Factors that Influence One’s Choice for Viewing Public Television in South Africa

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Toyin Shobiye
Gedala Mulliah Naidoo
Hemduth Rugbeer


Public Television Broadcasters (PTB) also known as non-commercial televisions are established to perform specific obligations to the public such as: to inform, educate and entertain with a variety of popular programmes. These programmes are available and accessible to all or the majority of the citizens. Public Television Broadcasters have moved towards incorporating commercial breaks into their programmes. This paper examines factors which influence viewer rating of public television in South African which ought to be informative and educational while providing suitable entertainment. Hence, this study analyses viewers’ intentions for watching public television within the City of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This study employs a descriptive survey technique to quantify data. A sample of 384 respondents participated in the research. Self-administered questionnaires, which contained mostly close-ended questions, were used to extrapolate information from potential respondents. The outcomes of this study highlight various reasons why respondents choose to watch different channels of South African Broadcasting Corporation Television (SABCTV). Analysis of the responses indicated a strong correlation between race and choice of viewing material. Black respondents mostly prefer to watch SABC11, Whites prefer SABC22, Indians prefer SABC33 and Coloureds prefer either SABC2 or SABC3. The study also reveals that the language, type of programmes, television heritage/ history as well as family and friends have an influence on viewers’ choice. The study further exposes short-comings of the public broadcaster’s mandate to society.


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Shobiye, T., Naidoo, G., & Rugbeer, H. (2018). Factors that Influence One’s Choice for Viewing Public Television in South Africa. Alternation Journal, 25(1), 394-424. Retrieved from https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/soa/article/view/1209