Was the killed-off M-Net Edge (DStv 102) channel on MultiChoice's DStv satellite TV platform that got snuffed out at the end of March this year a victim of its own success?
Why exactly was M-Net Edge abruptly shut down at the end of March 2017 not even 3 years after it launched in late 2014? Did it "overshadow" M-Net (DStv 101) that's supposed to be the most premium, hottest and sought-after channel on DStv?
Why did M-Net in 2017 do a Cersei on M-Net Edge that became DStv's Daenerys channel with all the real must-watch shows like Game of Thrones?
During its almost 3 year existence, M-Net's M-Net Edge channel on DStv quickly became just like that rule-breaking, cool, older uncle with too long hair, that smoked, that would let you sit in the front as a little kid without a seatbelt on, allowed you a small sip of his wine so you know how it tasted and went ahead and bought ice-creams or did a detour through the McDonalds drive-thru on the outing although your parents specifically said no treats.
Sadly, M-Net Edge got a knife in the back 9 months ago - poetic justice similar to its risque, raunchy and edgy TV content where "Express from the US" titles arrived and were shown very quickly at the same time as in America.
Is M-Net Edge's demise due to this on-air Icarus who flew too quickly, too close to MultiChoice's kaleidoscopic sun?
TVwithThinus asked Yolisa Phahle - earlier this year still M-Net CEO and promoted since mid-November to CEO of general entertainment at MultiChoice - if M-Net Edge was shut down because the channel became problematic for M-Net and a victim of its own success.
"The issue is that people don't want to watch repeats. People's viewing habits have changed; linear TV viewing is no longer king. So we've seen, increasingly, that Catch-Up viewing has become as important as linear [viewing]".
"That means that when people go to linear TV, they only want to see fresh content. Historically M-Net Edge as a channel did have fresh content, but also on that channel were repeats."
"When we actually did the analysis, we realised that the content that people were really enjoying was that premium premiere content whether it was the mini-series The Night Of, or The Affair or any of those incredible series. Those are the shows that people wanted to watch," said Yolisa Phahle.
"But when it was a repeat, or when it was a repeat of another piece of content, the ratings weren't there. So the content is hugely successful, but it [repeats] was irritating DStv subscribers in a way."
Yolisa Phahle said although M-Net Edge was taken away, M-Net has been extremely careful not to reduce the number of hours of premium, premiere content.
"There are many great TV series being made now. We just reduced the number of repeats."
"We continue to develop DStv Catch Up to make sure that some content even premiere first on Catch Up as we just want to move away from the repeat sort of historical strategy around pay-TV in South Africa," said Yolisa Phahle.