SABC’s shame

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - MEDIA& MARKETING -

THE DIS­AR­RAY of the SABC fi­nances is scan­dalous. But it’s not only the fi­nances. A state re­source like the SABC should be fully used to ben­e­fit the devel­op­ment of the coun­try, to en­ter­tain and ed­u­cate. Tele­vi­sion view­ers ex­pect to find stim­u­la­tion and amuse­ment, not snoozein­duc­ing old films and re­peats of an­cient se­ri­als.

The weekly sched­ule shows that our chan­nels are be­ing stuffed with lazy pro­gram­ming.

There are 25 hours of soapies a week across the three chan­nels.

On a day cho­sen at ran­dom, the TV sched­ule listed 12 re­peats on SABC1, nine on SABC2 and nine on SABC3.

There are over 10 hours of in­fomer­cials a week, across the three chan­nels. There are 10 hours of re­al­ity court­room shows each week.

Old Oprah Win­frey shows are re­peated over and over again, at close in­ter­vals of a week or two, sug­gest­ing that no one is mon­i­tor­ing this con­tract. Per­haps one of those su­per­flu­ous man­agers?

Also, dur­ing one Oprah Win­frey show on healthy eat­ing and the dan­ger of di­a­betes, there were 23 ad­ver­tise­ments, all on chips with cheese on them, ice cream and choco­late bars.

Ques­tion­able ethics on the pro­gram­ming side show them­selves in the way the line be­tween ed­i­to­rial and ad­ver­tis­ing has been blasted away. Top Billing has been al­lowed to in­clude bla­tant ad­ver­tis­ing for a jew­ellery shop, min­eral wa­ter, a fur­ni­ture shop and a travel agency. This is a show based on deals – more so than oth­ers, which merely go in for prod­uct place­ment of a not-so­sub­tle kind.

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