Lockdown boosts TV viewership

Shona and Connie Ferguson of the Ferguson's Film. /Tshepo Kekana
Shona and Connie Ferguson of the Ferguson's Film. /Tshepo Kekana

Connie and Shona Ferguson's TV show The Queen has delivered record ratings, thanks to the national lockdown period.

According to the latest TV figures by the Research Broadcast Council of SA, the Mzansi Magic daily drama produced by Ferguson's Film was watched by 2.28-million viewers on Tuesday March 31.

That's a jump of a million more people from its most-watched episode the month before - 1.21-million viewers watched the show on Thursday February 27. This makes the show the most watched on DStv, followed by Our Perfect Wedding (OPW).

OPW also registered a lockdown an audience of 1.83-million viewers on Sunday March 29. The month before, 904,223 people tuned into OPW on February 23.

Another show that saw a huge lockdown lift was Mzansi Magic's new telenovela Gomora, with actress Katlego Danke in the lead.

The premiere episode of the show debuted at number eight on DStv's top 10 show of the month with a rating of 1.09- million on Monday March 30.

But the second episode on Tuesday March 31 soared to viewership of 1.70-million to become the third most-watched show on DStv behind The Queen and OPW.

Date My Family (1.63-million), The Omen (1.44-million), Mnakwethu (1.34-million), The River (1.16-million) and Isibaya (1-million) complete the top 10 list for pay TV all with episodes that aired during the lockdown.

Public broadcaster SABC also enjoyed glowing ratings during the period. Uzalo remains the most-watched show with 10.29-million viewers tuning in on Monday March 30. That's a jump from the previous month that was watched by 9.31-million people.

The same night Generations: The Legacy held steady with 8.21-million from a viewership of 8.20-million the month before. Skeem Saam saw the biggest lift by surging to 7.25- million audiences, while in February the show pulled in a viewership of 5.95-million.

Free-to-air channel e.tv's daily dramas Scandal! (5.17- million), Imbewu: The Seed (4.14-million) and Rhythm City (3.89-million) saw an increase on Tuesday March 31, to become the top three shows on the channel.

Streaming service Showmax has confirmed that the platform has also been positively impacted by the national lockdown with the number of active users up 50%.

"We're in the fortunate position of being able to do something to help people through this period," said Niclas Ekdahl, CEO of the connected video division of MultiChoice.

"We've added live news and education channels to Showmax using the streaming functionality originally set up for sport.

"We've also created edutainment content shows to help parents, and we're even adding yoga and other exercise programming," Ekdahl said.

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