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.