SABC2 dumps 7de Laan omnibus repeats

2017-02-13 12:59

Cape Town – The SABC has decided to dump the weekend omnibus of its flagsip Afrikaans weekday soap 7de Laan on SABC2 with the SABC no longer giving its viewers, who can't watch it during the week, the chance to watch and catch up over the weekend.

The shock move comes after the SABC moved 7de Laan for the second time within months on SABC2 to a much earlier timeslot of 18:00 when a large part of its working class audience is not yet home from work.

The SABC's timeslot changes saw 7de Laan's ratings plunge since July 2016, with the latest timeslot change to 18:00 from 6 February that will likely further erode viewership of the Danie Odendaal Productions soap.

Interestingly a lot of viewers only watch the weekend 7de Laan omnibus, while a large number of viewers watches the omnibus again, lifting the SABC2's otherwise mostly flat Sunday afternoon viewership.

SABC2's channel head Gerhard Pretorius took the decision to dump the 7de Laan omnibus on Sunday afternoons, with SABC2 saying it has "taken the decision to call off the omnibus of it's flagsip soapie 7de Laan" due to "the channel's endeavour to revitalise the Sunday afternoon schedule by introducing a new music show Soul'd Out Sessions and a family movie slot at 16:00".  

Viewers can catch daily repeats

The SABC says viewers can watch repeats of 7de Laan daily on SABC2 at 13:00 and at 13:30 on SABC3. The problem is that working viewers not able to watch it at 18:00 on weekdays, are definitely not able to watch it during the day.

The public broadcaster says that for its viewers who "have the luxury of WiFi or data, (you) can watch the repeats at your convenience on our YouTube" and that the SABC "apologise for any inconvenience”.

Last week during an on-air interview on SABC2 Gerhard Pretorius said the channel wants to lure back Afrikaans viewers it lost and admitted to scheduling and programming mistakes made by the channel over the past few years.

Pretorius said SABC2 viewers find it difficult to find timeslot and spaces where they actually belong on the channel, a riff of the channel's slogan of "where we belong".

He said "things have moved to different slots; to cater for when audiences are available." Oddly, Sunday afternoon is when the audience is available to 7de Laan who can't watch it during the week where SABC2 is showing it at 18:00. 

"We listen to our audiences," said Pretorius. "And obviously there's sort of going to be a big response to what we're doing now." 

He said viewers should let SABC2 know what it thinks of the latest scheduling moves. "Tell us, do you like it? Don't you like it?"

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