Thursday, April 18, 2013

Talk heard about possible new TV channels and a DStv bouquet name change and what MultiChoice and M-Net said about it when I asked.

I want to relay two things I've been told by longtime sources, although so far I have to stress that there's no official confirmation of it.

I've asked both MultiChoice and M-Net about it when I was told, and whether it is true or not, and if there is any comment, and I was told there is nothing to announce.

Both things are related as I understand it, but what of it might come to pass, time will tell.

The first thing is that apparently the DStv Lite bouquet, the cheapest of the real pay-TV bouquets operated by MultiChoice will be changing its name to DStv Access and I was told sometime in May - 7 May.

DStv Lite was introduced almost three years ago in May 2010 and cost R99 per month.

Then I was also told by Randburg cognoscenti that two new TV channels are coming - M-Net Movies Zone on channel 139 on DStv, and Mzansi Wethu, which are primarily for the DStv Lite bouquet to beef that up and which will be catering to a LSM 4 to 6 black audience, but the channels will of course be available on the upper bouquets too.

The M-Net Movies Zone channel will apparently be another movie channel (clearly extending the existing M-Net Movies subset which was introduced in October).

The focus of M-Net Movies Zone will be mostly on black movies, or films with black stars I was told. Mzansi Wethu (I think wethu means "ours" so "Our South Africa") is apparently to be a general entertainment channel but also catering for movies, a bit of a "fruit salad" channel I was told with the type of "bubblegum movies" seen on Mzansi Magic and similar channels.

Monday I asked MultiChoice that I heard the DStv Lite bouquet is set to undergo a name change in May and whether that is true or not, and if it is the case what DStv Lite is changing to and why its happening.

"When we are ready to announce changes to services or channels being added, we will send out a press release," MultiChoice said and that "at present there is nothing to announce."

I also asked MultiChoice about the two channels I was told of and whether there is any news. "As always, when we are ready to launch new channels, we will make the necessary announcements in the media. At present, there is nothing to announce," said MultiChoice.

I also asked M-Net on Monday whether they pay-TV broadcaster is launching new channels and if M-Net can verify if that is the case, and if it is happening, when.

"Being a leading television network, M-Net continues to evolve in line with its mission to bring the best television to viewers across Africa. We can't share any information about certain M-Net content developments at present, but will keep our viewers informed," M-Net replied.

It will be interesting to see what of all of this eventually happens or not, whether DStv Lite would be changing its name, and whether channels such as M-Net Movies Zone and Mzansi Wethu are added sometime in the future or not.

For now, as I've said, there is no official confirmation on what I've been told, and the TV industry and subscribers will have to wait and see whether it happens, if it happens.