Tilo ngwana Rashaka Mokgopo
It started out as a joke and then escalated to something serious but now it’s a sad reality we have to live with for two months or for the rest of our lives.
As the lady in the Generations is out and Skeem Saam is in advert mockingly said, the storylines of drama queens are things of the past; and the underpinning message of the statement, as analyzed by A re di fefere is none other than we may never see again on Generations actors such as Sophie Ndaba, Nambitha Mpumlwana, Katlego Danke, Menzi Ngubane and Mandla Gaduka who have since been labeled drama queens.
That’s true, unfortunately. Although A re di fefere cannot pre-empt the outcome of the labour court, but as things stand, Mfundi is set to roll the cameras with none of the old cast members who embarked on a strike. That only means it is history with Zenande Mfenyane, Zolisa Xaluva, Silindile Nodangala, Seputla Sebogodi, Patrick Shai and Zikhona Sodlaka inter alia on Generations.
The Generations saga has impacted many stake holders differently. A re di fefere lists the winners and losers in the whole debacle.
Who are the winners?
Skeem Saam and the prestigious time slot
Winnie Serite and team at Skeem Saam are the biggest winners. Even people who bothered not to pay attention to the news of Skeem Saam’s return to SABC 1 are now aware of the fact that the programme is back on the small screens.
Even much better, Skeem Saam is set to move to the prestigious 20:00 time slot for a period of two months. Although it is yet to be tested whether a new kid on the block can garner more viewership than Generations, but one thing for sure is that Skeem Saam will definitely rise above the three million mark the show currently enjoys at the 18:30 slot whilst facing a stiff competition from e-tv rival soapie, Rhythm City.
Muvhango crosses over to SABC 3
Duma ka Ndlovu too has a reason to celebrate. His brain child, Muvhango is set to enjoy more air play thus making it the first soapie on SABC to play 4 times a day (3 repeats and 1 first run).
The SABC has announced that Muvhango will cross over the channel border to SABC 3 and stand in for Generations repeats every weekday at 10:30; and yes, another great opportunity for Muvhango to increase brand visibility across all the SABC’s three free to air channels.
Rhythm City to reclaim viewership
Skeem Saam is bad news to Rhythm City. The e-tv no 2 soapie lost over 1 million viewers to Skeem Saam a few months ago. News that Skeem Saam is temporarily moving to the 8 PM slot might be a good thing for the struggling soapie that has recently lost the omnibus privilege to the sister soapie, Scandal!
Who are the losers?
Although Mfundi Vundla cannot publicly agitate for fans not to watch Skeem Saam, but the embattled producer is probably praying for the Turfloop based soapie not to reach the viewership of over seven million. Should Skeem Saam perform way better than Generations, of which I doubt, Mfundi runs a risk of losing the 8 PM slot.
Although the 16 fired actors are correct in their quest to fight for fair labour practice in the entertainment industry, but for now they are losers with no income to pay bills. At least while reporting for duty at Henley Studios Zenande had over R20 000 to sustain her until the next pay day but now it’s a completely different story.
The SABC cash cow is off air for two months. It’s not rocket science; one would be safe to argue that the public broadcaster will lose few millions in advertising. The Skeem Saam advertising rate is almost certainly not the same as that of Generations that has been on air for over two decades.
Although Muvhango is set to replace Generations on SABC 3, a commercial channel targeting white viewers and better blacks, I would give credit to Muvhango if the soapie attracts more advertisers. Although the SABC will win any way from the Muvhango repeats, because by nature repeats are cheap to broadcast due to economies of scale, but the SABC would not be making enough money as it used to make when Generations was occupying the slot.
But of course one cannot mention advertising without saying a word about viewership. Should e-tv and DSTV channels materialize on the fall of Generations, SABC then runs a risk of losing viewers to competition.