SABC’s most-watched show; Uzalo has been allegedly threatened with cancellation following continuous uncreative content and declining viewership. SABC’s top management and several members of the board are particularly concerned about the soapie’s 3million loss in viewership between April and October.
According to the Broadcast Research Council of SA, the soapie’s viewership hit 11.4 million in April before dropping to 8.8 million in October of this year.
According to sources, Stained Glass producers were told to ensure all actors were paid decent salaries after the broadcaster discovered that some actors were being paid low salaries which contributed to the poor storylines.
An executive at the SABC had this to say: “Yes, there are issues with Uzalo because of its dwindling numbers and the complaints we received from viewers who said the storyline was now boring. We urged the producers to come up with creative storylines to rescue the soapie because it was important to the SABC.
Another thing we emphasised was that actors need to be paid decent salaries for their work.”
Some board members allegedly confirmed that the broadcaster no longer feels entitled to pay the soapie the R179 million annual fee as the soapie has lost its plot.
It is also alleged that Uzalo actors were panicking, thinking that they are about to lose their jobs after the meeting between Stained Glass and SABC.
However, a SABC board member has reassured the actors and the public that the broadcaster is merely trying to assist Uzalo to retain its top spot with creative storylines and to ask that they remunerate all their actors well for their acting.
Stained Glass producer; Pepsi Pokane confirmed that Uzalo’s viewership has dropped, as well as their competitors; Generations The Legacy and Skeem Saam.
Pokane further denied the SABC’s complaints about their storylines:
“The broadcaster has commissioned the soapie for another three years, all contracted actors will start filming in January next year.”