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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

SUIT UP. M-Net to show Suits' new 4th season from 21 June, will roll out episodes just 3 days after America in phenomenal roll-out shift.


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Can you feel it? That's literally television's tectonic plates moving below your feet as South African television is undergoing a major systemic shift in premium television: M-Net will now debut the brand-new 4th season of the American legal drama series Suits on 21 June.

The South African premium pay-TV broadcaster is moving the next 9th season of Criminal Minds out and replacing the timeslot with the new 4th season's 16 episodes of Suits.

The result is that South African viewers will get to see the new season of Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams' fantastic New York lawyer series with episodes which will be seen locally just three days after America.

M-Net is doing a swift scheduling upgrade with the 4th season of Suits which is starting tomorrow in America. Suits will now start with a double episode on 21 June at 19:30 in South Africa, and then one episode per week from 28 June.

South African viewers therefore will get to see episodes of Suits less than 72 hours after it's shown in the United States.

Suits ended on multiple cliffhangers, and with the incredibly close broadcasting dates to America, it means that less of the dramatic story developments will be spoilt or leak out before viewers in South Africa get to see it.

The dramatic (and there really isn't any other word to describe it) way in which M-Net has ramped up and closed the broadcasting window of several premium American TV series is breathtaking.

The process started in 2012, quickened in 2013 and has led to a record 2014 television year so far for South African viewers and M-Net subscribers.

Like Suits' latest upcoming season, there is now a record number of American TV programmes shown by M-Net on its analogue service and various DStv supplied TV channels in South Africa extremely close to the American broadcasting dates.

South Africa for years lagged in terms of the roll-out gap of premium TV series as a developing TV economy behind more developed TV markets - but which have comparable TV broadcasting services -  like the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia.

Now, South Africa - through M-Net - is on the verge of actually edging out New Zealand and Australia for showing more TV series, faster.

With dauntless determination - difficult and sensitive foreign acquisition wrangling with often temperamental distributors, coupled with streamlined and improved digital, technological advances - M-Net has managed to somehow take a giant leap forward with TV programming and scheduling.

This ongoing strategy which is yielding major dividends for both M-Net, DStv and South African viewers alike on a programming side, not only benefits the pay-TV companies but South Africa's entire TV market.

M-Net, and by implication South African television with M-Net in the vanguard, is moving with giant strides, now solidifying and proving that South Africa too, can watch and consume premium TV content at the same time and pace as the rest of the world.