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SABC fulfills public service mandate

Posted by radio On December - 20 - 2013

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has for the ten days of mourning the loss of the first black President of a democratic South Africa, Mr. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, recorded remarkable numbers in viewership on our television and radio platforms.


The SABC as the country’s only public service broadcaster that is easily accessible in the country, dedicated most of its resources to a special broadcast to reflect on Madiba’s personal and professional life.


On Thursday, 05 December 2013, the night President Jacob Zuma made the announcement of Madiba’s passing, the SABC discontinued its standard programming on three of its television channels for a period of 48 hours and with its 24 hour news channel and radio dominantly featuring content for Madiba’s tribute.


On the day of the memorial service, the SABC’s 24 Hour news channel 404 on DSTV delivered half-hour ratings across the day that amounted to 80,824 viewers, with SABC 2 growing its ratings by 164% on the same day to 1.4 million viewers.  SABC 1 remained the most accessible channel for the public throughout this period.


In terms of channel share nationally, the SABC commanded 50.83% of the market share on the day of the memorial, 58.74% during the coverage of the funeral between 07h30-13h00 and a total of 45.92% for the entire final day of mourning.

The complete radio figures for this period will be available in about three months.

The SABC’s Digital Newsroom
 immediately initiated continuous live coverage of developments as they unfolded from day 1.  The online coverage included video and audio material from the SABC’s extensive radio and TV round-the-clock special programming.  This coverage continued until 16 December 2013 when a 9-metre statue was unveiled at the Union Buildings to honour the iconic former President.


South Africans and international audiences flocked to the SABC News website, the Nelson Mandela tribute website, Twitter, Facebook and Storify accounts.  The SABC’s corporate website grew its unique browsers by almost two thirds over the same period in November.


During the national memorial service on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 the number of viewers on You Tube channel peaked at approximately 55 000, with about 85% watching the continuous stream.  A total of 58 400 views was recorded for the event live stream, from the start of the service until 12 December at 16:00.

By the end of Tuesday about 600 000 people accessed the continuous stream, with more than 70 000 people watching for what YouTube describes as “a significant time”, resulting in 264 482 hours watched at the time.


Hundreds of video clips were uploaded to the SABC News’ YouTube channel, which was also used to live- stream proceedings.  Over the 10 day period the number of YouTube viewers were doubled that of the average monthly viewership, with nearly 1.7 million views registered for the bouquet of SABC YouTube channels.


Special features were also launched to give the public an opportunity to express their feelings and tell their stories, including Mandela Kids (tributes from youngsters), My Madiba Prayers (religious messages), My Madiba Moments (meeting Mandela), My Madiba Memories (special impacts he had) and a mapped book of condolences (which received over 5000 responses from around the world).
Over 2000 local and international broadcasters and agencies were supplied a live pool feed of all the related events at no cost from the SABC.
“All the international media organizations that accessed the SABC material complimented the quality of the coverage.  Eurovision went as far as to describe the coverage as exiting, colorful and excellent.  This is a testament to the SABC’s quality broadcasting on such a huge and emotive moment in history” said Mr. Hlaudi Motsoeneng, Acting Chief Operations Officer (ACOO).


The SABC’s key revenue driver, advertising, was very minimal on most of the corporation’s television and radio platforms and in other instances deferred due to the special broadcasts during this time.  It is for this reason that the SABC would like to thank the advertisers for their understanding and patience.  The SABC Board and management would also like to thank the public in general for their understanding as their favorite programmes were rescheduled.


These special broadcasts could not have been carried out with ease and so much professionalism if it was not because of the SABC’s most valuable resources, its staff members, especially in News division and Technology division.  “We would like to thank all of them individually for their efforts and spending sleepless nights to make sure that we fulfill our mandate and pay tribute to the greatest statesman ever.” said Motsoeneng.


We would like to send our sincere thanks to the Mandela family and the Government of South Africa for their support during this time.  It is through their support and cooperation that we were able to broadcast all the events successfully.



[Source: SABC]

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