SABC to spend R1bn on content

2012-05-03 11:45
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town – The SABC promised parliament that the South African public broadcaster will spend R1 billion in 2013 on buying and commissioning international and local content.

Of the R1bn, R800m will be spent exclusively on local content.

The SABC presented its new three-year Corporate Plan to parliament on Tuesday to move the SABC to sustainability. Luring back lost viewers through better content is a major aim.

Digital TV delays

The public broadcaster, which faced near collapse in 2009 during an executive, management and financial meltdown, said it is committed to spend R800m in the 2013 fiscal on local content "as part of our key role in reviving and further developing our local production industry".

The SABC plans to increase its current three TV channels - SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 - to a total of 18 when digital terrestrial television (DTT) finally launches commercially in South Africa.

The department of communications, which has continued to delay the DTT launch date, again postponed it to September this year.

The SABC told parliament that it plans to invest R1.7bn in the first three years of the launch of digital terrestrial television. The SABC needs to produce and acquire content for all the TV channels, and is also upgrading its play-out systems and master control rooms to a digital environment.

In the new Corporate Plan of the SABC for 2012-2015 presented to parliament, and which was accepted by parliament's portfolio committee on communications, the SABC says that it will have "a single content planning, acquisition and scheduling process" going forward.

The SABC's so-called Content Hub previously came in for a barrage of criticism due to mismanagement.

Increase revenue

The SABC says "content research" will drive "a 36-month transversal and cross-platform multi-channel schedule" which will be at the centre of the SABC's programming and content strategy.

The SABC wants to restore the broadcaster's liquidity through its so-called Turnaround Strategy. The broadcaster told parliament that it wants to deliver a value proposition with its new expanding digital television bouquet which will "attract new audiences and retain the SABC's traditional audience base".

The SABC says it wants to "restore the integrity of the SABC and brand reputation", increase revenue through effective and efficient collection of licence fees and increase the SABC's share of advertising spend through "vigorous marketing to the trade".


  • Victor - 2012-05-03 12:15

    An absolute waste of money that can be used for service delivery and housing for the people.

      Gieljam - 2012-05-03 13:15

      Id say approx 80% of the white population no longer watch any SABC programs for more than 2 hours per day .There is just no use to look at monotonous mostly black population targeted shows let alone the struggle and apartheid issues forced down everyone's throat.they are totally one sided over board pro government ,directionally lost and plain just useless to read between the lines and the irony is a lot of blacks are also realizing it.

      roberta.keeling - 2012-05-03 13:21

      @GIELJAM - as much as 2 hours? The news (between SABC3 and E-tv constitutes time used to watch local news, then it's back to satellite!

      Preshen - 2012-05-03 14:18

      Download AVI from internet

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-05-03 15:18

      How much of this money will go to buy fresh television and how much will go missing into politically connected individuals' bank accounts?

  • gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-05-03 12:16

    We do not need the SABC. It is the most useless organisation of the past 20 years.

      sean.redmond3 - 2012-05-03 13:09

      Plus Eskom + Telkom + Buffalo City Municipality.(Slummies)

      CoenraadvanderZanden - 2012-05-03 13:44

      Yes Gerhard, if it takes something like MacGyver re-runs from 27 years ago to save SABC's channel 3 today... what more can I say!

  • Ron - 2012-05-03 12:18

    And it will still be crap. What a waste of money.

      sean.redmond3 - 2012-05-03 13:11

      They will get new Mercs, I am sure.

  • dianne.hartley.9 - 2012-05-03 12:19

    If this is going to happen then the SABC needs to collect its outstanding license fees especially in the informal settlements.

  • dianne.hartley.9 - 2012-05-03 12:20

    If this is going to happen then the SABC needs to collect its outstanding license fees especially in the informal settlements.

  • zolisa.dlokovu - 2012-05-03 12:22

    Its overdue.The SABC has a responsibility to invest money on local content.During apartheid regime we used to watch local films.I hope that we will 'hear' african languages on TV again not these American films.Lets hope africans will tell their own stories.Our television must 'reflect' who we are.We must not allow the current situation where we have a public broadcaster promoting foreign culture,languages.

      cameronrh1 - 2012-05-03 13:01

      Its these "african" languages films on tv that is the result of such a low viewer ratings on SABC in the first place...

      Sheralee - 2012-05-03 13:14

      That's fine but then I shouldn't have to pay my tv licence then according to the CPA - the content simply won't suit me as a consumer!

  • shiv179 - 2012-05-03 12:24

    Great, more local rubbish :/ Guess half of it won't even be in English

  • braamc - 2012-05-03 12:25

    We will spend R1b on new content and 10% of that in our pockets.

      Michael - 2012-05-03 13:47

      No braamc.....what will happen is that all the SABC directors families starting up production companies to get their slice of the R800m that will be "splashed" on local talent. We will end up with the same crap with NOTHING to show for the money. I hope they prove me wrong!!!

