More than three-quarters of SABC’s revenue comes from advertising, writes Robert Laing in The Times.

The government calls the SABC’s tune, but it only pays three percent of the piper’s revenue.

The wholly state-owned broadcaster’s annual report, released yesterday, showed that the govern- ment’s contribution to the SABC rocketed 68percent to R84-million in the year to the end of March. But more than three quarters of the SABC’s R4.3-billion revenue was generated from advertisements.

Licence fee collections increased 3 percent to R760-million, while advertising income grew 8 percent to R3.3-billion.

Chief executive officer Dali Mpofu said in the annual report: “The overreliance of the SABC on commercial funding in relation to other sources is, in my view, the single most important issue facing the corporation, and all of those who care for a true public service broadcaster, which is accountable to the public and neither inherently susceptible to commercial nor state power.”

A R200-million plunge in profit to R183-million was blamed on broadcast costs for the Fifa World Cup and the initial phases of the ICC Cricket World Cup, as well as the expansion of the broadcaster’s news and current affairs services.

Investment in technology also contributed to the halving of profit.

Mpofu said: “At the end of the period under review we received the sudden resignation of our acting chief technology officer. The process of recruiting a new chief technology officer has been intensified and should be finalised before the end of the year.”

Click here to read the full report, posted on the Sunday Times website.