Watched: Top 10 TV shows deciphered — Dec 2019
by Richard Lord (@rlord182) It’s a new year, a new decade, and a new opportunity for advertisers and media owners alike to try new things, be creative, break with the conventional and stand out. But before I get into the new year, I need to wrap up 2019 and look at what December last year had in store for us from a TV-viewing perspective.
No major events
The thing that stands out for me, when looking at last month’s data, is that there weren’t any major events that dominated the TV ratings and drew in massive audiences. With South Africa essentially going on leave for the month of December, our TV screens were dominated by the usual local fare of dramas and soaps.
These were the top 10 shows (averaged data) for the main market (LSM 4-7).
Top 10 TV shows December 2019
|Uzalo||SABC 1||8 535 240|
|Generations: The Legacy||SABC 1||7 217 946|
|Skeem Saam||SABC 1||4 713 827|
|Muvhango||SABC 2||4 218 781|
|Come Duze 2020||SABC 1||3 388 898|
|Miracle||SABC 1||3 190 707|
|Shakespeare in Mzansi: Death of a Queen||SABC 1||3 184 656|
|isiZulu News||SABC 1||3 123 470|
|isiXhosa News||SABC 1||2 960 231|
|Uzalo Omnibus||SABC 1||2 880 951|
The first point to note about the December figures is that, while Uzalo, Generations, and Skeem Saam consistently remain the top three programmes watched by the main market, the December audiences were lower than they were in November…and quite significantly!
Top 10 LSM 4—7 Nov 2019 vs Dec 2019
|Uzalo||10 606 852||8 535 240||-19.5%|
|Generations: The Legacy||9 331 778||7 217 946||-22.7%|
|Skeem Saam||5 819 989||4 713 827||-19.0%|
The biggest show outside the usual suspects was Come Duze 2019, which is an annual New Year’s Eve countdown show on SABC, featuring celebrities, musicians, DJs and actors. The second thing to note is that every single show, except for Muvhango, aired on SABC 1. SABC 1 was the clear audience winner among the main market in December!
Now let’s have a look at the high-income earners:
Top 10 TV shows December 2019
|Uzalo||SABC 1||1 071 010|
|Generations: The Legacy||SABC 1||848 952|
|Skeem Saam||SABC 1||823 785|
|The Queen||Mzansi Magic||593 440|
|Zulu News||SABC 1||489 832|
|Come Duze 2020||SABC 1||479 235|
|Our Perfect Wedding||Mzansi Magic||468 858|
|Muvhango||SABC 2||437 184|
|isiXhosa News||SABC 1||423 695|
|7de Laan||SABC 2||406 763|
When looking at the top 10 shows among LSM 8–10, I am again struck with how similar the list is to the LSM 4–7 one. This highlights once again just how wrong marketers’ perceptions of what TV shows high-income earners in SA watch. They aren’t watching M-Net; they’re watching SABC, and they’re watching exactly the same shows as the main market.
Also notice just how much smaller the LSM 8–10 audiences are, compared to the main market. Uzalo’s average LSM 4–7 audience in December was 8.5m viewers, compared to just 1.0m LSM 8–10 viewers.
Whereas SABC 1 dominated the top 10 shows for the main market, SABC 2 and Mzansi Magic (the only DStv channel to crack the top 10) managed to make the list for the high-income segment.
What’s interesting to note for both segments is the lack of any e.tv shows in the top 10! This is surprising because usually its two soaps — Scandal and Rhythm City — are regular inclusions in the list. We normally also see a couple of Sunday night movies on e.tv breaking into the top 10. However, both segments were clearly up for a New Year’s Eve party, with Come Duze 2020 featuring nicely in the top 10 in both segments.
For the high-income earners, the most-watched sporting event on TV was the Rugby Sevens in Cape Town, but that only gained an audience of 289 000 viewers. For the main market, it was a Telkom Knock Out soccer match between Maritzburg United and Mamelodi Sundowns that was watched by 2.8m people [for those who’re interested, Sundowns beat Maritzburg 2-1, coming from 1–nil behind with two late goals by Mauricio Affonso in the 54th and 74th minutes — I love Google :) ].
And those are your top 10 TV programmes for December!
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.