SABC cancels Top Billing

Photo: @SABC3TopBilling / TW

SABC pulls the plug on Top Billing after 23 years – report

This Saturday’s broadcast might just be the last time we tune into Top Billing.

SABC cancels Top Billing

Photo: @SABC3TopBilling / TW

While SABC has yet to confirm the news, the rumour mill has already started generating stories that Top Billing will no longer be broadcast on the channel.

SABC pulls the plug on Top Billing

According to a report that was published by Sowetan Live, the public broadcaster is so cash-strapped, that it has looked at more drastic measures to minimise its losses.

On Tuesday, SABC revealed, in its annual financial report, that it had registered R482-million in losses for 2018/19.

Parliament’s communications committee heard that it would have yielded profits estimated at R1.5-billion in the observed financial year if South Africans paid their licence fees at the same rate as BBC viewers.

It seems that the broadcaster’s financial improvements have come with elements of sacrifice since it has become apparent that Top Billing, which airs on SABC 3 every Saturday, is on its way out.

SABC would not be drawn into speculation regarding the rumours. instead, the broadcaster noted that a statement would be released addressing the matter, on Thursday.

Owner of the show’s creators (Tswelopele Production), Basetsana Kumalo, issued a statement which hinted at the rumours being true.

In it, she reflected on the amazing run Top Billing has had over the past 23 years, describing the feat as one that “exemplifies excellence and sophistication in arts, design, decor, fashion and broadcasting”.

“Every show has a beginning and an end and I must admit a quarter of a century is one great feat. Patience Stevens and I are so proud of the work and marvel this show has been in our lives and careers.

“We’ve enjoyed many accolades, experiencing its Longevity and watching audiences embrace living The Top Billing life gives us goosebumps every day. It is a wonderful chapter neither of us will ever forget. We trust that the show has served audiences by inspiring them to dream big, embrace their inner creative genius and dare to live the life they deserve,” Kumalo wrote.

Fans react to axing of classic lifestyle show

The reason behind the chop has yet to be confirmed by Kumalo and SABC. However, it is believed that the poor ratings Top Billing has garnered since it was moved from a midweek spot to Saturday, may have motivated the broadcaster’s decision.

Fans took to social media to express their shock and disbelief that a show that they grew so accustomed to, and referred to for inspiration, is on its way out.

The Top Billing finale — it’s believed — will air on Saturday, 19 October.

Kumalo’s departing words were:

“Thank you for the journey, and the journey of Hope continues.”