Wednesday, February 3, 2016

FULL LIST OF CHANGES with context: The SABC once again moves shows; makes programmatic scheduling changes across SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3.

The South African public broadcaster is once again moving shows and making programmatic scheduling changes across the SABC's three TV channels in an attempt to hold on to existing audiences and to boost viewership.

The cross-channel schedule changes involving SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 (see the breakdown list for each channel below) come a year and a half after the "drastic" schedule changes the SABC implemented in July 2014 after its 2014 FIFA World Cup coverage.

The public broadcaster which undid some of the changes in the months after following sharp criticism from viewers, is now undoing some more of those changes like moving Fokus back from SABC3 to SABC2, admitting it was a mistake.

"This schedule revamp is a direct response to the evolving television landscape and in keeping up with the SABC audience's current needs and expectations," said Verona Duwarkah, the SABC's head of television.

The SABC's chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng said that changes were made to the SABC TV schedules that viewers were not happy about but that the public broadcaster is now responding to those complaints.

The SABC admits SABC1 needed more drama. The SABC and South Africa's highest rated show, the KwaMashu filmed Uzalo on SABC1 is being turned from a telenovela into a soap thanks to its high viewership and strong performance similar to what Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) did with isiBaya, with a second season that will seamlessly start on 8 February at 20:30. Uzalo also gets an omnibus repeat slot on Sundays.

Live Amp on Fridays is being demoted to 19:30, with a new music entertainment show, Urban Music Xperience, starting on Fridays at 21:00.

On SABC2 the biggest changes are the move of the daily Sesotho news bulletin from 19:30 to 18:00 since this week, Fokus that will return from SABC3 to SABC2 from this Sunday after a year and a half after its move and a day after the programme's 20th anniversary, and the move of the Indian magazine show Mela from SABC2 to SABC3.

SABC3 takes Mela over from SABC2 as "the Indian Top Billing" and a companion show on Sundays with the Top Billing repeat.

SABC3 is also introducing specific timeslots for female variety on Tuesdays at 20:00, male viewing on Sundays at 17:30 and even a "female voyeur variety" slot on Tuesdays at 22:00 for reality shows like Botched and Dr. 90210.

SABC3 also acquired Humans as a first-run drama series for the territory, a science fiction series about domestic androids, that will be shown on Wednesday nights at 21:00.

Here's the specific changes according to SABC channel:

Uzalo is officially no longer a telenovela but becoming a soap similar to what Mzansi Magic did with isiBaya with the 2nd season of Uzalo that will start on 8 February at 20:30 without interruption, from Mondays to Wednesdays.
■ The Thursday night drama slot is cut down to half an hour. The 2nd season of Mfolozi Street with Hlubi Mboya and Luthuli Dlamini will now be show here.
■ On Fridays a revamped Live Amp, still with Pearl Thusi and DJ Warras will now start at 19:30.
■ On Fridays a new hour long music entertainment show, Urban Music Xperience will start at 21:00, with presenters Luthando "Lootlove" Shosha and Adil More.
■ On Fridays Fan Base at 18:00 is getting revamped with new presenter Akhumzi Jezile.
■ On Saturday's Mzansi Insider moves an hour later to 10:00.
■ On Saturday's the Generations - The Legacy omnibus moves to 11:00.
■ On Sundays SABC1 is starting an Uzalo omnibus at 12:30.
■ On Sundays the 20:00 movie slot is gone, now replaced with a drama slot where shows like Ngempela and Sokhulu & Partners will be shown.

■ This week the SABC moved the only Sesotho, Tswana and Sepedi news bulletin earlier from 19:30 to 18:00 from Mondays to Sundays.
This move is to create better flow across the SABC2 schedule to try and retain viewers. On Fridays for instance, Afrikaans viewing was interrupted for half an hour, leading to the loss of those viewers who didn't return after the half hour of Sotho news. Fridays now has an uninterrupted block of one language, hopefully keeping those viewers from tuning away.
■ Travel series Mooiloop! returns for another season on Mondays at 19:30, now with Elma Postma as presenter.
■ On Tuesdays the Afrikaans comedy Parys Parys that was on kykNET will start at 19:30 and SABC2 will also repeat the Afrikaans drama series Geraamtes in die Kas.
■ SABC2 will broadcast The National Teachers Awards on Tuesday 8 March at 20:30.
■ On Wednesdays Motswako moves to 19:30, followed by Ngula Ya Vutivi now at 20:00 and with the Tsonga talk show Vusaseki moving to 20:30.
■ On Thursdays 50/50 will return with another season from 18 February, again in a new timeslot of 19:30. All the presenters like Bonne de Bod, Bertus Louw and Ntokozo Mbuli remain.
■ The 25th season of Noot vir Noot will start on Friday 5 February at 20:00. SABC2 now has an uninterrupted Afrikaans programming block on Fridays from 18:30 until 21:00.
■ The comedy series My Wife and Kids move to Saturdays at 18:30 from 6 February.
■ The second season of Abomzala will start on Saturday 6 February at 20:30 about older single women looking for men.
■ The SABC is moving Fokus back from SABC3 to SABC2 a day after its 20th anniversary from this Sunday to the timeslot of 18:30, serving as an Afrikaans lead-in to the Afrikaans news at 19:00.
■ On Sundays Gospel Time on SABC2 moves to 20:00.

Afternoon Express is not cancelled and remains at 16:00.
■ The Indian lifestyle magazine show Mela that replaced Eastern Mosaic moves from SABC2 to SABC3 that has a smaller broadcasting footprint reach and will now be on Sundays at 13:30 from 7 February where the SABC wants it to be a companion show to the Top Billing repeat.
■ Tuesdays is getting a reality slot at 20:00 where shows like Top Chef will be shown, as well as a "female voyeur variety" slot at 22:00 in which shows like Dr. 90210 and Botched will be shown.
■ On Wednesday at 21:00 SABC3 will broadcast the new British science fiction drama series Humans as a first-run series in South Africa in which households can buy androids and the problems it create.
■ SABC3 will start a cooking lifestyle slot from April at 20:30 in which it will broadcast shows like Neil Anthony Private Chef and Lorraine Fast Fresh & Easy.
■ SABC3 will change Friday nights to "Comedy Nights" from April with a Friday night comedy strand that will include both local and foreign stand-up comedy offerings.
■ On Saturdays, from April, the start of the movie slot is moved from 19:30 to 19:00.
■ On Saturdays, from April the arts and culture slot is moved earlier to 18:00.
On Sundays SABC3 is introducing a male variety slot at 17:30 for shows like Top Gear and One Day with Bryan Miles, followed by a current affairs block from 19:00 including shows like Interface, Special Assignment and documentaries like Ross Kemp: Extreme Worlds.

■ The SABC said nothing about its SABC News (DStv 404) news channel or the show but has quietly introduced the new show On the Record with Vuyo Mvoko in mid-January on weeknights at 21:00.
Vuyo Mvoko as SABC contributing editor, is one of the SABC staffers who got mugged on live television in March last year. The addition of the hour long current affairs show means that Your World got cut by an hour to two hours in duration, now starting at 22:00 on weeknights.

On Tuesday night SABC News reported about the public broadcaster's schedule changes in its various TV news bulletins, but didn't tell viewers anything about any of the specific changes on any of the channels,simply noting that the schedules are changing in order for the SABC to "continue to entrech its dominance in this competitive environment and meet the set business requirements".