Tuesday, July 1, 2014

As Vuzu turns 5 years old, is M-Net ready to have the TV channel spawn a baby possibly called Vuzu Amp in September?

Vuzu (DStv 116) turns 5 years old today; so is pay-TV broadcaster M-Net ready to spawn a brand-new spin-off TV channel called Vuzu Amp around September?

That is what I've heard.

Vuzu replaced GO five years ago when that youth entertainment channel from M-Net faltered and failed to meet rating and performance targets.

Where Vuzu as a youth-tainment experiment initially had clearly defined boundaries and saw M-Net shift all youth entertainment TV drama shows to Vuzu, that presice and channel content proposition has blurred over the past few years.

Vuzu has become a sort of "all-sorts" TV channel over the past five years - making it impossible to predict exactly what type of TV content and shows would end up on Vuzu.

While V Entertainment remains a standard local production bringing Vuzu viewers youth-tainment-showbiz info on a weekday basis and anchors the line-up, the rest of Vuzu - including erratic and often badly done scheduling - is frequently all over the place.

The content of the Vuzu schedule has blurred over the past few years, resembling an often perplexing melange of disparate content and shows, akin as to if a TV executive mixed chunks of America's VH1, Bravo and E! Entertainment channels together.

The newly somewhat famous, the wannabe famous (both Americans and South Africans) and those past the prime of the fame shelf life, litter the Vuzu schedule.

The result is somewhat of a witches' brew of largely B-grade, often pandering American reality, sometimes have-to-watch, sometimes why-on-Earth? shows.

These Vuzu has spiced up with an equal measure of often questionably low production, local reality fare ranging from Vixens and Nonhle Goes to Hollywood, to Cream Cartel and TV trash supreme, Dineo's Diary.

If there's perhaps an overall theme to Vuzu its that it caters to viewers largely less interested in living their own lives than gawking through a tabloid prism at the lives of others - and the more histrionic the telenality on display, the better.

It's the channel of Mob Wives Chicago, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette; Bachelor Pad, RuPaul's Drag Race, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Mo Love and Gold Diggerz and inappropriately allocated shows like Sleepy Hollow (while Teen Wolf and Hart of Dixie are on M-Net Series Showcase and The 100 and Beauty & the Beast are on M-Net).

TV shows, TV stars and TV channels age of course in dog years; in reality Vuzu is actually closer to 21 than 5.

It's no wonder then that sources have been telling TV with Thinus that a second Vuzu TV channel is in the works which will be compiled and supplied by M-Net. It will presumablybe for MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform where Vuzu is currently residing on the line-up.

I've been told the possible name for the second Vuzu channel is Vuzu Amp (VuzuAmp? VuzuAMP? Vuzu AMP?) and should launch around September or October in South Africa.

I made a media enquiry to M-Net last week and asked whether M-Net can confirm that there's been discussions for another Vuzu channel, whether that is accurate, whether Vuzu Amp is the proposed or talked about name, and whether such a channel would start around September or October, or whether nothing of this is true.

M-Net says "at this stage we can't deny nor confirm that there are plans to launch a new channel or channels. If we do in fact launch a new channel or channels, this will be communicated to media".

TV with Thinus also reached out to MultiChoice; such a platform would presumably carry such a channel, and asked the same, whether there has been or is any discussions around another Vuzu channel, and whether Vuzu Amp is the proposed name.

"We don't comment on plans to launch new channels," says MultiChoice. "Any new channels will be communicated to the media when we are ready to announce".