually paying their TV licenses- Which goes to the SABC

  • Zaakirinho - 2013-04-26 13:57

    NO !! Content Content Content is your failure.

  • Merlin Van StAden - 2013-04-26 13:57

    the failure of SABC is the catalyst to the growth of pay TV! Not the other way around. basic business more basic than that you don't get

  • Joe Gomes - 2013-04-26 13:58

    They stuffed up all the radio stations, stuffed up TV and now they blame DSTV hahaha I wonder how many government officials watch their own crap.

  • Ricardo da Costa - 2013-04-26 13:59

    Stop passing the buck. Be accountable and be competitive. Screening MacGuyer isn't being competitive nor is the airing of discontinued shows. It shows that you bought the programming cheaply and presenting it as entertainment. I hate paying my TV license. It's another form of taxation. Oh and why don't black people get charged interest on outstanding TV licenses? I have proof!

  • Hein Huyser - 2013-04-26 14:02

    Let us spell this out for you. People pay for entertainment only if the virtually free one is so crappy and outdated that nobody can watch it. Get it? Maybe not, but as long as the SABC is a mouthpiece of this or any gov they deserve to be closed down. Billions are wasted every year to keep the parastatils alive and "in business". Sell those off to private entrepeneurs and at least break even after expenses, whilst providing a crucial service

  • Chris Clark - 2013-04-26 14:03

    Local TV is poor , BBC is government which is excellent . Issue is down to the basic of marketing , identify and give your market what they want

  • Richard Scully - 2013-04-26 14:04

    Absolute rubbish. In the UK lots of people just watch free tv because its good. Here I have to pay 625 a month to watch uk bbc on Dstv because SABC is unwatchable. Messed up by the ANC

      Jurie Grobler - 2013-04-26 14:36

      UK TV licences cost £150 per year. That is over R2000 per year for 'free' TV.

      Tersia Louw - 2013-04-26 17:36

      Richard - And it's only going to get worse if they start writing local soapies with "relevant content", for which we can read "propaganda".

      Vaughan - 2013-05-16 17:48

      @Jurie Grobler, at least the BBC produces something that people could actually watch as opposed to the SABC which show ancient reruns or rubbish paid for by the Canadian governent. I mean if one of the SABC's number one shows is McGuywer you have to know...

  • Mokete Airahcaz Seatla - 2013-04-26 14:05

    Hahaha I won't be surprised if they introduce 'Pay TV' tax

  • Anthony Spruyt - 2013-04-26 14:05

    Only yourselves are to blame SABC. You are a living embodiment of incompetence and mismanagement!

  • Bradley Brits - 2013-04-26 14:07

    Its just great.. you blame how bad you are on your competition being too good.

      Thanduxolo Galada - 2013-04-26 15:07

      Lol! Funniest comment I've seen especially as a postgrad commerce scholar! Lol, lol, lol!

      Gerasimos Komnenus - 2013-04-27 00:48

      hahahahahahaha SABC is proof of ANC incompetance

  • Jacques - 2013-04-26 14:14

    Why do we even HAVE the sabc? They mean jack sh** for anyone. Only a burden on the tax base.

      Tersia Louw - 2013-04-26 17:37

      So the government has a mouthpiece.

      Gerasimos Komnenus - 2013-04-27 00:59

      @ Tersia. How ironic that the governments mouthpiece is so boring and pathetic. Now there is absolute proof that the ANC is spewing forth inanities and nobody really believes their propaganda. They seem live in a sort of 60's Soviet style fantasyland where nothing works save for the rhetoric and excuses. Viva well done ANC well done! Amandla! Together we can do more hahahahahaha.........

  • Prochaska Martin - 2013-04-26 14:18

    BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and 5 in England are all doing swimmingly fine, that's not an excuse

  • Craig Mobey - 2013-04-26 14:19

    SABC had/has every opportunity to be what pay-TV & E-TV is/are. People are willing to pay for quality content and E manages just fine for free. SABC on the other hand cannot, in my opinion, justify the compulsory license fee...

  • Stephen AndKathy Whiteley - 2013-04-26 14:19

    Ag shame. Perhaps if you offered better programmes, as in the bad apartheid days, you would have more viewers. What has happened to all the quiz shows that require a bit of intelligence, programmes like 'Strictly Come Dancing'? If I didn't have a DVD player I would get rid of my TV set. Kathy

  • André Naude - 2013-04-26 14:20

    Always blaming somebody for their Incompetence the SABC ia a big failure

  • Dahn Dragon Delport - 2013-04-26 14:31

    The SABC is useless - I don't even know why we are forced to pay for a TV licence since I have not watched a SABC programme in about 5 years...

  • Lois Lloyd - 2013-04-26 14:32

    SABC had it's chance and did not perform, that is the reason why many people were forced to subscribe to DSTV. Now we have to pay our tv licence for SABC which has nothing of any value, as well as an exorbitant monthly fee to DSTV for repeats - a no win situation!

  • Freddie Jones - 2013-04-26 14:42

    This is simply an admission that the SABC cannot compete in today's TV market. As such the SABC should simply be closed down.

