Another M-Net produced TV channel which has been under performing for years is getting the chop with MagicWorld (DStv 162) which is getting axed and replaced by the new M-Net Family on channel 162 on DStv from 17:00 on 1 July.
The mostly non-descript channel and its schedule of mostly rerun content, languished in a type of brand limbo - caught on the border between M-Net's South African identity and the M-Net content produced in and for the rest of Africa.
As such MagicWorld struggled to draw DStv subscribers who had a hard time grasping the channel's exact positioning and what they could possibly find there in terms of shows.
The MagicWorld channel logo changed several times over just the past four years, with confusing information to subscribers as to how the channel line-up and its schedule changed and got tweaked - an indication of how executives themselves struggled to define the channel and couldn't quite figure out what to do with it and how to more precisely focus and define it position.
Now MagicWorld will be a family channel with family viewing as its focus under the stronger M-Net Family name.
"MagicWorld has been discontinued. It has undergone a rebranding. As from 1 July the channel will no longer exist," an M-Net insider told TV with Thinus earlier the week.
Yolisa Phahle, M-Net CEO for Southern African confirmed it on Thursday, saying in a statement that "M-Net Family will feature carefully curated content that has proved to be popular family entertainment or that has never been seen on the DStv Family package before".
Alluding to MagicWorld not making the grade and hence the rebranding to M-Net Family, Yolisa Phahle says "It's our mission to craft top-notch M-Net channels that excite our kaleidoscope of audiences and M-Net Family is the perfect compliment for the array of M-Net general entertainment channels that currently includes M-Net 101, M-Net Edge and M-Net City."
Asked why MagicWorld has been scrapped, M-Net says "the pay-TV environment across sub-Saharan Africa has evolved rapidly over the past year or so. M-Net is always looking at different ways to enhance their offerings."
The revamped M-Net Family channel will be available to DStv Premium, DStv Compact, DStv Extra and DStv Family subscribers.
Reruns of the cancelled M-Net soap The Wild is currently running on MagicWorld and will continue on M-Net Family, but M-Net says the channel will continue with international content, like the current American talk show The Talk and the telenovela Champs.
M-Net says M-Net Family will have "a variety of high quality international content - from drama and reality series to movies - while some hit local shows and a kiddies programming block will also form part of the great family buffet of entertainment".
On Saturdays and Sundays at 18:00 M-Net Family will have a family movie, as well as series omnibuses throughout the day.