e.TV news speaks Zulu and Sotho

Broadcaster bows primetime news show

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa’s only commercial free-to-air broadcaster, e.tv, bowed a primetime Zulu- and Sotho-language news show Monday.

Bronwyn Keene-Young, e.tv’s chief operating officer, said the half-hour bulletin would air weeknights at 6 p.m.

It will have a tough task competing with SABC1’s Zulu news, going out at  7.30 p.m. weeknights, which is the country’s most watched news bulletin, with around 3.5 million viewers.

E.tv’s 7 p.m. English-language news bulletin is the most watched English-language news, pulling in approximately 1.5 million viewers, vs. the 1 million for pubcaster channel SABC3’s news, also broadcast at 7 p.m.

Zulu and Sotho are among South Africa’s 11 official languages, with Zulu the most spoken indigenous language.

E.tv’s new satellite content provider division, E.sat, launched South Africa’s first local 24-hour news channel on MultiChoice’s DStv bouquet June 1.