SABC News has shown a substantial increase in viewers and market share.
Four years ago, the SABC News Channel accounted for just 14.7% audience share (with its main competitor standing at 54%) but the latest Broadcast Research Council data shows an improved market share performance of 42% and 40% in the national (including DTT) and DStv news markets, respectively.
“As the country’s public news service, SABC News is unswerving in its Independent and Impartial journalistic ethos, whose obligation and loyalty is to the citizens,” said News and Current Affairs group executive, Phathiswa Magopeni. “It continues to reengineer itself to respond swiftly to the rapidly evolving news and information needs of the citizenry. This is crucial for public participation in enriching and strengthening the country’s democracy.”
The public broadcaster said in a statement that the performance data was a demonstration of public trust and confidence in its news service.
“Additionally, COVID-19 coverage and targeted updates on the global pandemic certainly attracted audiences across SABC News platforms,” it said. “This is at the heart of the SABC’s public mandate as the primary carrier of public messaging and information, to enable citizens to take necessary precautionary measures to protect themselves and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.”
In terms of free-to-air television news audiences, eight of the 10 most viewed news products nationally are broadcast on SABC 1 and SABC 2. That means SABC News contributes 80% of the Top 10 news broadcasts. IsiXhosa and IsiZulu news bulletins continue to lead the pack with more than 4.5 million viewers. The two news services have also started publishing their content on their SABC News YouTube microsites, Iindaba and Izindaba.
Furthermore, SABC News programming on radio and digital platforms has continued to enable convenient up-to-the-minute access to news and current affairs content, and extensive audience engagement opportunities.
It was through sheer determination and commitment of the public broadcaster’s journalists that we have been able to achieve this level and quality of performance, Magopeni said.
“SABC News journalists continue to work diligently in exceptionally challenging circumstances, to ensure that the public news service delivers unquestionably on its mandate, and resolutely pursues its ethos in providing incisive watchdog public service journalism in South Africa,” Magopeni added.
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