I can reveal and break the news that from January 2015 all of the M-Net Movies channels on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform will revert back to starting movies immediately after each other instead of movies starting on the hour or the half hour.
From January the schedule change will be introduced to all of the M-Net Movies channels on DStv, with a new film starting after each other with a break of maximum five minutes between them for promos and commercials.
When the subset of M-Net Movies channel launched in October 2012 two years ago, movies started immediately after each other.
A year ago, in November 2013, M-Net simplified the M-Net Movies schedule, making it that every movie starts at the earliest quarter of an hour. M-Net then said the change was to help viewers know outright when to expect the start of a new film on any of the nine M-Net Movies channels on DStv.
Now in the third year there will again be a schedule format change. Movies on M-Net Movies will now start at any time, with the maximum break being 5 minutes between the end of a movie and the start of a new one.
"The ad break or promo break between movies on M-Net Movies will only be five minutes max," M-Net tells me. "If a movie for instance starts at 20:00, when it ends, whatever time it might be, there will only be 5 minutes before the next movie starts."
While the M-Net Series channels have been struggling with ratings, prompting the relaunch of M-Net Series Showcase as M-Net Edge and M-Net Series Reality changing to VUZU AMP, the M-Net Movies channels have seen a ratings surge, especially during the previous four months to September which saw a viewership spike for the M-Net Movies channels.
M-Net says that after viewership feedback and viewer research, the pay-TV provider has tweaked the schedules, now broadcasting and starting movies across the M-Net Movies channels at times where viewers indicated that they are most likely to want to watch specifically themed movies. The strategy has seen a major ratings surge so far for the M-Net Movies channels.