Watched: Top 10 TV shows deciphered — Oct 2019
by Richard Lord (@rlord182) Here are the top 10 television shows in South Africa for the month of October 2019. Because very few advertisers target all adults in South Africa, I have instead broken the data down broadly into the main market (LSM 4–7) and the high-income households (LSM 8–10).
The first thing that becomes obvious, whether looking at either market segment, is that the tops shows are all dominated by local content. Clearly local is very lekker when it comes to TV viewing in SA! What’s also interesting to note (depending on your outlook) is that the top three shows are identical for main market or high-income, proving that the rest of SA is not like Sandton (not a single M-Net show in sight). For advertisers wishing to speak to the top-end of the audience, the SABC provides the numbers in abundance.
But let’s look at the numbers, starting with the main market first…
Top 10 TV shows
|Uzalo||S1||10 935 422|
|Generations: The Legacy||S1||9 722 510|
|Skeem Saam||S1||6 509 864|
|Scandal||e.tv||5 448 291|
|Muvhango||S2||5 296 631|
|Makoti||S1||4 604 855|
|SABC/NFVF Female Only Filmmaker Project||S1||4 518 676|
|isiZulu News||S1||4 283 657|
|Umphefumlo||S1||4 119 422|
|Rhythm City||e.tv||4 091 355|
It should come as no surprise that this audience primarily watches the SABC channels. SABC 1 dominated the list in October, with seven out of the top 10 programmes, including Uzalo, Generations: The Legacy and Skeem Saam in the top three positions. The remaining three spots were taken by Muvhango on SABC 2, and e.tv’s two long-running soapies, Rhythm City and Scandal.
These six shows are consistently the most-watched in SA among the main market, so much so that the SABC, before moving across to Viu, used to put full episodes of its programmes on YouTube where people would use it as a type of “catchup” service. The big three of Uzalo, Generations, and Skeem Saam consistently generated hundreds of thousands of views per episode, often within days of having been uploaded. This shows just how much digital technology has changed the face of TV in SA and how the main market has embraced it to watch their favourite programmes.
But what about high-end households? What were they watching in October?
Top 10 TV shows
|Uzalo||S1||1 268 227|
|Generations: The Legacy||S1||1 075 468|
|Skeem Saam||S1||1 018 947|
|The Fate of the Furious||e.tv||785 316|
|Rugby World Cup: Wales vs South Africa||SS1||699 832|
|Mad Max Fury Road||e.tv||639 885|
|Furious Seven||e.tv||596 835|
|Shell Helix Ultra Cup 2019: Kaizer Chiefs||S1||568 491|
|isiZulu News||S1||564 854|
It’s a two-horse race from a station perspective within the LSM 8–10 segment, with SABC 1 and e.tv dominating proceedings. Note that the Sunday night movie on e.tv is incredibly popular among high-income households, with three of e.tv’s top spots being a movie — Vin Diesel is clearly a big drawcard. The outlier for October was SuperSport 1, coming in at no. 6.
October was Rugby World Cup (RWC) and the pick of the games was SA’s semi-final against Wales, which was watched by almost 700 000 people in LSM 8–10. The match pulled in a total audience of 815 077 viewers across all demographics. The second most-watched RWC match that month was SA’s quarter final against Japan, which pulled in an LSM 8-10 audience of 619 063. The England vs New Zealand semi-final was the third-biggest RWC game in October, with 467 869 viewers.
Outside of this lone spot on SS1, Msanzi Magic’s Our Perfect Wedding was the best performing Dstv programme, with an average LSM 8–10 audience of 359 000 viewers. This placed it at no. 28 on the list.
The best-performing programme on M-Net was a Sunday night movie, Mission Impossible: Fallout, which was watched by 238 000 viewers.
And what of that old favourite of CEOs, MDs and marketing directors, Carte Blanche? The best performing episode of Carte Blanche in October achieved an LSM 8–10 audience of 210 000 viewers, with an average audience for October of 185 723 (or 1.94 ratings). As a matter of interest, the average Carte Blanche viewership amongst LSM 4–7 was 4 482 people.
It will be interesting to see what the November 2019 numbers hold for us, given the RWC final between SA and England on 2 November 2019. Given that this game was flighted on both SABC and SuperSport (whereas all previous games were only available on SuperSport), we may just see this match breaking into the top 10 among both the main market and the high-income households as well.
Richard Lord (@rlord182) is media and operations director at Meta Media, South Africa’s newest media agency, and part of Nahana Communications Group (Interpublic Group of Companies). With over 20 years’ experience in the media industry and having worked for FCB, UM in London, and The MediaShop, he’s spent most of his career with IPG.