The South African Broadcasting Company's (SABC) move to suddenly dump international content and flush the SABC3 schedule with locally produced shows from July 2016 has seen SABC3's ratings collapse.
An article published on channel24, written by Thinus Ferreira, states that viewership for all the new shows are so low that not a single one of the new programmes managed to make last month's top 20 most watched shows.
After an abrupt order for his plan of 90 per cent local television by the SABCs chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng that was hastily implemented in July, the plunging ratings for SABC3 spells disaster for August and beyond since some foreign films and the weekday soap Days of Our Lives were still shown in July.
Despite collectively costing the SABC a lot of money to produce, all the new local SABC3 shows are viewership flops according to South Africa's TAMS TV ratings.
The fact that not one of the new SABC3 local shows rate in the top 20 - meaning that very few viewers are watching these - means that the troubled SABC3 must adjust advertising rates for timeslots down due to the fewer viewers it's getting. That means less income.
By having replaced popular shows with local shows that has lower production values, higher income TV households - those that advertisers want to reach - have abandoned SABC3.
It also means that SABC3's overall ratings - it's combined audience figures for August - will be lower, a problem for SABC3 that is already struggling in the viewership race as the SABC's only commercial TV channel.
When the top 20 programmes list, now made up by less of the more-watched international content, consists of more lower-rated local shows that people don't want to see, it means that SABC3's combined viewership tally will be lower in August.
In early July ad agencies warned the SABC that the public broadcaster is going to experience huge losses in terms of advertising revenue if the sudden new slate of programmes doesnt manage to lure viewers and ratings.
The American soap The Bold and the Beautiful - the type of content that Hlaudi Motsoeneng said the SABC will dump - is still by far the most watched programme on SABC3, number one in the channel's ratings in July with 1.55 million viewers (4.6 AR / 16.9 share).
It's followed by the Chinese science fiction comedy film, CJ7 in second place with 1.2 million viewers (3.6 AR / 12.2 share) and then the weekday local soap Isidingo remaining in third place with 1.17 million viewers (3.5 AR / 10.1 share).
While Hlaudi Motsoeneng in June and again in July said that viewers don't watch Days of Our Lives, it remained a perennial solid performer in July for SABC until it was removed from the schedule, with 1.07 million viewers in seventh place (3.2 AR / 17 share).
International movies in July helped to prop up the SABC3 schedule with Jinxed, A Knight's Tale, Click, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Spanglish and Fired Up taking six places out of the top 20 most watched content on the channel above any of the new local shows.
One better performer on the SABC3 schedule, after being moved to a later afternoon timeslot from July, was Afternoon Express, now ranking 13th and managing a place in the top 20 for the first time.