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Bulawayo tops satellite TV viewership

by Staff reporter
28 Aug 2017 at 11:31hrs | Views
BULAWAYO metropolitan province is leading in terms of satellite television viewership in the country.

This is according to the latest Zimbabwe All Media Products Survey (Zamps) for the first half of 2017, which comes barely six months after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr John Mangudya expressed shock that Zimbabweans blew a total of $206,7 million on DStv subscriptions paid through nostro accounts between July and December 2016.

According to the results of the Zamps survey, Bulawayo province recorded 71 percent in viewership followed by Harare with 62 percent.

Masvingo province recorded 57 percent viewership of satellite television while Midlands has 55 percent. Manicaland occupies fourth position with 49 percent followed by Mashonaland West province with 34 percent. Mashonaland East and Central recorded 32 and 31 percent respectively while Matabeleland South stands at 27 percent of satellite television viewership. Matabeleland North has the least number of people opting for satellite television after it recorded 24 percent.

According to the survey, statistics indicate that more people in the country's urban areas prefer watching satellite television to ZBC television channels.

In the rural areas, ZBC television dominates in terms of viewership where it recorded 31 percent compared to satellite television's 27 percent. Nationally, satellite viewing recorded 44 percent with its viewership largely drawn from its urban market, which translates to 66 percent of its market share.

Statistics also indicate that most of the favourite programmes on ZBC television's prime viewing slots such as News Hour, Melting Pot, Mai Chisamba Show, Tshay' ingoma, Music Calabash and Woza Friday this year nosedived by between two and four percent in terms of viewership compared to last year.

On satellite television, SuperSport channels dominated with 31 percent viewership while ZBC recorded eight percent. SABC channels contain programmes rated among the most viewed.

This year, DStv subscriptions declined from 61 percent last year, to 54 percent while the number of people not subscribing to satellite television rose from four percent last year to 22 percent in 2017.

Free viewing/free to air subscriptions dropped from 21 percent in 2016 to 18 percent this year.

Nationally, DStv television subscriptions recorded 54 percent compared to free viewing/free to air subscriptions which are at 18 percent.

Harare and Mashonaland East are in pole position in the country in terms of DStv subscriptions with 78 percent each followed by Manicaland with 57 percent.

"Mashonaland Central recorded 55 percent in terms of DStv subscriptions, Mashonaland West (51 percent), Matabeleland South (50 percent), Bulawayo (48 percent), Masvingo (46 percent), Midlands (42 percent) and Matabeleland North (30 percent)," read the survey.

Nationally, Bulawayo and Matabeleland North both lead in terms of free viewing/free to air subscriptions having recorded 40 percent each.

This brings the nation's priorities to question at a time when the country is experiencing a crippling foreign exchange shortage with the productive sector struggling to meet foreign payment obligations to different suppliers.

In his 2017 Monetary Policy Statement, Dr Mangudya said the $206,7 million "should have been settled locally and thus preserve foreign exchange for raw materials and other foreign payments that include education."

He reported that DStv card transactions — which require pre-funding of nostro accounts — were the second largest user (after fuel) of foreign exchange during the second half of the year.

"Spending more foreign exchange on DStv subscriptions than on raw materials to produce cooking oil, for example, is not only counter-productive but also illogical," said Dr Mangudya.

The Zimbabwe Advertising Research Foundation (ZARF), established in Harare in 1997 to commission market research on behalf of advertisers, the media, publishers, advertising agencies and public relations consultancies, commissioned Topline Research Solutions (TRS), a regional market research consultancy, to carry out the Zamps study.

Source - chronicle