Not long after the launch of SABC+ – the service formerly known as TelkomONE – the SABC is once again working on a scheme that should see the broadcaster lose less money than it currently does. To counter South African residents not paying TV licences, the SABC is toying with the idea of a loyalty and rewards programme designed to ensnare more people into paying for a (useless) TV licence.
From the horse’s mouth
The news comes straight from SABC’s website, on which it posted a bid document highlighting the broadcaster’s plans. The broadcaster was in search of service providers to potentially build and run the rewards scheme and hopefully make up for the dismal state of the SABC’s collection tin.
The broadcaster’s latest round of financials show that only 18.3% of eligible South Africans paid their dues. The SABC has only collected R815 million out of an estimated R4.45 billion. SABC needs 6% more of its “customers” to pay their fees to break even for the year.
Rewarding the sheep
In the now-closed bid document, the broadcaster stated that TV licences should “reconnect and engage [in an] innovative and relevant” manner that would entice more customers into paying their bills. The answer is of course a rewards programme. Rather than making worthwhile content, this is definitely the right move.
“The programme will become an extension of the TV Licenses product offering with a natural fit that also builds a relationship with our core clientele, domestic television license holders and SABC audiences,” reads the bid document.
The bid’s “winner” (not yet decided) is tasked with creating a fully custom, cloud-hosted system maintained by the team that built it. It will decide its champion based on the provider that can offer:
- Integration with the TV Licence database (real-time account validity checks)
- A segmented members database
- The ability to earn rewards – including tier-specific rewards
- Promotions, competitions and surveys
- Easy accessibility – including an app, web portal and USSD capabilities
- Easy ways to spend money
- Ability to transfer and donate rewards
The document fails to delve deeper into what sort of rewards would be on offer. In other words, don’t rush off to pay your TV licence just yet. It’s possible that the bid could fall apart due to the broadcaster being too hopeful. Considering the broadcaster has tried and failed at similar systems twice before, it’s possible the same will happen this time around.