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Cape Town – SABC viewership of its struggling SABC3 channel has nosedived in the two months after Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s banished the bulk of international content from the channel, with SABC3’s viewership that has plummeted in the post Days of Our Lives timeslot by a massive 48.2% since July.

Not only has SABC3 lost nearly half of its total audience in what used to be the popular Days17:00 timeslot, but even more importantly and shockingly is that the overall SABC3 primetime viewership has also plummeted.

Meanwhile not a single one of the crop of rushed-to-air local shows on SABC3’s primetime programming line-up has managed to crack the list of Top 20 most watched shows on the channel, while it costs the SABC a lot more to produce the increased burden of local shows although viewers and advertisers flee.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago didn’t respond to a media enquiry seeking comment about SABC3’s ongoing ratings plunge and whether the public broadcaster is considering changes to Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s 80% local content strategy for the channel that he enforced since mid-July for the broadcaster’s only commercial TV channel.

With the hugely popular American weekday soap Days of Our Lives that lured a massive 1 078 101 viewers at its peak in July, SABC3 saw 40.51% of its total viewers abandoning the channel during the timeslot in August, falling to 641 388 viewers.

That loss accelerated and grew in a second consecutive month to 48.2% of viewers gone in September compared to July in the 17:00 timeslot with just 558 020 viewers at most in the timeslot. SABC3’s 17:00 timeslot has now lost a staggering 520 081 viewers in just two months.

The ongoing viewership plunge should be sending shockwaves through the SABC where advertising rates and what the public broadcaster can charge for 30 second ad spots are closely tied to the number of viewers the SABC can deliver in a timeslot.

Making it worse is that the loss of half of the viewership that Days of Our Lives pulled in the 17:00 timeslot is a daily loss that was stripped over weekdays. The loss in viewers translates into a daily revenue loss in terms of ad income for the SABC and SABC3.

Overall SABC3 ratings depressed

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