The Last TV Ratings Are Out And Paint A Gloomy Picture For Television Viewership Numbers

As reported by TVSA, television viewers ratings will no longer be available to the general public, for free that is. I love this industry but aint paying for that. So for the latest TV watching trends we turn to the latest All Media and Products Survey (AMPS) for January to December 2015.

Last year was clearly not a good year for tv local channels. Despite a number of declines for individual TV channels in South Africa like SABC1, SABC2 and, television in total remained stable at 91.8%.'s weekly viewing dropped from 67% to 65.1% - plunging due to a decline in viewers tuning out in large urban areas in specifically the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. viewership losses were seen across both males and females.

SABC1 likewise saw a drop in its weekly audience figures: down from 76.9% to 75.4%. SABC1 lost viewers in large urban areas and the Western Cape tuning out.

SABC2 also shed viewers with its weekly audience dropping from 72.1% to 70.4% - driven by losses in large urban areas, the Western Cape and Limpopo and female viewers tuning out.

SABC3 did not fare well either with it's weekly audience remained stable at 55%, despite losing viewers in the Western Cape in the LSM8 to LSM 10 demographic - the wealthier viewers.

The weekly viewing of M-Net's terrestrial channel managed to remain stable at 6%.

Weekly audience levels for total community TV in South Africa dropped from 10.4% to 9.4%, due in part to losses in large urban areas and female viewers.

Viewership of Platco Digital's OpenView HD (OVHD) is growing. The weekly audience rose with audience numbers now at 195 000 per week, or 0.5% - up from 0.2% previously. This viewership increase comes from all community sizes, from the Western Cape and North West and from both more women and men turning in to the free-to-air satellite platform.

2015 saw an influx of new local television shows, clearly while most trended on Twitter most South Africans just did not tune in. 

For the record, Mzansi Magic has a policy of not releasing their ratings thus making it hard for their shows and the channel to be accurately surveyed against its competitors. However, given that Twitter has a very minute influence on TV viewing patterns, one can deduce that the channel isn't really pulling millions of viewers. 

It is really a shame that we would not be able to have the TAMS ratings publicly available anymore. The stats made for a great debate and competitive engagement which this industry desperate need. When you know fans are pitting you against your competitors, you turn to want to put your best foot forward and prove that you are the best.  

These are the last  South African Advertising Research Foundation's (SAARF) latest AMPS figures since it started in 1975. End of an era.

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