Bottom billing for SABC3

Andile Ndlovu (Times Live, 17 September)

Channel head Aisha Mohamed earlier this year promised “a brand-new SABC3” by February 2015, one that focused on “generating good local content”.

But TVSA editor Tashi Tagg said SABC3’s programming remained homogeneous and dull.

She said: “They need to do more local dramas and comedies instead of focusing on endless lifestyle and magazine shows.

“They don’t appear to know who their target demographic is and if they do know, they aren’t doing a good job of appealing to them. They’re spending money and time on rebranding the channel instead of on hot, new TV shows.”

She said the international shows were “dated and unoriginal”, and that many of them had already been on DStv.

In its 2012 report -Lack of Diversity: Analysis of SABC News and Programming – Media Monitoring Africa noted that most of the content broadcast on SABC3 was produced in the US (53%), and 41% of content was local. The report stated that SABC3 would not meet its licence requirements were it not for its news broadcasts.

Two years ago, the Independent Communications Authority of SA released its compliance report on the SABC for 2009 and 2010.

It found that SABC3 failed to meet several local content mandates.

MMA director William Bird said competition from other broadcasters and digital media had contributed to the “sad state of affairs” at SABC3.

Said Bird: “This was always going to be a big problem for the broadcaster by targeting upper LSMs, who have been able to make the shift and find a multiplicity of platforms and programmes and are thus not tied to the SABC.”