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Dramatic changes for M-Net channels on DStv

07 August 2014, 08:28 Thinus Ferreira

Cape Town – M-Net is readying the launch of two new channels on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform from October – channels which, according to insider sources, likely be called M-Net Atlantic and Vuzu Amp.

The two new M-Net supplied TV channels are part of a dramatic restructuring of the M-Net Series channels which sees M-Net terminating the M-Net Series Reality (DStv 114) channel and renaming and rebranding M-Net Series Showcase into the new, yet to be named channel.

The move is part of a major restructuring of the M-Net Series TV channels. The year old M-Net Series trio of channels have been underperforming to expectations and viewership since it launched on DStv a year ago.

The bulk of the content on M-Net Series Reality is being moved to the new Vuzu channel, while the talk show Ellen will move to M-Net (DStv 101). M-Net Series Showcase gets a new name, and both the new M-Net and Vuzu channels will be broadcast in high definition.

“M-Net Atlantic” will be modelled on the Sky Atlantic channel of BSkyB in the United Kingdom, and Vuzu Amp will be a spin-off channel of Vuzu.

The names of these two new TV channels on DStv might be different when launching in October – M-Net is refusing to reveal names, and the schedules remain under wraps.

A sibling for M-Net

M-Net says the first channel – without mentioning a name like M-Net Atlantic – “will be the bold, irreverent sibling of the ever-popular M-Net channel 101, renowned for its blockbuster, fresh content from around the globe".

According to M-Net this channel will be an "unlimited playground for those who are avid followers of highly-acclaimed and award-winning but often eyebrow-raising and thought-provoking, edgy content – in the vein of Game of Thrones, House of Cards, True Detective, Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad and Nurse Jackie".

The channel – like Sky Atlantic – will be a repository of HBO, Netflix and Showtime dramas that M-Net plans to bring to viewers quickly, similar to what the pay-TV broadcaster has been doing the past few months on the main M-Net channel.

In addition to fresh seasons of this type of content from America – meaning from the "other side of the Atlantic Ocean" – hence the play on the likely inclusion of the word "Atlantic" in the channel name – M-Net Atlantic or M-Net Series Atlantic will be the home of cult fare such as Sopranos and Six Feet Under, which will be broadcast daily.

Vuzu Amp, Vuzu Amped or Vuzu AMP – the second planned channel, is a spin-off of Vuzu which just turned five years old and will be "curating" content as a South African and African version of the VH1 style reality shows and drama series.

DStv subscribers will see "glitzy" celebrity centred shows and local reality shows on this channel, together with series like The Vampire Diaries and The Fixer.

Chance to ‘curate’ TV content better

"This is an exciting, progressive move on the pay-TV front," says Yolisa Phahle, M-Net's CEO for South Africa.

"Across the globe television and other entertainment platforms are evolving at breakneck speed as a result of new technology and changing consumer preferences".

"As a company M-Net has its finger on the pulse of these developments and we will continue to evaluate, adjust and reshuffle our channel offering accordingly for the benefit of the viewer".

Phahle says DStv subscribers shouldn't fear about the disappearance of their favourite shows due to the termination of M-Net Series Reality, saying the move to change M-Net Series Showcase into a new channel and the new Vuzu channel "allows us to curate the greatest content in an even better way".

- Channel24


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