The most-watched TV shows in South Africa

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

Most-Watched TV Shows
Channel Show Peak Viewers
Top 5
SABC 1 Uzalo 10,072,999
SABC 1 Generations: The Legacy 8,994,656
SABC 1 Skeem Saam 6,893,240
Etv Scandal 5,643,731
SABC 2 Muvhango 4,990,935
Top per channel
SABC 1 Uzalo 10,072,999
SABC 1 Generations: The Legacy 8,994,656
SABC 2 Muvhango 4,990,935
SABC 2 Giyani 2,122,640
SABC 3 Isidingo: The Need 936,217
SABC 3 Survivor: Millennials vs Gen X 552,069
Etv Scandal 5,643,731
Etv Rhythm City 4,168,968
DStv Idols SA 1,609,576
DStv The Queen 1,531,003

Online streaming explosion

Viewership figures for traditional broadcast television have remained relatively stagnant, while expensive products like DStv Premium are regularly losing subscribers.

This could be attributed partly due to the tightening of household budgets, but it is also due to the launch and expansion of OTT streaming services and affordable high-speed Internet.

With platforms like Netflix and Disney+ being priced at around R100 per month and delivering high-quality content like Stranger Things and the Mandalorian, it can be difficult to turn them down.

This is also true of the ever-decreasing cost of high-speed broadband, which is more accessible than ever due to healthy competition in the fibre market.

All of these factors have resulted in even the SABC considering its own over-the-top (OTT) streaming service, although this would most likely cater to a different audience than incumbent platforms.

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The most-watched TV shows in South Africa