  • Stefan Van Der Spuy - 2013-04-26 14:45

    There is nothing I watch on SABC any longer. I don't think it will be the "right thing" for me to continue paying for a TV licence...

  • kseyffert - 2013-04-26 14:48

    Bottom line, you guys son't listen to your public. You do what you want. Who want's to watch the rubbish you dish up? Now I do understand that you are a public broadcaster and have certain obligations but, I say again, but you also need to simply entertain. Fail in this and all else fails too. Simple managment 101. Go back to school, learn the skills that you actually need. Struggle credentials mean less than piss in a snowstorm...

  • Tawizee - 2013-04-26 14:53

    Ya neh. Blame everyone except self.

  • Bingo - 2013-04-26 14:57

    Can't even run a business that doesn't have to show a profit and gets paid regardless of how bad they are. While they have many duties and responsibilities as a public broadcaster they should also offer up something better than the crap I stumble upon if I accidentally bump my remote. Why not give us that pay license fees a channel with some decent program and that way the may even attract an advertiser or 2

  • Cheers Perez - 2013-04-26 14:58

    The SABC should only be allowed to broadcast the news - and that in different languages. They should not be allowed to venture in any other programming for a minimum of five years. The "soapies" of quality will all find new homes - it's called survival.

  • Robert Starke - 2013-04-26 15:07

    Your TV line up and quality has gone to the dogs, Thank god we got DSTV.

  • DjBas - 2013-04-26 15:16

    words fail me.......

  • Maluta Hector Musundwa - 2013-04-26 15:19

    Take the blame SABC. Don't shift it to others. We pay tv licence,but you deliver junk programmes. Pay tv deliver their promises to their audiences. So,put your house in order.

  • Edward Pearse - 2013-04-26 15:20

    What happened to blaming apartheid? For once they could have been right. The SABC should have been broken up and privatized along with Telkom and ESCOm before handing the country over to the ANC

  • QuestioningFaith - 2013-04-26 15:21

    No man! It isn't dstv, it's apartheid *duh*

      katleho.photolo - 2013-04-26 16:46

      U racist.....,,Nxa

  • Colin Knott - 2013-04-26 15:22

    I was recently at a holiday destination where only SABC 1,2,3 and ETV were available. I never knew such 'holiday destinations' still existed! The contents of these four channels was absolutely appalling - reruns of 70's and 80's once popular series who have now passed their 'sell-by-date'. What the SABC does not realise is that I will continue paying their licence fees - against my better judgement; and continue to pay exhorbitant DSTV subscription rates to watch a total of twenty channels from their Premium Bouquet - because those are twenty channels that I wish to watch and that are not available anywhere else in South Africa. Yes, a CAPTIVE DSTV AUDIENCE but until there is some viable competition you have to pay for hat you wish to watch. Unfortunately, our National Broadcaster does not deliver one programme that I watch. So why the hell am I paying licence fees to a decrepit and defunct GOVERNMENT ORGANISATION???

  • Muffin_man_can - 2013-04-26 15:36

    That happens if you show crap. With 5TB of movies, series and documentaries on my hard drive l can watch what l want, when l want, not what you want me to watch.

  • Justin Pretorius - 2013-04-26 15:37

    Hold on! So people actually pay to not watch SABC??? That actually tells you something SABC! You are a state parastatal and thus pathetic in most people's eyes. Death to SABC!

  • Leon Lipschitz - 2013-04-26 15:45

    Start showing quality shows that appeal to everyone instead of the junk that they keep putting on and repeating day after day then maybe things might improve There are many shows that could be put on that would attract viewers but the only place you will find them are on the pay channels Show some of those shows and maybe we will return and stop so many repeats throughout the stations First on two Then on three Then on one Then back on three and just a scramble her and there and a brief paise and repeat all over again

  • Robyn Roberts - 2013-04-26 16:04

    What a load of hog. Always excuses - badly managed,poor programme choices and far to much government interference

  • Kwajo Musa - 2013-04-26 16:27

    I knew you would say that.

  • Riaan Krüger - 2013-04-26 16:48

    ...bring down the SABC....less propaganda I say....

  • Jim Bean - 2013-04-26 16:52

    The only entertainment I get from SABC is reading everyone's comments here.

  • Grant Henry - 2013-04-26 17:01

    What a bunch of bull. If SABC showed proper shows and movies then u will have better ratings. But all you do is reapeat the same old stuff over and over. One DSTV channel comes to mind and thats Sony I mean how many times has fresh prince of bell air on over and over and over. Then theres Friends, will and grace for fu..k sake. Sorry this is about sabc, u suck

  • lovenergy - 2013-04-26 17:02

    We might not watch your pathetic old shows from the 70s yet we are all still forced pay towards SABC every year. So don't try and shift the blame

  • Lee Naidoo - 2013-04-26 17:07

    Bwahahahahaahahahaahahahaaaa cough cough cough - really SABC? And us pay tv subscribers are still forced to pay for a tv licence! Lmfao

  • Treatwell Trey - 2013-04-26 17:41

    People started paying TV licenses from early 2000, what the hell has Sabc been doing with all that money cos it should have had more channels like dstv by now