True to SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng words, international shows are rapidly being removed from the state broadcaster’s line-up. Motsoeneng earlier announced that the public broadcaster’s TV channels will air between 80% and 90% local content from July.
The first big changes were announced today when the July schedule for SABC3 was released. The biggest shock is the fact that American daily soap Days of our Lives got the chop. The show has been airing on various channels on the national broadcaster since 1996, making it one of the longest running international shows in the history of the SABC.
Direct competitor to Days of our Lives on SABC3 The Bold and the Beautiful, was saved. There seems to be some common sense behind the decision. The TAMS prime time rating figures, compiled by the the Broadcast Research Council, showed that, in May, The Bold and the Beautiful was the most watched show on SABC3, drawing more than 1.6 million viewers at its peak. Days of our Lives drew a-not-to-be-sniffed at 1 million-viewers-plus, though, so it will probably prove to be a very unpopular decision among its hordes of fans.
Reality TV shows were also heavily targeted. Popular and well-loved shows such as Survivor, Minute To Win It and The Amazing Race will not be returning to SABC3 from July 4. The current season of Survivor, titled Survivor Blood vs Water has consistently been among the top 20 most viewed shows on SABC3, drawing audiences in excess of 700 000.
SABC3 is banking on a new local show called Divas of Jozi to give audiences their reality TV fix. That new show starts on July 4. There are also many other changes to SABC3 next month. With no Days of our Lives or its repeats, the show’s repeat timeslot will be filled with reruns of local content instead. High Rollers will now be aired every weekday.
Local talk shows Afternoon Express and Expresso have also been extended, and each has been granted an extra 30 minutes of screen time daily. SABC3 will also introduce a handful of new talk shows, Tween Talk, Real Talk and Late Night Talk. Another new show set to start is local drama The Sober Companion.
Other popular American shows Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Exes, The Office, Whitney and Numb3rs also won’t be returning to SABC3 after airing for the last time on the public broadcaster in June.
The SABC was not available to comment on these changes. The last episode on SABC of Days of our Lives will be broadcast on July 20