  • Kimon - 2012-05-03 12:25

    The SABC has been made redundant for me due to online media.. i watch everything i want, when i want on my hard drive that is hooked up to my TV.. i havent watched any SABC crap in years... What a waste of money...

  • Loo - 2012-05-03 12:28

    Too little toot late Im afraid

  • Jonny Lee - 2012-05-03 12:28

    Then you need to buy a tv Top Box to decode the signal at approx R600 per month for African films? Rather rent movies via DSTV everynight.

  • Deon - 2012-05-03 12:31

    Bwahahahaha thank goodness for DSTV. I would rather go hungry than not pay for the premium package. R800m on local content? Watch it disappear into the gravy lined pockets of the SABC executives.

  • John - 2012-05-03 12:32

    I bet it will be advertisements,

  • Jonny Lee - 2012-05-03 12:34

    They spend the money to upgrade and then recover it from us. Watch this space!

  • John - 2012-05-03 12:34

    Bonuses and adverts

  • Kobus - 2012-05-03 12:35

    Local is crap. Rather spend it all on quality overseas productions.

      Bongani - 2012-05-03 12:55

      i am sure you are joking. if local is crap, then that will mean you are also crap, because i thought you are local. We can only get better by trying not by buying already made overseas stuff. A lot of local film producers, black and white depend on SABC for income, dont forget that.

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-05-03 13:44

      Local is not so crap. Yes, one can say that a lot is not the best, but look at their budgets to work with. SABC only have to buy some of the older local stuff, like nature documentaries,etc. from M-Net and they will already be better. Those same people can make similar stuff for SABC. If you said local stuff on, SABC is crap, I could agree with you more, but please look at films, that was made by South Africans, for foreign channels/companies. I am not sure if SABC will use the money wisely, but if they do and make sure all is paying licenses they can cater for all. ....but i think the "when hell freeze over" saying is currently more applicable.

  • Jonny Lee - 2012-05-03 12:37

    Zolise, you want everything that the apartheid regime had? Wake up! life carries on!

  • Mike Purchase - 2012-05-03 13:13

    Bongani he means local tv is crap open your mind pal,and yes i agree it is crap.

  • Hendrik - 2012-05-03 13:15

    If I give 10 ways of how they are going to bugger this idea up, they will probably use all 10 ways to bugger it up, and get 10 more ways. 1. Steal the money 2..................

  • damonsb - 2012-05-03 13:17

    yeppppeee more soap and less time with family

  • Toofaan - 2012-05-03 13:22

    This won't solve your viewership problem. The reason it has dropped is because of the poor quality and large quantity of local content. Spending 80 percent of your budget on more of the same will not help. Surely the paying public (legit licence holders) should have a say in what they want on TV.

  • Henry - 2012-05-03 13:22

    The SABC, due to it's controversy with some of it's executives and political interference on it's day to day running and it's dependence on the state, has become redundant. They'll spend that R1bn on 'that' local content and come back to the state crying about the losses incurred and intending to claim that from the public pockets and requesting the state for a boost. This corporation, from all angles, has lost popularity to it's competitors in the market, 'the pay broadcasters' If it were according to me, this 'public' broadcaster would be once and for all, be sold to a private sector, it would refrain from being a boring 'public' broadcastor.

  • Ryan - 2012-05-03 13:24

    Local content pfffh! Wake up we the people who PAY for the service and not steal it want quality programming. This is why we pay R700 pm for DSTV, go peddle you inferior politicly biased sh1t elsewhere!

  • damonsb - 2012-05-03 13:24

    SABC - Shoth Africa`s Borring Channels

  • Martin - 2012-05-03 13:45

    local content is the reason noone watches your useless service, i dont pay my tv licence, private sale, bite me

  • Stille - 2012-05-03 13:46

    "Of the R1bn, R800m will be spent exclusively on local content" - ie you will still have sh*t shows no one watches...VIVA DSTV...VIVA

  • William - 2012-05-03 13:47

    Going to be hard work for the SABC!!! Get some decent sport on the box and people might take you seriously!!!

  • Hudayfah - 2012-05-03 14:20

    R800 million on local? Ahahahaahahaahahaha have you gone out of your mind? Spend that amount on overseas coverage then we got a deal. But african content bores you to sh**. The african channel on dstv is a waste of space as well. It's like watching another planet. And the soccer is so bloody dull you want to take the ball and throw fat benni with it. The rugby and cricket are doing well but when they play overseas sabc does not cover it. So whats the use? I dont pay tv license and i refuse to. Take that R800 mil and shove it where the sun don't shine.

  • Guy - 2012-05-03 16:20

    they gonna spend it on re re re re re runs of macguyver again?

  • Tim - 2012-05-04 11:20

    Spend the R1nb on QUALITY International Content Get the viewership back to decent levels Get the advertisers (local agentcies and production companies) back (because there are now more viewers) Use the increase in advertising revenue to plow back into the local content production Really basic economics

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