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WW Update4,624 posts since 6 Feb 2007
The original thread (LINK) was recently archived, so here's part 2.

Let's start with a longer version of a clip whose brief excerpts we have seen in the old thread. It's a video of South Africa's SABC from 1977, just two years after television was introduced to the conservative, white-ruled country.

The clip includes:

* A short in-vision continuity announcement
* A complete newscast
* Epilogue, a religious though-of-the-day segment
* Another short in-vision continuity announcement
* The Apartheid-era flag and national anthem
* The SABC clock
* The test pattern



As you may have noticed, the test pattern mentions the West Cape region. Does anyone know whether the SABC aired regional programming or were test patterns the only "regionalized" element?
Last edited by WW Update on 3 December 2018 4:58am - 4 times in total
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Interceptor768 posts since 20 Oct 2014
The original thread (LINK) was recently archived, so here's part 2.

Let's start with a longer version of a clip whose brief excerpts we have seen in the old thread. It's a video of South Africa's SABC from 1977, just two years after television was introduced to the conservative, white-ruled country.

The clip includes:

* A short in-vision continuity announcement
* A complete newscast
* Epilogue, a religious though-of-the-day segment
* Another short in-vision continuity announcement
* The Apartheid-era flag and national anthem
* The SABC clock
* The test pattern

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnOGC5muuXU

As you may have noticed, the test pattern mentions the West Cape region. Does anyone know whether the SABC aired regional programming or were test patterns the only "regionalized" element?

It looks to me like that test pattern (and what appears to be a radio station) was put out by the transmitter when the feed from SABC was turned off.
noggin14,271 posts since 26 Jun 2001
The original thread (LINK) was recently archived, so here's part 2.

Let's start with a longer version of a clip whose brief excerpts we have seen in the old thread. It's a video of South Africa's SABC from 1977, just two years after television was introduced to the conservative, white-ruled country.

The clip includes:

* A short in-vision continuity announcement
* A complete newscast
* Epilogue, a religious though-of-the-day segment
* Another short in-vision continuity announcement
* The Apartheid-era flag and national anthem
* The SABC clock
* The test pattern

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnOGC5muuXU

As you may have noticed, the test pattern mentions the West Cape region. Does anyone know whether the SABC aired regional programming or were test patterns the only "regionalized" element?

It looks to me like that test pattern (and what appears to be a radio station) was put out by the transmitter when the feed from SABC was turned off.


That would be my guess. The BBC took a different approach and put the testcard on the network feed for 30 minutes or so, then removed any video from the output (so there were no sync pulses), which was - I think - the signal for the transmitters to power-down?
Markymark6,602 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today


As you may have noticed, the test pattern mentions the West Cape region. Does anyone know whether the SABC aired regional programming or were test patterns the only "regionalized" element?

It would be a bit of a waste to only show test patterns.


I've travelled a lot around South Africa in recent years, I've never (knowingly) seen a regional opt out on SABC.
I think I asked when I visited SABC once, and I think they said they've never had regional opt outs (only programmes that are networked from Cape Town and Durban)
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WW Update4,624 posts since 6 Feb 2007


As you may have noticed, the test pattern mentions the West Cape region. Does anyone know whether the SABC aired regional programming or were test patterns the only "regionalized" element?

It would be a bit of a waste to only show test patterns.


I've travelled a lot around South Africa in recent years, I've never (knowingly) seen a regional opt out on SABC.
I think I asked when I visited SABC once, and I think they said they've never had regional opt outs (only programmes that are networked from Cape Town and Durban)


Interesting! Considering the vast size and regional diversity of South Africa, it's certainly surprising that they never had any regional programming.

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noggin14,271 posts since 26 Jun 2001

Interesting! Considering the vast size and regional diversity of South Africa, it's certainly surprising that they never had any regional programming.


Yep - but Apartheid in South Africa cast a large shadow of broadcasting in the country I guess. (TV started relatively late in South Africa too - not until the mid-70s?)

As I understand it, in the 80s, South Africa may not have had regional TV, but the various SABC TV stations were aimed at different language groups, so they may not have been 'regional' but they were aimed at different communities within the country?
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Markymark6,602 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today


As I understand it, in the 80s, South Africa may not have had regional TV, but the various SABC TV stations were aimed at different language groups, so they may not have been 'regional' but they were aimed at different communities within the country?


Yes, remember also that terrestrial there doesn't reach some areas, so satellite is the only viable delivery method, so easier to have national channels aimed specific demographics etc . SABC are on M-Net MultiChoice's platform [1], no 'PSB EPG prominence' rules there, I seem to recall that SABC 1/2/3 are buried at 521 ish !

[1] BTW I think they were the world's first exponent of DVB-S and their own platform and receivers 1996, two years before BSkyB were doing the same.
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