BRC announces updates to TAMS Universe based on 2023 Establishment Survey

The Broadcast Research Council of South Africa (BRC) has officially unveiled and enacted updates to the Television Audience Measurement Survey (TAMS) universe estimates, leveraging insights from the recently conducted 2023 TV Establishment Survey (ES).

According to Gary Whitaker, CEO of the BRC, “The 2023 ES reveals significant shifts in South Africa’s TV viewing landscape compared to our last universe update in 2019. Despite the continued prevalence of TV viewership, there has been a remarkable surge in streaming activities across all age groups. Additionally, we are observing the impacts of various factors such as the analogue switch-off, load shedding, and other environmental considerations.”

Key findings from the 2023 ES:

  • The number of households in South Africa have increased by 5% since the previous ES in 2019.
  • 91% of the total population engages in video viewing on TVs and/or streaming devices. Streaming accounts for 28% of video viewing with the majority using smartphones for streaming.
  • TAMS household universe (linear only) has reduced.
  • Streaming viewing has increased across age groups and socio-economic levels, especially among the youth.
  • Analogue switch-off, economic strain and load shedding have impacted linear TV viewership.
  • Internet access has enabled streaming, with 69% of households having smartphone access and 15% having fixed broadband.

Gary Whitaker further commented, “Aligned with international trends, individuals continue to consume a substantial amount of video content; however, the manner in which this consumption occurs has undergone significant transformation. TAMS needs to evolve to precisely mirror South Africa’s intricate viewing ecosystem.”

Last year’s TV ES, with a sample size of 8000, was conducted using a hybrid methodology combining face-to-face and online survey data to obtain a representative national SA sample. The BRC will adjust the TAMS panel composition over time to align with the new universe estimates.

Impact to TV ratings and audience sizes

Given the measurement changes, there will be impacts to TV ratings and audience sizes. The BRC recommends proper contextualization when analysing TAMS data during this transition period.

The TAMS Universe update was implemented and released on Monday, 29 January 2024.

Complete TAMS universe update details as well as profile changes of the TV population and TV panel which include Province, Area type, Population group, Pay/Non Pay TV can be found on the BRC website –

To view the full TV ES presentation, visit

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