The Television Audience Measurement Survey (TAMS) universe update has increased the total adult TV universe by 4%, with an additional 837 833 adult viewers in the mix. The terrestrial adult (16+) TV universe declined by 1%, losing just over 291 000 viewers, while DStv’s grew by an impressive 33% thanks to an additional 1,129-million viewers.
Some users have queried whether it is this universe change and not real changes in the TV market, which is responsible for the declines seen lately in the viewing levels for terrestrial TV.
According to SAARF’s senior technical support executive, Claire Welch, the decline in terrestrial channel viewing has not been caused by the new universe but rather the changing behaviour of South Africa’s TV viewers, which AMPS does not influence but merely reflects.
“There is a clear shift towards DStv, whose adult universe rose from 3,392-million to 4,522-million,’ says Welch. “If you look at TV viewing in total, the audience is quite stable, as are ARs. Due to the huge move to DStv however, there is an equal shift away from terrestrial TV. As a whole, terrestrial TV is now competing head-to-head with satellite.’
Terrestrial TV’s greatest loss by region was in Gauteng, where it lost just over 297 000 adult viewers. DStv on the other hand, gained over 422 000 adult viewers in this province. In terms of household language, English-speaking adults added almost 185 000 new DStv viewers, with Afrikaans-speaking contributing just over 137 000. Just over 395 000 Nguni-speaking adults are new DStv subscribers, with an additional 412 000 Sotho-speaking adults.