This is according to media monitoring company Novus Group’s newly-released South African Broadcast Media Report covering the period from 1 May 2021 to 31 May 2022.
Significant broadcast casualties for the monitoring period include local channel VuzuUZU, which was removed from the DStv platform, and e.tv News & Sport following the restructuring done at eMedia Investments.
International TV news channels saw a significant decline in audience figures with Sky News seeing an almost 33% drop in viewership over the monitoring period.
BBC World News and CNN International also experienced losses in audience figures with 18% and 11%, respectively.
On the sporting side, most of the decline in viewership centred on several soccer channels with SuperSport La Liga (19%), SuperSport Premier League (9%), and SuperSport PSL (8%) seeing the biggest drops.
In contrast, SuperSport Action (28%), SuperSport Football (7%), and SuperSport Blitz (2%) had the most significant increases in audience figures.
General TV stations
From a general TV station perspective, Via (17%) and kykNET (2%) had losses in viewership while Soweto TV (3%) and M-Net (1%) showed increases in viewership.
South African radio audiences grew significantly over the last year.
Heart 104.9FM experienced a 901% audience increase while Radio 2000 saw a 150% increase in audience figures with 1,126 million new listeners tuning in.
Similarly, Metro FM (21%) and Motsweding FM (20%) also experienced significant gains.
Unfortunately, Kasie FM (47%) and Eden FM (46%) had massive drops in listener figures. Other stations experiencing notable drops include Umhlobo Wenene FM (22%) and Jozi FM (21%).
“The past year has certainly been a mixed bag for South African broadcast media,” says Novus Group director, Joe Hamman.
He says there has definitely been more of a focus on local content with audiences preferring this to international news.
“However, some of the significant growth we have seen across several community stations were offset by losses in other community stations reflecting a potential preference for more mainstream radio content,” Hamman says.
The full report can be downloaded here