M-Net which has been phasing it out is finally dropping the 'M-Net Series' brand name after 17 years, renaming and rebranding the last remaining M-Net Series Zone (DStv 115) as the "new" M-Net City.
M-Net City as a name for a M-Net channel was first conceived of in the latter part of 2010 already although for another type of channel. It will now be used as M-Net Series Zone's new name.
TV with Thinus was first to report on the coming M-Net Series Zone name change recently.
M-Net went back and dusted off its old 2010 plans for a new M-Net channel launch in 2011 which would have been called M-Net City on DStv with an emphasis on local shows and South African content - an idea which was eventually abandoned.
However, the M-Net City name found new favour and was resurrected from the dead in a new marketing and rebranding overhaul of M-Net Series Zone which no longer needs to be saddled with such a long moniker.
M-Net Series Zone existed to differentiate it from the shortlived M-Net Series Showcase and M-Net Series Reality - both floundering channels M-Net quickly cancelled due to under performance in 2014 after just a year and which were replaced with M-Net Edge and VUZU AMP.
With only M-Net Series Zone remaining it was decided to finally dump "M-Net Series" for a shorter name.
Since thought and planning already went into the name of M-Net City a few years ago, M-Net decided to use this name.
M-Net calls M-Net City "new" although it will essentially remain the same channel, geared towards giving MultiChoice's lower-paying DStv subscribers access to content shown earlier on higher-tiered packages like DStv Premium.
M-Net City will remain a "rerun" channel of sorts, funneling content from premium M-Net channels like M-Net (DStv 101), VUZU AMP and the M-Net Movies channels to M-Net City.
While M-Net kept movies contained on its M-Net Movies branded channels on DStv, M-Net City will now show movies too. No explanation for the addition of movies to M-Net City is being given.
M-Net Series Zone will change to M-Net City on 6 April with programming like Modern Family, Last Man Standing and talk shows.
M-Net is spinning the constant adjustment and umpteenth name and brand overhaul for M-Net Series Zone as well as the termination of the "M-Net Series" name as a good thing for subscribers who are already struggling to keep up with channels, channel names, what they're about and where on DStv to find them.
"M-Net City is proof of the company's commitment to continuously evaluate, adjust and reshuffle channel offerings in line with the ever-changing needs of viewers," says Yolisa Phahle, M-Net CEO.
"Now we have created M-Net City, a new channel that will enhance DStv Compact viewers' experience of international content."
M-Net started The Series Channel in April 1998 on DStv, which morphed a decade later in 2008 into The M-Net Series channel.
The M-Net Series channel was split into three channels in July 2013 - M-Net Series Showcase, M-Net Series Reality and M-Net Series Zone.
The floundering ratings and under-performance of the channels saw M-Net Series Showcase and M-Net Series Reality closed down just over a year later in September 2014. That left M-Net Series Zone as the sole M-Net Series channel.
In January 2015 when asked whether M-Net Series Zone on DStv will be undergoing a name change - since there's no longer a need for the very long "M-Net Series Zone" qualifier - and since TV channels prefer as short names as possible from a branding and optics point of view - several M-Net insiders told TV with Thinus that a name change was indeed being considered.
M-Net says M-Net City will have a schedule that follows:
Weekdays between 17:00 and 19:00 – the evening's entertainment will kick off with popular talk shows;
Weekdays at 19:00 and 19:30 – it's family comedy time;
Weekdays at 20:00 and 21:00 – the heroes and heroines of the best international action and crime series will take over the screen;
Saturdays and Sundays – M-Net City will bring viewers a variety of movies in early prime time, and from 19:30 it will follow the successful example of M-Net Edge with weekend binge sessions.