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SABC3 “tests” Afrikaans programming

Wed, 15 Apr 2009

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At the quarterly screening of forthcoming programmes from SABC3, South African public broadcaster’s commercial channel, it was announced on 15 April in Johannesburg that Afrikaans-language programmes were included in the next schedule.

This is not the first time that the predominantly English channel has aired Afrikaans programmes, despite the fact that sister channel SABC2 has traditionally been the home of Afrikaans in the past.

SABC3’s marketing team noted that the move was part of the channel’s strategy to cater for all its audiences and that the few Afrikaans programmes that had aired on SABC3 in the past had performed well in terms of attracting audiences and ad revenue.
Thus the introduction of programmes like Roer, a new lifestyle and cooking show, as well as a new season of the alternative comedy show, Kompleks (previousy broadcast on SABC2), are part of a strategy to test the viability of having a body of Afrikaans programming on the channel. To this end SABC3 last year issued a commissioning brief for a new telenovella which will be primarily in Afrikaans. It is likely to be produced in the next fiscal year.

Viewers of the channel will already have noticed the recent shifting of time slots which sees a 7.30pm comedy slot from Mondays to Wednesday, a reality slot at 8pm from Mondays to Wednesdays, and a one-hour drama slot from Mondays to Thursdays at 9pm. The international reality show The Amazing Race has been moved from its long running Tuesday 7.30pm slot to Monday 8pm, as SABC2’s 7.30pm programming had drawn away viewers.

Regular long-running SABC3 shows like the upmarket lifestyle show Top Billing, which attracts over a million viewers each week, and the daily talk show 3 Talk with Noeleen, remain on the schedule.

A new local car show called, Carquest, will broadcast in the Sunday 13h30 timeslot. Other new local shows which have recently debuted on the channel are the entertainment magazine show Flash and comedian Darren Maule’s Last Say on Sunday.

In May SABC3 viewers can look forward to two lavish international series, The Virgin Queen and War and Peace.

In closing the SABC3 team denied any truth to the reports which appeared in one Sunday paper that the popular daily soap, Isidingo, was in danger of being cancelled.

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