The SABC has revealed how it plans to keep revenue from advertisers coming in despite transforming its platforms to accommodate more local content.
Critics of the decision to have 90% local music played on SABC radio stations and 80% local programmes on TV channels say the change could spell disaster for the public broadcaster, as advertisers would no longer want to advertise on its platforms.
“We are not going to compromise on quality programmes and compelling content will lead to audience growth and avertisers will follow,” SABC exec, Anton Heunis, said at a media briefing at the public broadcaster’s offices. “We’ve also made the point that we have engaged our advertisers and we will continue to engage them [sic],”
“Eighty-five per cent of our current content, whether you’re watch it on DStv or on any other platform, you’ll find in the top 20 programmes of South Africa,” he said.
Acting CEO, Jimi Mathews reiterated the fact that the public broadcaster will be pouring in money to see through the push towards more local quality content.
“We support the COO’s [Hlaudi Motsoeneng] enthusiasm, his “go out there and do it” attitude and yes he doesn’t care about the budget, but the budget is of concern and we announced months ago that we were in a positive position in terms of our finances, we announced that we were allocating R600 million and now we’re using it,” Matthews said.
Improving delivery of news on SABC
Motsoeneng took a shot at SABC journalists, saying that the delivery of news needs to be better in order to attract and retain audiences.
“What has been happening at SABC, which I’m not in support of, journalists need to have more energy, passion. Some of our own journalists, when you see them on television, they are dead, [sic]” Motsoeneng said.
“If you don’t have passion on what you do, listeners will run away, because you can’t keep them and I said to the news team, please make sure that everybody that goes on air, there is energy, there is that passion,” he added.
“You as SABC journalists, make sure that you break stories, because you have the resources, you have everything. I don’t understand why, when you check the stats, why etv, your 403 channel [on DStv], can beat 404 [SABC], that can’t happen when we have all the resources within the organisation.”
“If we put compelling content on our platform, all those people who are out there, they will come to the SABC. Content can bring a new audience,” Motsoeneng said.