The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has officially confirmed that it is decommissioning SABC3 soapie Isidingo.
In a statement on Friday afternoon, the state broadcaster said Isidingo‘s final episode will air on Thursday, 12 March, 2020.
The soapie is one of South Africa’s longest-running storylines, having graced the country’s small screen for 21 years.
‘Poor audience ratings’
Acting SABC group executive for television, David Makubyane, said, “The decision to decommission Isidingo was informed by a number of factors which include poor audience ratings during the time slot, decline in revenue and poor return on investment.
“The organisation was faced with no option but to review the performance of all programmes on the channel that are not performing and to ensure that the channel’s content is competitive and commercially viable.”
SABC nevertheless said it will continue to “commission and intensify its investment” in local productions that are commercially viable.
“The channel will, through its content division, welcome any proposals that respond to these plans and channel direction,” it added.
Social media reacts
As expected, South Africans on social media are already having a lot to say about the soapie’s cancellation.
Some, like Twitter user Esethu Hasane, thought the the show could have been moved to a difference SABC channel.
He opined, “I still believe Isidingo would do better on another channel. Maybe I’m wrong – but they could have tested that first.”
However, others felt the decision was understandable. @KabeloWaka2 tweeted, “TV is now a competitive space. Mediocre storylines and loyalty don’t keep people watching anymore.”
Some, like @Themba_Speaks, noted that SABC3 seems to be making sweeping changes to its programme lineup.
She tweeted, “So SABC3 has dropped Real Talk, The Bold & The Beautiful, Top Billing, and now most recently Isidingo. All in just a little over a year.”