Friday, June 5, 2015

American movie channel TCM on DStv rebranding with new on-screen look, more recent movies; changing to 'fast-paced' channel for movie lovers.

Like everything Hollywood, TCM (DStv 137) on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform is youngerating with a facelift and a programming update to start changing the brand and brand perception of the classic movie channel and to make it more attractive for viewers with more modern movies.

Long the face of Gone with the Wind and Casablanca, as part of the makeover TCM is now starting to position itself as a "fast-paced" channel for movie lovers, filled with "modern programming" - words not associated with the channel from Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) since it first became available on DStv.

As part of the rebranded TCM, the stodgy channel will stick with American movies but is introducing a major change in the channel's tone, brand image and programming strategy for African viewers.

The TCM changes range from a new on-screen look, documentaries about movies, and frankly my dear, the most pivotal change about which DStv subscribers give a damn: more original and recent movies spanning romantic comedies and dramas to action thrillers, blockbusters and science fiction films not starring Robbie the Robot.

TCM says the channel is changing to "a strong focus on contemporary productions". While Scarlett O'Hara might still pop up from time to time, the evolving TCM programming schedule is starting to look unrecognisable with titles like The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and The Big Lebowski.

TCM says it remains a channel "committed to American movie fans in Africa".

TCM isn't saying why the channel is changing its channel proposition, but with the rapid growth in the number of TV channels on DStv's platform all vying for the eyes and attention of the same DStv subscribers, TCM has come under increased pressure to justify its existence.

With a flurry of competitors ranging from Universal Networks International's Studio Universal (DStv 112) to MGM which changed to AMC (DStv 140 / StarSat 115) and M-Net's set of expansive M-Net Movies channels, TCM has to adapt or go the way of the wind.

"We are thrilled about the TCM relaunch as we're confident that viewers will benefit from the changes and the new and exciting programming that we will have on offer for them," says Guillermo Farre, the head of general entertainment channels for Africa at Turner Broadcasting.

"This new look and feel builds on our success to date with new titles to keep our audience entertained and improve their viewing experience," says Guillermo Farre.

TCM now wants to bring DStv subscribers "up-to-date qualitative American blockbusters that trigger viewers' emotions" and will include celebrity interviews in additional new programming.

"Change is a crucial part of any breakthrough," says TCM. "Turner Broadcasting is on the case and investing in its brand with powerful new films and a fresh new look and feel".