Primetime TV Viewing Figures
TVSA TAMS coverage - airing since 2006

Top Shows on TV: May 2022

Written by TVSA Team from the blog Primetime TV Viewing Figures on 09 Jun 2022
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These are the primetime adult television viewing figures for May 2022.

If you can't see the listing below, then click this link to access them in a document instead: Top Shows on TV: May 2022.

Special notes

A month of darkness

The relentless, violent loadshedding that reached Stage 4 in May ripped through the country's TV shows like a tsunami.

As you can see, ratings plunged for these shows:
Show April  May Viewership loss
Uzalo 6,471,686 5,783,736 687,950
Generations 5,566,826 4,637,861 928,965
Scandal 5,274,616 4,820,110 454,506
House of Zwide 4,589,276 4,520,246 69,030
Muvhango 3,285,619 2,408,898 876,721
Imbewu 2,860,068 2,328,412 531,656
The Black Door 2,449,977 2,232,013 217,964
Gomora 1,278,247 1,127,879 150,368
The Queen 1,077,302 752,068 325,234

The only explanation for these jaw dropping declines is the loadshedding. 

And Imbewu's been battered the most overall, hit by a combination of loadshedding and moving time to 21h00 to accommodate The Black Door at 21h30.

Imbewu lost its No. 3 spot to Durban Gen, with a nose dive of 1,114,357 viewers between March - when it was still on at 21h30 - and now. 

Producers Word of Mouth, Videovision and Luyks Productions must be seething while screaming: "Give us our timeslot back!"

But wait, there's more

The bizarre aspect to this month's TAMS is that there are shows that weren't negatively impacted by the loadshedding: 7de Laan (18h00), Skeem Saam (18h30) and Durban Gen (18h30).

Viewership for each of these increased minimally, with 7de Laan recording the biggest rise for its most watched episode:
Show  April May Viewership increase
Skeem Saam 4,096,548 4,132,873 36,325
Durban Gen 2,753 425 2,824,098 70,673
7de Laan 897,739 1,040,016 142,277

The only conclusion we can reach is that it's because they're all earlier than the shows that were impacted and therefore indicate that people's nights and habits change dramatically after 19h00 when there's loadshedding.

Also, loadshedding started at 17h00 on some nights so more households might have had electricty earlier in the night before their loadshedding times kicked in.

If you have any other explanations please share!

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

Show Viewers
Uzalo 5,783,736
Generations: The Legacy 4,637,861
Skeem Saam 4,132,873
Xhosa News 2,691,071
Zulu News 2,520,180

Show Viewers
Muvhango 2,408,898
7De Laan 1,040,016
Giyani 952,721
Hlala Kwabafileyo 872,793
Kwa Mamazala 644,923

Show Viewers
Serengeti 518,197
Britain's Got Talent:the Champions 514,182
The Proposal 468,281
News 437,313
Abduction 429,981
Show Viewers
Scandal 4,820,110
House of Zwide 4,520,246
Mama Jack 3,121,462
Durban Gen 2,824,098
Imbewu 2,328,412

Show Viewers
Gomora 1,127,879
The Queen 752,068
The River 703,778
Our Perfect Wedding 608,597
Diep City 581,207
*We've adjusted the Top 5 to ensure each show is only listed once instead of twice as is the case in the Broadcast Research Council documents.  

Please note: these ratings don't include viewership from DStv Catch Up, YouTube, Viu or eVOD. They only reflect the viewership of people who watched on the day, at the time of broadcast.

For an explanation of the TAMS, please see: The TAMS Ratings Explained.

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


09 Jun 2022 15:21

Skeem Saam may be in the right track with the Eunice and now Pretty and Lehasa storylines.  Durban Gen ending in January may also help increase viewership unless it is replaced by a better show.  Skeem Saam's viewership should be higher than it is currently, writing and acting wise.

09 Jun 2022 20:42

I'm happy 7de Laan numbered are up in the millie. The storyline past few weeks has been great. #Bonnet wedding was a big highlight in May. Skeem Saam's numbers should definitely be higher. They've been killing it. I think another reason a lot of the SABC and eTV shows have been losing numbers is due to the change in that thing (forgot what it's called) where you can no longer access the channels without Dstv, Starset or that etv dish. People with no dishes in their homes no longer have access, the channels are closed. I know a family who are not connected. Only etv is available. All others are off

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