SABC TV channels going 90% local too

SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng. (Gallo Images)
SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng. (Gallo Images)

Cape Town – The SABC's chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng on Tuesday announced a concerted drive to rid the public broadcaster's TV channels of its remaining international content, saying that the 90% local content quota announced for radio will now be extended to its TV channels.

The SABC will start with an 80% local content makeover for SABC3 from 1 July.

While no SABC3 schedule for July was released, the move looks ominous for viewers who tune in for international content on the SABC's only commercial TV station where longrunning weekday soaps like The Bold and the Beautiful and Days of Our Lives are for instance the number one and number three most watched shows on the entire channel above local fare like Isidingo, High Rollers and Top Billing.

The expected move is also likely to prompt commercial broadcasters like M-Net and to pounce and snap up popular international fare like Survivor, The Amazing Race and some of the last remaining international series still on the SABC3 schedule that the SABC might be doing away with.

The SABC TV announcement and the 80% local content quota for SABC3 comes three weeks after Motsoeneng's edict of 90% needletime for local music on the SABC's radio stations.

In the staged announcement also attended by Jimi Matthews, acting SABC CEO and Verona Duwarkah, the SABC's head of television, the public broadcaster announced new production contracts for new producers to make local TV content for the public broadcaster.

The announcement follows Motsoeneng's announcement earlier this month that the SABC will start an additional four "language-based" TV channels at a cost of R2bn –R500m per channel.

The SABC also announced further extensions to its local radio offering, with Idols judge and Mzansi Magic reality star Somizi Mhlongo who will be getting his own show on one of the SABC’s radio stations.

The SABC will be adding 27 emerging producers to make new shows for the SABC's TV channels with celebrities like the fired Generations stars Sophie Ndaba and Winnie Mashaba coming back to the public broadcaster as producers, as well as Khanyi Mbau whose hit talk show Katch It with Khanyi was cancelled.

Duwarkah said SABC3 could even see 100% local content in the future. "At the moment the talent that we introduced today is for the current channels largely for SABC3 because that is where we want to revamp the schedule to more local content. Half the schedule is about local content already".

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