SABC to splash R1bn on content

2012-05-03 14:32

The SABC promised Parliament that the South African public broadcaster would spend R1 billion on buying and commissioning international and local content in 2013.

Of the R1 billion, R800 million would be spent exclusively on local content.

The SABC presented its new three-year corporate plan to Parliament on Tuesday to move the SABC to sustainability. Luring back lost viewers through better content is a major aim.

Digital TV delays
The public broadcaster, which faced near collapse in 2009 during an executive, management and financial meltdown, said it is committed to spend R800 million in the 2013 fiscal on local content “as part of our key role in reviving and further developing our local production industry”.

The SABC plans to increase its current three TV channels – SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 – to a total of 18 when digital terrestrial television (DTT) finally launches commercially in South Africa.

The department of communications, which has continued to delay the DTT launch date, again postponed it to September this year.

The SABC told Parliament that it planned to invest R1.7 billion in the first three years of the launch of digital terrestrial television.

The SABC needs to produce and acquire content for all the TV channels, and is also upgrading its play-out systems and master control rooms to a digital environment.

In the new Corporate Plan of the SABC for 2012 to 2015 presented to Parliament, and which was accepted by Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications, the SABC says that it will have “a single content planning, acquisition and scheduling process” going forward.

The SABC’s so-called Content Hub previously came in for a barrage of criticism due to mismanagement.

Increase revenue
The SABC says “content research” will drive “a 36-month transversal and cross-platform multi-channel schedule” which will be at the centre of the SABC’s programming and content strategy.

The SABC wants to restore the broadcaster’s liquidity through its so-called Turnaround Strategy.

The broadcaster told Parliament that it wanted to deliver a value proposition with its new expanding digital television bouquet which would “attract new audiences and retain the SABC’s traditional audience base”.

The SABC said it wanted to “restore the integrity of the SABC and brand reputation”, increase revenue through effective and efficient collection of licence fees and increase the SABC’s share of advertising spend through “vigorous marketing to the trade”.

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