In a state address on 18th March 2020, President Yoweri Museveni presented guidelines for how Uganda would manage the spread of coronavirus. Local and international travel were suspended, shopping malls and schools were ordered to temporarily close, and a curfew was put in place that halted movement from 7 p.m. to 6.30 a.m. Since these guidelines have taken effect, the daily lives of Ugandans have drastically changed. People are spending significantly more time at home now than before Museveni’s address, some unable to work and all unable to socialize as normal.

At GeoPoll, we became interested in the impact that such coronavirus related restrictions on movement and daily life would have on media consumption in Uganda, which led our team to examine our audience measurement data for changes in viewership via television and listenership via radio. This report presents the findings from our investigations on media consumption trends.

The findings in this report represent television viewership nationally and radio ratings in Kampala from 6 a.m. to midnight. The data represents males and females aged 15 and older. Additional analysis is available by key demographics, throughout the day, and/or in different locations upon request—contact us here for more information or to request a custom report.

TV Viewership, 6 a.m. – 12 a.m.

The average TV viewership from 1st – 17th March 2020 was 4.5 million. The audience declined to 4.4 million between 19th March and 8th April 2020. NBS and NTV had the highest increase in viewership during this period amongst the top 10 stations nationally. The two channels continue providing extensive local and international coverage on the coronavirus pandemic. Al Jazeera, a predominantly news channel, recorded significant positive additions to its audience numbers over this period. This is likely because of the global news segments covering the COVID-19 pandemic.

Television Audience Measurement Uganda

In a recently released GeoPoll study on coronavirus related changes in daily life, GeoPoll found TV as the second most common information source for coronavirus-related news with 34% of the respondents overall. The leading information source for Ugandans specifically was radio at 44% with social media coming in third at 20% followed closely with government messages at 18%.

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Kampala Radio Listenership, 6 a.m. – 12 a.m.

Radio registered an increase in the average listenership base in Kampala. On average 273,482 radio listeners tuned in from 1st – 17th March 2020, which increased to 343,048 after 19th March 2020. Among the top 10 stations in Kampala, CBS Radio Buganda increased by 3% share, whereas Galaxy FM declined by 6% share. The analysis further interrogated day part listening for stations that increased ratings. It was observed that CBS Radio Buganda had an increase in all time bands across the day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Capital FM, on the other hand, had most listeners during the breakfast show at 6 a.m. up to 4 p.m., with a notable spike from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Bukedde FM gained more audience during the midmorning show after 10 a.m. all the way to 4 p.m. during the drive show. An increase in listenership was also noted in other stations outside the top 10 list.

Radio Audience Measurement Uganda

Learn more about GeoPoll Audience Measurement

GeoPoll’s audience measurement service is the first and only provider of daily, overnight audience measurement ratings in multiple countries throughout Africa. Developed in conjunction with Kantar Media, GeoPoll’s audience measurement service uses a unique mobile-based methodology to capture watching, listening, and reading trends in real-time, providing media owners and agencies with accurate, up-to-date data. To learn more please contact us here or sign up below to receive periodic updates via email.