Monday, September 5, 2016

BREAKING. Survivor is surviving on SABC3 after all: Survivor Cagayan returning to Monday nights from October, replacing low rated local Divas of Jozi flop.

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The reality series Suvivor is surviving on SABC3 after all, with the hit American reality show that's being returned to the channel's primetime schedule following SABC3's sudden evisceration of international content from July that saw the new crop of local shows flop.

Survivor distributed by CBS Studios International has been added back to the SABC3 schedule and will return to its old Monday night prime time timeslot of 20:00 from 3 October with the 28th season, Survivor: Cagayan.

Survivor: Cagayan, instead of a planned local travel show Uyanda: It's On with Uyanda Mbuli will now replace the low rated and critically panned local reality TV trash Divas of Jozi.

The SABC's controversial chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng ordered the SABC's TV channels to drop foreign content from July and to increase local programming to 90%, starting with 80% local content on SABC3. SABC3 had to redo its schedule and has slightly been falling short of the 80%.

Viewership for the crop of new local shows on SABC3 - mostly a combination of local talk and lifestyle shows, several of which had been rushed to air, has been extremely disappointing.

The SABC has either been unable to get better local content ready in time to funnel into the competitive Monday night timeslot on SABC3, or realised that bad content won't cut it in the ratings and wash with viewers just because it's supposedly branded "local".

The return of Survivor with a new season on SABC3 follows closely on the heels of the SABC's backtracking on the American daytime soap Days of Our Lives.

After removing the highly rated and popular late afternoon American soap in late-July as one of the top-performing shows on the SABC3 schedule, the SABC returned Days of Our Lives in August to a late-night timeslot.

The SABC actually has what is referred to as a "lifetime contract" for shows like Days of Our Lives and sister soap The Bold and the Beautiful for instance. The SABC will have to continue paying for these soaps until they're cancelled in America, whether the public broadcaster airs episodes of them or not.

In 2012 a former SABC chairperson, dr. Ben Ngubane explained to parliament that the SABC is locked into some "forever" contracts with certain American TV programming, binding the broadcaster to keep paying for it until these series eventually ends.

Shows like Days and Bold are recommissioned every one to two years in America by broadcasters NBC and CBS, based on their ratings performance.

Survivor: Cagayan, the 28th season and a firm signature show and viewer favourite on SABC3, is the fourth consecutive season to be filmed in the Philippines. In the new season that was broadcast in 2013 in America, the 18 contestants are divided into three tribes based on Brawn (athleticism), Brains (intelligence) or Beauty (attractiveness).