In a state address on 18th March 2020, President Yoweri Museveni outlined guidelines on managing coronavirus in Uganda. Amongst the raft of measures outlined was the closure of shopping malls and select outlets, a suspension of local and international travel, and a movement curfew from 7 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.—which more significantly restricted the movement of people and goods.

Seeing as GeoPoll’s audience measurement data showed significant changes in media consumption in Uganda before the movement curfew, we wanted to take another look at the trends after the coronavirus related restrictions tightened once more to analyze any changes in the market. In this post, we will present comparisons of our findings from before and after the curfew was enacted. This analysis on media consumption will present audience measurement data for TV viewership nationally and radio ratings in Kampala from 6 a.m. to midnight. Data is specific to persons of both genders that are fifteen years old or above. Additional analysis is available by key demographics across the day in different locations upon request, contact us here for more information.

TV Viewership, 6 a.m. – 12 a.m.

The average TV viewership from 1st-17th March 2020 totals 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.

In a recently released study on COVID 19, we found TV as the second most common information source for coronavirus related news on average throughout fifteen African countries combined. The leading information source for Ugandans 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 further to 343,048 after 19th March 2020. Amongst 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.

GeoPoll’s Ongoing Efforts

The government directive on total lockdown went into effect on 30th March 2020. We expect further disruption on media consumption as people adjust to government directives. To learn more about GeoPoll’s capabilities for data collection through this shift in media consumption, contact us today.