Primetime TV Viewing Figures
TVSA TAMS coverage - airing since 2006

Top Shows on TV: January 2020

Written by TVSA Team from the blog Primetime TV Viewing Figures on 18 Feb 2020
Favourite this post

These are the primetime adult television viewing figures for January 2020:

If you can't see the listing below, then click this link to access them in a document instead: Top Shows on TV: January 2020

Special notes:

When Eskom takes everything, including our favourite shows

South Africa's rolling blackouts hit the country's top shows hard in January, with the Big Four losing a terrible total of 3.5 million viewers between them since November.

Here's an overview of the difference in the numbers for their most popular episodes between November 2019 (before the critical meltdown of Stage 6) and the rolling blackouts of January 2020:
Show Nov 2019 Viewership Nov 2019
Audience Share
Jan 2020 Viewership Jan 2020
Audience Share
10,072,999 67.8 9,308,207 69.1 764,792
8,994,656 64 7 993 895 62.6 1,000,761
Skeem Saam
6,893,240 55.5 5,894,821 56 998,419
5,643,731 40.3 4,829,111 41.3 814,620

Their numbers were lower in December too but this was also due to the festive season so the truly meaningful plunge is in January because there were no festive distractions - there was nothing festive about it!

The only explanation for these numbers is load shedding because each show's Audience Share remained stable between November and January.

This means that the shows didn't lose viewers to other shows or channels but rather the overall number of people watching TV at that time dropped substantially and resulted in the shows bleeding viewers.

The big damage happened to the four shows that always have the biggest viewership while other early evening soapies (e.g. Rhythm City, Isidingo and 7de Laan) were also down.

Interesting to note is that shows at 21h00 and later (The Queen and Imbewu) maintained their numbers for their most popular episode which suggests that even when the lights were on, people used the earlier part of their evenings to organise their lives around the chaos of load shedding.

Also important to note: These numbers only reflect the most popular episodes for each show during the month and not their average viewership for the month.

This means that load shedding very probably had an even bigger overall impact on shows than presented here because the Broadcast Research Council's numbers don't give an indication of what happened each night of the week.


Lithapo got off to healthy start at 21h30 on SABC2 despite the troubles. It's most popular episode aired in its debut week reaching 1,719,199 viewers, almost the exact same number as Giyani's premiere week when it reached 1,792,527.

Will it rise, fall or remain the same?

If you can't see the documents, here's an overview of the Top 5 shows per channel:

Show Viewers
Uzalo 9,308,207
Generations: The Legacy 7,993,895
Skeem Saam 5,894,821
Xhosa News 3,718,085
Zulu News 3,598,304

Show Viewers
Muvhango 4,675,183
Live Lotto Draw 2,517,927
7De Laan 1,821,380
Mopheme 1,818,097
Lithapo 1,719,199

Show Viewers
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen  1,014,162
Transformers:Age of Extinction 898,528
Isidingo:the Need 870,482
Test Match Cricket:South Africa vs Engla 681,326
Transformers:the Movie 620,294
Show Viewers
Scandal 4,829,111
Mad Buddies 4,107,239
Imbewu: the Seed 4,104,952
The Karate Kid 3,508,898
Rhythm City 3,339,647

Show Viewers
The Queen 1,226,297
Our Perfect Wedding 867,341
Isibaya 707,242
The Omen 701,480
Date My Family 627,549

For an explanation of the TAMS, please see: The TAMS ratings explained

Channels in this post: SABC1, SABC2, SABC3,, Mzansi Magic, Mzansi Wethu

1 Comment

18 Feb 2020 19:23

Eish this load shedding thing, Isibaya will be canned like Isidingo this is unacceptable.

Only TVSA members can reply to this thread. Click here to login or register.


New on TV today: Friday 3 April

Nat Geo imagines A Day on Mars and Mzansi Wethu joins The Herd.

Generations: The Legacy Teasers - May 2020

Seems tough love did the trick with Lesedi… or did it? Plus, a dead body!

The Vow Teasers - April 2020

Is Shalu pregnant or not?

Mehek Teasers - April 2020 (Reloaded!)

Mehek enters a cooking competition which leads to some challenges.

New on TV today: Thursday 2 April

SABC3 searches for The Fashion Hero as 1Magic gets Ready to Love.

Soapie Digest: April 2020

A packed Digest crammed with all your month's teasers plus news on Zee, Glow and Star Life in one place...

Zee World April 2020 TV skeds: what viewers need to know

An info. pack of the changes on Zee World in the midst of you-know-what.

Gangaa Teasers - April 2020 (Reloaded)

Ring of Fire hits pause on Zee World, replaced by a Gangaa re-run. A reload of the teasers in case you haven’t seen it.

Twist of Fate Teasers - April 2020 (Reloaded!)

Jodha & Akbha goes off-air on Zee, replaced by a re-run of Twist of Fate. A reload of the teasers…

Glow TV April 2020 skeds: what viewers need to know

The latest on what's happening with Glow shows on pandemic TV.


More activity at TVSA Central




You browser doesn't have Flash, Silverlight, Gears, BrowserPlus or HTML5 support.