TREVOR NOAH RETEAMS WITH M-NET

Monday, November 3, 2014

Eskom's new load shedding to affect South African TV ratings negatively as viewership plunges with blackouts affecting households.


Watch for Eskom's new shocking inability to provide enough electricity for the basic demand of South African household consumers to affect South African TV ratings negatively - and in turn South Africa's broadcasters, advertisers, and ad income.

When Eskom cut the electricity as it did on Sunday to major metropolitan areas like Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg people who would have watched that 7de Laan omnibus on SABC2 or Carte Blanche on M-Net can't.

The implosion of Eskom and its scandalous blackouts - whether planned or unplanned - don't affect thousands of people, it affects millions of households - TV households - dramatically shrinking the TV universe of total available audience.

A bit technical, but while a certain TV show can actually show gains during a power blackout it is because its easier to grab a bigger audience share (when the total audience is smaller). (Or explained another way: It's easier to get 10% in a quiz that has 20 questions than to get 10% in a quiz that has 200 questions.)

Overall though, the actual number of viewers will be much lower - and that doesn't bode well for broadcasters who set their spot prices for 30 second ads based on viewership - or for advertisers whose commercials are not seen (especially after ad sales departments have sold spots and "guaranteed" a certain ratings and viewership).

With less ad income due to unexpectedly smaller viewership, the SABC, e.tv, M-Net, DStv community TV stations and other broadcasters will feel what Eskom did (or didn't manage to do) on Sunday in their pocket - and even more so if Eskom's load shedding and blackouts continue.

While MultiChoice's PVR type DStv decoders have DStv Catch Up so viewers can watch it later, the catch up content can't and won't download to decoders if the PVR decoder doesn't have electricity.

Yet another example of how Eskom is negatively impacting South Africa's economy and ordinary households.