Wednesday, August 24, 2022

South Africa's public broadcaster puts out open call for new TV content as the SABC looks to try and repair relationships with damaged production industry.

by Thinus Ferreira

South Africa's public broadcaster is making an open call for content, with the SABC once again asking production companies to make proposals for new shows for its SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 TV channels in the drama, entertainment and factual programming genres.

After many production companies have been put off from doing work with the struggling broadcaster following unprofessional treatment over the past decade, ranging from abrupt cancellation of multi-year contracts to non-payment for work produced and delivered, the SABC is trying to get producers to come back and submit ideas for new shows.

The SABC is increasingly getting hammered in the ratings with sagging viewership for long-running and stale content which is made worse by multiple cross-channel repeats, and low production values due to low per-minute spend.

South African production companies have been pushed to rather work for MultiChoice and the set of M-Net-run TV channels on DStv, with many looking to try and snag lucrative production deals with the influx of global video streaming services like Netflix Africa, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video's Amazon Studios all set to beef up their content creation and local production output from South Africa. 

The SABC Video Entertainment division is now inviting content creators to submit content and programme proposals until 16 September 2022 for 100%-commissions - shows in which the SABC will own the show and fully fund its development and production - as well as pre-sales, licensed shows and advertiser-funded programmes (AFPs).

The SABC Video Entertainment division will do a month-long provincial roadshow from 25 August to 26 September and visit Cape Town, Johannesburg, Mahikeng, Bloemfontein, Kimberley, Polokwane, Nelspruit, Durban and East London to talk to various producers in these provinces.