Tuesday, January 23, 2018

M-Net says DStv subscribers shouldn't panic over the relaunch of VUZU AMP as 1Magic; new channel will still have international shows, together with gripping local dramas and reality shows.

M-Net says DStv subscribers shouldn't panic over the relaunch of the VUZU AMP (DStv 103) channel that is being relaunched as 1Magic on 29 January, saying the channel will continue to show international series, alongside gripping local drama series, telenovelas and reality shows.

Three years after launching VUZU AMP, M-Net is rebranding it as 1Magic for DStv Premium subscribers, saying that it needs a better aligned channel where it can broadcast even more local entertainment to a premium DStv subscriber base.

On Tuesday M-Net is doing a launch event for just Johannesburg press to unveil 1Magic to the media, with the channel that will try and court an upmarket black viewership demographic that's familiar with the existing Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) offering and who wants even more.

While VUZU AMP has struggled to find a sizeable enough audience, M-Net says 1Magic is a brand-new channel that is being created to try and appeal to a wider urban audience.

VUZU AMP is therefore being transformed into 1Magic since M-Net has identified a need to "refine our content offering for viewers who live within a global-meets-local worldview".

With 1Magic, M-Net will offer DStv Premium subscribers a content mix of "fresh exclusive local, with existing edgy international series" as "a celebration of the modern viewer who enjoys local and international shows".

"Vuzu AMP audiences should not panic because 1 Magic will still be serving a mix of compelling, relevant and entertaining international programmes like The Fixer (titled Scandal in America), How To Get Away with Murder, The Real Housewives, Power and later on in the year, latest seasons of Ballers, Queen Sugar and Insecure," says M-Net.

1Magic's programming schedule will include dramas, telenovelas, reality shows and movies.

1Magic will also roll out local programming with its flagship new telenovela, The River, starting on 29 January as well with a cast including Sindi Dlathu, Hlomhla Dandala, Moshidi Motshegwa and others.

On 2 February, Unmarried will start on 1Magic, as an "urban chic drama", unpacking themes of love, urban hustle and bustle, and the daily challenges faced by young urban couples in trying to juggle life and aspirations. The cast of Unmarried includes Fezile Makhanya, Thembisa Mdoda, Renate Stuurman and others.

M-Net says it is positioning 1Magic as "the entertainment destination of choice for DStv Premium customers, who are comfortable crossing between the best of international and local worlds".

The channel will celebrate "the duality of the modern African viewer, by putting Viola Davis alongside Sindi Dlathu, Olivia Pope alongside Thembisa Mdoda, and Jay Ellis next to Phat Joe, on a single channel."

Shows like the Marvel collection that used to be on VUZU AMP will be integrated into the M-Net (DStv 101) channel and the M-Net City (DStv 115) channel in order to make way for more local shows on 1Magic.

Early prime time (18:00 to 21:00) shows on 1Magic will rebroadcast in the week, during the day.

Late prime time on 1Magic (21:00 to 23:00) will have content for a more mature audience and will rebroadcast in the week, after prime time. Popular series omnibuses will be scheduled on weekends.

M-Net says 1Magic will also minimise repeats since there will be more premium content on the channel, "so fans are urged to watch the premiere over rebroadcasts". 

"In line with our vision to be the best African storytellers in the world, M-Net has identified a need to invest in more local entertainment for our viewers, in the premium segment," says Nkateko Mabaso, M-Net South Africa general manager.

"1Magic will fill a viewing gap by combining new and exclusive local shows with international content.”