The most-watched TV shows in South Africa

The Broadcast Research Council of South Africa (BRCSA) has released its television audience measurements for September 2019.

The data includes a list of the most-watched shows on DStv, SABC 1, 2, 3, and Etv.

The BRCSA said the report does not give the total viewership of DStv commercial channels, and the figures reflect viewership on the platform at the top tier.

For instances where the same show appeared across multiple channels, we only included figures for the channel where it had the highest number of viewers.

The table below details the most-watched shows in South Africa in September 2019.

Most-Watched TV Shows
Channel Show Peak Viewers
Top 5
SABC 1 Uzalo 10,063,624
SABC 1 Generations: The Legacy 9,162,051
SABC 1 Skeem Saam 7,447,466
Etv Scandal 5,892,445
SABC 2 Muvhango 5,134,853
Top per channel
SABC 1 Uzalo 10,063,624
SABC 1 Generations: The Legacy 9,162,051
SABC 2 Muvhango 5,134,853
SABC 2 7De Laan 2,274,289
SABC 3 Isidingo: The Need 989,449
SABC 3 Planet Earth II 653,527
Etv Scandal 5,892,445
Etv Imbewu: the Seed 4,152,003
DStv The Queen 1,462,044
DStv Idols SA 1,402,915

TV licence fees

The SABC is under severe financial pressure, but recently received a R2.1-billion bailout from the government as part of a short-term turnaround plan.

In addition to the well-documented corruption and mismanagement at the SABC, the company is faced with the nonpayment of TV licence fees by South Africans.

Many people refuse to pay their TV licence fees, arguing that they do not watch traditional TV anymore and should not have to pay, or simply protesting the floundering state broadcaster by withholding their payments.

This has caused the SABC to consider a TV licence price hike in an effort to reduce overall expenses.

SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe said a new revenue stream for the broadcaster would include a 5% increase on the current TV licence fee of R265.

This will bring the new fee to R278 per year.

As part of its new strategy, Mxakwe said the SABC will invest in new broadcast technology, renegotiate sports rights, and embark on a major marketing drive.

Now read: What to watch on Netflix, Showmax, and Video Play this weekend

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The most-watched TV shows in South Africa