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TAMS panel healthy and in full working order

According to the Broadcast Research Council of South Africa (BRC), the core of South African TV measurement, the TAMS (TV Audience Measurement Survey) panel, is in full working order with no reports of loss of signal on the back of the commencement of the phased switch-off of analogue television transmitters in the Free State.

“The TAMS panel continues to form the cornerstone of video audience measurement in South Africa and no irregularities have been picked up after the analogue TV signal was switched off in certain areas of the Free State a couple of months ago,” says BRC’s CEO Gary Whitaker. “The standard Nielsen quality check process evaluates every TAMS panel household daily and flags any unusual viewing behaviour.”

It is estimated that there are more than three million South African households still on the analogue television platform which has caused speculation in the marketing, media and advertising industries that the switch-off and implementation of DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) will negatively impact the TAMS panel as panel households possibly lose access to a TV signal. However, procedures are in place to preserve the continuity and integrity of the panel.

In the case of any households losing access to TV signal due to the DTT switchover or any other any unusual viewing behaviour for that matter, Nielsen (charged with maintaining and recording of TV audience measurement) waits for three days for the anomaly to correct and then calls the household to assess the cause of change.

In tandem with the DTT rollout schedule (as indicated below), Nielsen’s call centre will communicate with Free-To-Air Households to enquire if they have received and installed the DTT decoder. Government has committed to subsidise households with a combined household income of less than R3 200 per month. Households that do not qualify for fully subsidised government decoders have an option of buying new integrated digital television (IDTV) sets that have the DTT decoding capability built in.

Whitaker confirms, “Should a TAMS panel household lose access to TV signal due to the switch off and no DTT box or decoder is installed thereafter, the household will be replaced with a lookalike household, ensuring a balanced representative panel.”

“To date, the TAMS Panel has remained in full working order with no reports of loss of signal, but to reiterate, we have continuous monitoring and procedures in place for any unusual viewing behaviour,” concludes Whitaker.

*Project timeline estimations for the phased switch-off of analogue TV transmitters by province:

  • Free State: March 2021
  • Northern Cape: April 2021
  • North West: May 2021
  • Mpumalanga: May 2021
  • Eastern Cape: May 2021
  • Kwa-Zulu Natal: July 2021
  • Western Cape: November 2021
  • Limpopo: December 2021
  • Gauteng: January 2022

Call centre number for aftercare service: 086 736 832

For more information on the BRC visit


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MAPS 9-month data to be released in June

The Marketing Research Foundation (MRF) is pleased to announce its quarterly release of the Marketing All Product Survey (MAPS). The next release encompasses nine-month data (July 2020 to March 2021) and will be released towards the end of June 2021 before fieldwork continues for the first full year dataset, set for release in October.

“The data collection for the first quarter of 2021 has been completed and is currently being verified in preparation for the MRF’s scrutiny process,” says MRF’s CEO, Johann Koster. “I can confirm that this is an intensive task that tests the integrity and stability of the data, which is managed by the MRF Research Committee.”

Just as the MAPS Wave 1 data was completed, the data will be prepared for final release together with the data tree going to the software bureaux beforehand enabling subscribers and their agencies access to the updated data. The exact release date will be confirmed at a later stage by the MRF.

Data from Wave1 (July – Dec 2020 fieldwork period) was presented to subscribers on 18 March and to the broader industry on 25 March this year. “We are exceptionally pleased that the results have been so well received and feedback from subscribers has all been very positive,” confirms Koster. “I would also like to thank Plus94 Research for the sterling and professional work put in to complete, and the continuation of the MAPS fieldwork.”

“Conducting research during the global pandemic was challenging but it will be interesting to see how the consumer’s behaviour changed from the release of the first wave to the results of the 4th quarter,” says Virginia Hollis, the MRF’s Board Chairperson. “Notwithstanding the hurdles MAPS’s fieldwork faced during Covid, we and our subscribers are confident that this data will have a great impact in the daily planning and strategic focus of our marketers and agencies.”

Currently, the MRF is in the process of reviewing both the MAPS face to face questionnaire and branded diary. The first six-month fieldwork period and data release has afforded the MRF the opportunity to gauge the performance of the questionnaire in field as well as the data that has resulted. These learnings will be applied to improve the MAPS questionnaire.

Over and above the learnings taken from the results to date, MAPS subscribers were asked to send proposals of what changes they would like to see in the questionnaire, and excellent feedback was received.  These proposals will now be considered by the Research Committee over the next couple of weeks, when the questionnaire will be finalised for fieldwork starting on the 1st July 2021.

“Fieldwork for the second quarter of 2021 has progressed well and we aim to release that data in October 2021 which will be the first full twelve-month dataset with quarterly updates continuing every three months thereafter,” concludes Koster.

“We look forward to sharing the updated MAPS quarterly data next month and getting the fieldwork started for the very first iteration of our full year dataset.”

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Family Feud SA back for a second season

After a hugely successful first season on, Family Feud SA is back on our screens from this Sunday the 9th May for Season 2.

Family Feud South Africa initially launched on Sunday, 5th of April 2020 during the national South African COVID-19 lockdown and entertained the entire family every Sunday at 6 pm over 26-Episodes. The Family Feud format was an instant success and was the number one watched show in South Africa, with over 2.2 million viewers (age 15+) on average, every Sunday between 18h00 and 19h00. 

The popular game show in which two families compete to name the most popular responses to win cash and prizes has been running since 1976, generating multiple adaptions in over 50 international markets. Family Feud South Africa, Season 1 was the first international version of the popular show hosted by Steve Harvey and Season 2 is promising greater things.  

Steve Harvey, the award-winning entertainer and host of Family Feud South Africa, was instrumental in bringing Family Feud to South Africa. “While hosting the show, I learned so much about South Africa, the people, the different cultures, the language and some interesting cuisine choices. I am looking forward to coming back and getting to know more about the Mzansi, the Rainbow Nation. It’s been a humbling journey and one that undoubtedly will keep broadening my horizons,” said Mr Harvey. 

Mr Harvey expressed his gratitude to KFC who will once again be the headline sponsor and Standard Bank who have come on board to the sponsor the Fast Money round of Family Feud SA. He also thanked the team who have worked on bringing Family Feud Season 2 back to South Africa, and all South Africans who warmly welcomed him and his family are looking forward to once again being back on African soil. 

“I am so grateful to the contestants who have played a key role in my African journey. Being a foreigner, I am learning along the way, and I often get things wrong on the show. Fortunately, the contestants have been amazing teachers – correcting my pronunciation and educating me on all things South African! I do not doubt that I still have a lot more to learn about this wonderful country,” he said. 

The questions in the game show are from answers received from a survey of 100 South Africans. The family scoring the most points walks off with the money and goes through to play Fast Money. The family that comes second gets R10 000 worth of KFC vouchers, and Standard Bank will proudly be sponsoring the Fast Money round. 

Season 2 will once again be produced locally by Rapid Blue TV. The next 26-episode South African season will air every Sunday at 6 pm on from the 9th of May until the 31st October with a repeat on eExtra, once again bringing hilarious moments and fantastic entertainment to all South Africans. 

Facebook: Family Feud Africa 

Instagram: @FamilyFeudAfrica

Twitter: @FeudAfrica 


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