Uzalo on SABC1 remains the undisputed most-watched show on South African television with both a higher AR and a bigger share than Generations, while pay-TV shows Igazi and Our Perfect Wedding on Mzansi Magic both grab more viewers than the free-to-air soap Isidingo on SABC3.
During June the Durban-produced Uzalo continued to prove its mettle, grabbing a 24.6 audience rating (AR) with 8.27 million viewers and a 66.3 share for its most watched episode, higher than Mfundi Vundla's Generations with a 23.8 AR and 8.01 million viewers (66.2 share).
Surprisingly, the most watched programme on e.tv during the entire month of June was the 1992-film Sarafina! that was shown for free at cinemas countrywide on Youth Day and on e.tv on the same day.
The Darrell Roodt directed film with Leleti Khumalo and Whoopi Goldberg that incidentally shows scenes of public protest violence and property destruction – visuals banned on the SABC as part of boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s news censorship decree – drew 5.6 million viewers (16.7 AR) to e.tv on Youth Day.
After Sarafina!, weekday soaps Scandal!, Rhythm City and Ashes to Ashes continue to deliver, ranking respectively 2nd, 3rd and 4th as most watched e.tv shows with 4.9 million, 3.6 million and 3.25 million viewers in June.
The new Disney deal with e.tv immediately payed off: Marvel movies dominated the most-watched list of e.tv's 20 highest rated programmes in June with Thor: The Dark World (2.51 million), Thor (2.46 million), Avengers Assemble (2.41 million) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2.16 million) that outdrew popular programming like WWE Smackdown.
On SABC2 Muvhango remains the most watched show (5.8 million), while more viewers are watching a repeat of Skwizas (3.1 million) than the first-run broadcast (1.89 million) – the same happens with It’s Gospel Time, where viewers watch the repeat (1.6 million) more than the original airing (1.1 million).
SABC3 rating set to fall?
On SABC3 The Bold and the Beautiful remained the most watched show (1.49 million), followed by Isidingo (1.19 million) and Days of Our Lives (1.09 million) that Hlaudi Motsoeneng ordered off the SABC airwaves along with other international content although it's performing very well for the channel.
Out of the top 20 most watched programming on SABC3 during June, 12 were international shows and films.
It's unlikely that new and already widely panned local programming – like Divas of Jozi that replaced Survivor – will draw more viewers than the American shows its replacing. It means that the overall viewership and audience share of SABC3 will very likely fall from July, something that will affect advertising tariffs on the rate card.
Mzansi Magic soaps performing well
On M-Net (DStv 101) Carte Blanche remains the perenially most watched programme but its sister pay-TV channel Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) that surprises.
Local soap Igazi (1.28 million) and Our Perfect Wedding (1.22 million) as the most watched two shows during June on Mzansi Magic that is a pay-TV channel, now has more viewers than Isidingo although the Endemol produced soap is on a free-to-air channel.
Reality show Living the Dream with Somizi is the 6th highest rated show on Mzansi, with Isibaya 3rd. Ring of Lies will likely be back for another season since it's the 8th most watched show (346 924) on the channel.
Meanwhile SABC Encore (DStv 156), the rerun library TV channel with apartheid era shows from the SABC archives that MultiChoice pays millions of rands for, continues to struggle.
SABC Encore that turned one year old in May, struggled to lure more than a measly 90 000 viewers for its most watched show, Matswakabele, with viewership dramatically falling off to a paltry 25 822 viewers for Agter Elke Man as the 20th most watched show on the archive channel.