SABC 1's channel head, Sam Mpherwane, was present at the SABC's Advertisre Upfront, held at The Square Boutique Hotel and Spa in Umhlanga, Durban, this morning.
He was part of a panel of TV head honchos, presenting to advertisers about the channel's offerings, which would create opportunities for them to advertise on the channel, which boasts the biggest viewership in the country, with Generations, being the most watched show in South African TV history.
Mpherwane, left, told the guests that SABC 1 is currently in the process of solidifying their lead as the channel with the most ratings. "It's hard to get to the top, but it's even more difficult to stay there," he said. "SABC 1 has constantly proven that it's a ratings powerhouse and we need the content, the right content, to make sure that doesn't change."
He mentioned how there has been a rise of 'many copycat channels who have used SABC 1's blueprint on how to make a channel focusing on local content to work." And because of this, Mpherwane said that the channel has had to look at ways at how they can re-invent itself.
Asked if they were feeling pressured by DStv's Mzansi Magic, Mpherwane laughed and said that "SABC 1 has always been the trendsetter. We are going continue to lead."
One way of doing that, is for the channel to focus on commissioning more local content, which is what they have done. "By doing so, we are remaining true to our claim as South Africa's Storyteller."
There are many changes that are coming up on the channel and while some are great, some will not be well received. We are all creatures of habit and you can mess with some things, but others should remain sacred at all times.
- Mpherwane revealed that they have been planning a soapie in the 6.30pm slot for a while and they've finally settled on making the popular Skeem Sam into a soapie. This is not a good move. The show is great as a drama, not as a soapie. While Mpherwane promised that the show will be more of a drama than a soap, he said that one of the reasons they chose to revamp Skeem Sam was because it was a great show. "We are going to keep the principles that made the show such a success, ratings and critically wise," he said. "It will still have elements of location that our viewers loved so much."
- The news moves from 7.30pm to 7pm. This is a controversial move. We have been watching the Nguni news daily at 7.30pm. It's going to get some getting used to. However, that being said, it's a clever programming decision as this will allow for SABC 1's Prime Time to start at 7.30pm, instead of 8pm.
- 7.30pm will now be a sitcom/variety slot. So shows like Selimathunzi, etc, will be moving to 7.30pm. Speaking of which, why is Selimathunzi still on air? It might have OK ratings, but it's really boring.
- The 8.30pm slot will be the dedicated drama slot and the channel has FIVE new dramas which we can expect in a few weeks/months. We are looking forward to that.
- X-Factor will be coming in September (still NO judges being announced) and;
- Sundays at 6pm, a BBC Show adapted for a local audience is in the works.
- A DJ Talent show and also a dating show, Take Me Out, will be on screen soon. Like X-Factor, Take Me Out will be filmed in KZN.
What we got from the session with SABC 1 is that they are serious about local content. Whether that content is QUALITY, remains to be seen. It's all well and good to make as many local shows as possible, but they are un-watchable, it's a waste.
PICS: SABC 1 and TV with Thinus