Thursday, February 9, 2017

SABC's new TV boss Nomsa Philiso warns producers: 'If SABC sinks, we all sink'; says SABC going to be 'very strict on shows that don't deliver'.

The SABC's new TV boss Nomsa Philiso warned South African producers, saying that if the SABC sinks, everyone sinks, and that getting a show commissioned and on the public broadcaster's airwaves is no longer a guarantee that it will stay on - with the only things that matter to her in terms of TV programming are viewership and money.

Nomsa Philiso became the SABC's new head of television in August 2016 replacing the respected Verona Duwarkah who was fired after a falling out with the SABC's controversial former chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng over his alleged flouting of local commissioning procedures.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday at the Fairlawns Boutique Hotel in Sandton as SABC1 did a media launch for some new local shows on the channel, Nomsa Philiso warned producers that when the SABC sinks, "we all sink".

The beleaguered SABC that once again posted a loss for its latest stated financial year, has been struggling to bring fresh new content to viewers, with the public broadcaster that remains mired in shocking headlines about its internal board and management struggles, financial problems, executive infighting and maladministration.

SABC2 just did its third new schedule reshuffle in a year that started on Monday, with SABC3 that will see another schedule change within a few months with some more new local content.

Nomsa Philiso addressed perception issues and said the SABC is going to be very strict from now on about the performance of programming.

She said that she doesn't want a perception to exist of specifically black producers doing shows for the SABC that end up not delivering in terms of ratings, revenue and buzz.

"I'm just going to stick on the positive side of things. The producers, please don't let us down. We know that you've got the capability. And you know that you can deliver," said Nomsa Philiso.

"But don't make it sound like this lady that called the SABC, I mean 702 yesterday, and said 'the shows are extremely black'. So don't make it be expected of black people not to deliver. I'm imploring you to please deliver quality."

"We want to be very strict on shows that don't deliver [ratings]. Simply because, if we are going to say we are going to open the playing field, we can't then hog the space for things that are not delivering," said Nomsa Philiso.

"So we are going to make sure that's whatever be on, if you don't deliver ... So lets not go another place and say you know 'but I had a show last season and whatever'. It's all in the numbers".

'When we sink, we all sink'
"The only key performance I have is audiences and revenue," said Nomsa Philiso. "And I can't do it without a good product - without your product".

"So it's important to realise that when we [SABC] sink, we all sink. So it's not just about you coming off air or about us not giving ... we all sink. So it's quite an important thing to get around your head, to say 'without you, we can't deliver that which we are supposed to deliver".

SABC1 is adding some new programming with Daily Thetha with Tumelo Mothotoane and Kini Shandu replacing the axed Shift and the new fashion designer competition reality show Raw Silk that's a new version of 2006's The Cut South Africa.

SABC1 is also starting a new street culture magazine show Tastemakers, a variety talk show Throwback Thursdays (TBT) with Skhumba Hlope and Gabisile Tshabalala, and a morning youth talk show Expressions with Mxolisi Masango and Jacqui Maphala.

The new Sunday evening local drama Ingozi with Xolile Tshabalala and Jet Novuka will start this Sunday to try and compete against the Sunday night blockbuster local programming block of Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) on DStv.