Thursday, January 22, 2015

SABC issues a press release regarding programming and scheduling changes on the SABC for AFCON 2015 ... 4 days after it already happened.

A lot of what is wrong and broken with the SABC is its bad and often non-existent communication to the South African press - both evidence of its regression and part of the actual cause of its tarnished public image as the country's public broadcaster.

Yet another case in point: On Wednesday evening 21 January, the SABC's cranky marketing and publicity machine managed to sputter forth a press release regarding the specific programming and scheduling changes across the SABC's three TV channels due to Afcon 2015.

It was about changes which already came into effect days before from Saturday 17 January.

Why even bother? SABC viewers who were not told by publications like newspapers and magazines (who would have run the information if they received it last week or even before the start of the weekend) already had to try and figure out on their own where Generations - The Legacy, the Sotho TV news bulletins and other cascade programming shifted to on SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3.

Places like TV with Thinus already reported back at the beginning of December 2014 about the major scheduling disruptions again coming to the SABC in January 2015.

That is when the SABC should have started to communicate about its schedules for Afcon 2015.

It didn't and couldn't be bothered although the specific information regarding Afcon 2015 matches and the SABC schedules were all available to the SABC.

The SABC could only issue a press release about its most important asset - its programming - 4 days after it changed in a major way, to "alert" viewers about changes which had already happened.

It defies belief, and yet its exactly what happens.

Unlike other broadcasters the SABC can't even get itself to tell why viewers should watch Afcon 2015 (on the SABC), why it matters, what the SABC will bring or do "better", what on-air talent, soccer analysts, studio presenters or additional programming like the Afcon 2015 pre-shows and wrap-up summaries it has.

The SABC can't care to tout its talent, send a nice studio pic of the soccer presenters, include a quote.

Below is the SABC's belated, irrelevant, eye-rolling press release of 21 January.

It comes complete with "spelling mistakes" like Radio and other capitalisation mistakes, DSTV, and spacing problems like SABCTV (which are not unique to just this SABC press release) and which makes news editors, night editors, subs and journalists at publications across South Africa honestly just sigh - often - as they try to stay calm and carry on:

 32 games live on 4 TV Channels and 19 Radio Stations
 Wednesday 21 January, 2015, 

The AFCON 2015 is a 3-week-long soccer spectacular which started on Saturday 17 January and will conclude with a thrilling finale on Sunday 08 February 2015. The SABC is committed to broadcasting live all the 32 games across its various broadcast platforms, including Radio and TV.

SABC1 carries the bulk of the games with a total of 27, followed by SABC3 with 4 games and 1 game scheduled on SABC2. SABC News Channel on DSTV broadcast the highlights from the tournament.

A transversal schedule strategy has been put in place with key SABC1 prime-time shows moving to SABC2 for the duration of the football tournament and, other notable schedule changes across the 3 SABCTV channels as reflected below:

  • Generation -The Legacy – on SABC2 at 20h00
  • Setswana/Sesotho & Nguni News - on SABC2 at 19h30
  • Skeem Saam S3 on SABC2 – at 20h30
  • Main News bulletin on SABC3 – moves to an earlier timeslot at 17h30 on Wed 21 & 28 January
  • Isidingo on SABC3 - falls away on 21 & 28 January
As a result of SABC1 being the official broadcaster of AFCON 2015, the SABC‘s Nguni News will be broadcast on SABC2 at 19h30, alternating with the Sotho news.