Duma FM stands head and shoulders above its rivals in the private radiobroadcasting sector, with a recent Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) survey showing the station was the most popular and had the most desired programming.
According to the survey, based on a sample of 1,000 listeners countrywide, 40.2% of the respondents indicated that they listen to Duma FM, while 16.8% and 16.9% listen to Yarona FM and Gabz FM respectively.
At 11-years-old, Duma FM is the country’s youngest private radio station, broadcasting countrywide with approximately 60% coverage.
Overall, RB1 and RB2 had the largest listenership with 57.9% and 53.5% respectively, which BOCRA researchers attributed to the fact that the two stations enjoy wider coverage throughout the country compared to private radio stations.
Duma FM was also ahead of its peers in terms of listeners’ satisfaction with programme content, with nearly 97% of respondents saying they were either ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’, compared to 94.3% for Gabz FM and 91.7% for Yarona FM. “In terms of satisfaction with News and Current Affairs the survey shows that 97.6% of respondents were either very satisfied or satisfied with the news and current affairs programmes of Duma FM, followed by Gabz FM (94.3%) and Yarona
Listeners also rated Duma FM above its rivals in terms of satisfaction with Code of Practice (Ethics), with 94.4% saying they were either very satisfied or satisfied with Duma FM, compared to 93.3% and 88.9% for Gabz FM and Yarona FM respectively.
Duma FM also came out tops in terms of satisfaction levels for complaints handling, with 91.7% of respondents saying they were very satisfied or satisfied, compared to 87.2% for Gabz FM and 81.8% for Yarona FM.
Local broadcasters told BOCRA researchers that the regulatory environment within which they operate limited their operations, citing the rules of conduct for elections and the local content regulations.
The broadcasters also said they were losing revenue from election advertising because of the strict regulations they had to follow.
“As for local content, some service providers argued that the regulations prevent them from fully satisfying their audiences who might not be interested in local content such as the youth,” the researchers said.