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SABC1 viewership - South Africa's biggest TV channel by audience and share - has plummeted, with the channel which has seen a massive drop - more than half the regular viewership during its most watched timeslot - abandoning the channel after SABC1 dumped its entire primetime line-up to show 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN) soccer during January.
Without the pulling power of juggernaut Generations as its weekday primetime soap gone - and which was shunted to sister channel SABC2 - SABC1 shed an average of 4 million South African viewers per day as soccer matches lured a lot less viewers.
Tepid SABC1 ratings show that audiences were simply not as interested in watching the 2014 African Nations Championship soccer matches and Banana Banana on SABC1 as they were the usual SABC1 primetime entertainment line-up which was spun-off to SABC2 to accomodate CHAN 2014.
SABC1 bled viewers and barely mustered more than 2,9 million viewers on average during primetime for its most watched programming - which was CHAN soccer broadcasts.
The low viewership number compares badly to the over 7 million viewers per weekday on average Generations lured in 2013 on SABC1 to make it South Africa's most watched soap, most watched programme and the overall most watched show during primetime in the country.
Since SABC2 has a smaller broadcasting footprint than SABC1 which is the most widely available, Generations viewership on SABC2 also shrunk when the soap channel hopped.
Generations as a soap suffered audience decline on SABC2, although the channel itself got more viewers.
It's largely due to viewers who wanted to watch Generations on SABC2 in certain parts of the country, but who simply don't receive the signal. (SABC2 is available to less homes than SABC1, and SABC3's terrestrial signal reach is the smallest).
SABC2 did however experience an upsurge of viewers in general due to viewers looking for and migrating from SABC1 to SABC2 to watch Generations.
Generations bounced Muvhango with its regular 3,3 million viewers from the top spot as most watched programme on SABC2, with Generations on SABC2 topping out at just over 5 million viewers in January on average per weekday.
For Generations its literally millions of viewers away from the regular 7 million who tune in for the soap when its shown on SABC1.