Notable events often lead to spikes in television viewership, such as during the World Cup over the summer. Natural disasters or political events such as elections also draw in viewers, and in Tanzania last week GeoPoll’s data saw a significant spike in TV viewers during parliamentary hearings on corruption.
Last week Tanzania’s parliament called for the Prime Minister to resign after a report was published which revealed $120 Million in public funds for energy had been stolen through fraudulent payments. The parliamentary sessions in which the scale of the scandal was revealed were aired on the national broadcaster, TBC, and on other stations such as StarTV. GeoPoll’s daily media measurement data revealed that viewership on TBC1 was up throughout the week, with large spikes in viewership on TBC1 on both Thursday the 27th and Friday the 28th, and a smaller spike on Saturday the 29th.
TBC1’s viewership rarely exceeds 1 million viewers: from November 1st to 25th there was only one instance in which TBC1 had just over 1 million viewers in a half hour time block. The week of the hearings, TBC1 far surpassed that, getting 1.48 million viewers on Thursday the 27th at 5pm, 1.56 million viewers on Friday the 28th at 9:30pm, and 1.29 million viewers on Saturday the 29th at 8pm. This demonstrates that the dramatic hearings were pulling over 150% of the usual peak audience size.
Star TV also saw a slight peak on Friday the 28th at 9:30pm, with 848,000 viewers, bringing the total viewers of the parliament hearings on these two channels to 2.37 million.
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