Thursday, July 28, 2011

BREAKING. DStv ratings to go down 9% on average from August as PVR viewership that has become 'significant' gets removed temporarily.

The viewership ratings of MultiChoice's DStv will decrease on average by 9% on TAMS from August - not really because of less people watching DStv or television in South Africa, but actually due to a technical, temporary, adjustment that will see TV households in South Africa with personal video recorders (PVRs) no longer being counted or their viewership taken into effect.

ALSO READ: PVR viewership removed from TAMS from August; viewership of M-Net, kykNET, SuperSport will appear lower.

The South African Advertising Research Foundation (Saarf) that measures television viewership in South Africa with the TAMS system wanted to include - for the first time from August - so-called ''time-shifted viewing'' or viewing happening, or influenced by PVR usage. The organisation that manages the TAMS TV currency and which is used widely by media planners, ad buyers and marketing strategists decided to not only delay time shifted viewing, it decided to remove PVR households from the viewership.

Saarf says it first wants to properly adjust, align and understand PVR viewing, and that PVR viewership will then be added back. PVR viewing information will also be available as a separate set of viewership data to give a very clear picture of what is being watched on PVRs and how that affect overall viewing and audience figures. Saarf says PVR usage and PVR viewing in South Africa has become ''significant'' and has crossed the viewership threshold where this kind of significant time-delayed viewing can be accurately measured and has an impact on overall viewership figures.

''PVR households are now separated out,'' says Saarf. ''In the next South African TV universe update we should be in a better position to get a clearer view of PVR viewing. Time-shifted viewing in South Africa is going to change the industry and change television,'' says Saarf. Saarf actually wants to double the current TAMS sample size and the number of households whose TV viewing is monitored with electronic meters so that South African TV ratings can be ''more robust and so that we're more prepared for the viewership fragmentation coming with digital terrestrial television (DTT) in the country.''

From August with PVR households that's gone - actually still there but just ''invisible'' for the moment since their viewing isn't factored in - the biggest change will be a drop of 9% in DStv ratings. The biggest TV universe reduction comes DStv Premium subscribers, says Saarf. Channels that will suffer a marked decrease in viewers (although they're actually still there) will be kykNET, M-Net, Discovery, the M-Net movie channels, M-Net Series, Disney and BBC Lifestyle. Channels that will be showing a marked increase due to growth in DStv Compact subscribers will be KidsCo, ONE Gospel and SowetoTV.

''Not all channels are adversely affected,'' says Saarf. ''DStv Compact channels are actually growing. Some DStv Premium channels will be going through separation anxiety. But that viewership will come back.''

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ALSO READ: PVR viewership removed from TAMS from August; viewership of M-Net, kykNET and SuperSport to decline.