Tuesday, August 5, 2014

TOLDJA! M-Net ready to launch M-Net Atlantic and Vuzu Amp on DStv in October; M-Net kills off struggling M-Net Series Reality channel.

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, will likely be called M-Net Atlantic as well as Vuzu Amp.

TV with Thinus can reveal that M-Net is ending M-Net Series Reality (DStv 114), moving the bulk of that channel's content to Vuzu Amp, and is moving talk show Ellen to the main M-Net channel (DStv 101) at 17:00.

"M-Net Atlantic" or M-Net Series Atlantic is meanwhile replacing M-Net Series Showcase (DStv 113).

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.

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. Both channels will be broadcast in high definition (HD) on DStv. 

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.

M-Net is admitting that the two new channels are being added to DStv, one day after the DStv Local Content Showcase on Monday where MultiChoice and M-Net executives were repeatedly asked about changes coming to the M-Net Series channels and flat-out refused to talk or give any detail about it.

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 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.

"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 developements and we will continue to evaluate, adjust and reshuffle our channel offering accordingly for the benefit of the viewer".

Yolisa 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".