SABC contemptuous of Afrikaans audience

2014-06-27
Dr Pieter Mulder

The FF Plus will be posing questions in parliament and in the portfolio committee about the poor programme planning of the SABC which led to the confusing shuffling of programmes and the suspension of the Afrikaans news. The questions will also pertain to questions regarding the advertisement damages suffered by the corporation as a result of these ill-considered moves.

Afrikaans television news viewers understood that they had to be temporarily moved to make way for the Soccer World Cup. But it was never stated that the Afrikaans news on SABC2 would be replaced with a Zulu news bulletin while the Afrikaans news would disappear totally. As most Afrikaans TV viewers do not have pay-television, the problem is not solved by referring them to pay-channel 404.

Television research shows how viewers develop fixed viewing patterns and only change them with great difficulty. Advertisers also prefer certain time-slots in which they are able to reach specific audiences. The time-slot of SABC2 around prime time in the evening was a huge money-earner for the corporation. Against this background it does not make any sense at all to keep the Afrikaans soap-opera ‘Sewende Laan’ at 18:30 on SABC2 but then to follow it up with news in Zulu at 19:00 while the Afrikaans news is moved to SABC3. With all the financial difficulties at the SABC, such ill-considered decisions, which will definitely hold huge advertisement and financial implications to the detriment of the corporation, cannot be afforded.

Afrikaans television viewers, of which the majority is not white, justifiably asks why they have to pay television licences and are not allowed to boycott the pay-system while it is clear that the SABC’s management regards the Afrikaans language and programmes as being of lesser importance.

 

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