Friday, July 31, 2020

MultiChoice and M-Net reducing and restructuring its M-Net Movies channels offering on DStv, makes fliekNET permanent and adding KIX as a martial arts film channel.

by Thinus Ferreira

MutiChoice and M-Net are further scaling back and reorganising the satellite pay-TV service's M-Net Movies packaged film channels, with the existing 6 M-Net Movies channels which are reduced and cut down to 4 channels on DStv from September.

According to insiders the change is partly prompted by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic and the reduction in film output from Hollywood.

MultiChoice and M-Net revamped its carousel of linear M-Net Movies channels on DStv in October 2012 when its linear film channel offering consisted out of 9 movie channels grouped according to genre.

Since then MultiChoice and M-Net restructured, consolidated and scaled back its M-Net Movies channels group to 6 channels by July 2020: M-Net Movies Premiere (DStv 104), M-Net Movies Smile (DStv 105), M-Net Movies Action+ (DStv 106), M-Net Movies Action (DStv 110), M-Net Movies All Stars (DStv 111) and M-Net Movies Zone (DStv 139).

Now these channels will be reduced to 4 film channels from September and renamed M-Net Movies 1, M-Net Movies 2, M-Net Movies 3 and M-Net Movies 4.

It's not yet clear when exactly the M-Net (DStv 101) movie slot on Sunday nights at 20:00 will change or will run out of new premiere films to show on a weekly basis - but it will be anytime soon.

Four months after the abrupt end and global disruption of the film production and distribution pipeline because of Covid-19, the premium pay-TV window (that follows after theatrical release, airline, SVOD and DVD release) is now also out of stock.

M-Net was asked about this in a media enquiry and didn't respond with answers.

Meanwhile, in M-Net's latest reorganisation of the M-Net Movies channels, M-Net Movies 1 will be on DStv channel 104. Content from the kid-friendly Animania festivals on M-Net Movies Smile, as well as blockbuster romcoms and gripping dramas will now be on this channel.

M-Net Movies 2 will be on DStv channel 106 - basically the two Action channel combined. It will show "an adrenaline rush with recent heart-pumping, explosive action films. The schedule will be packed with all kinds of adventures and thrills and spills at maximum velocity".

M-Net Movies 3 will be on DStv channel 107 now. The channel will be "where all the movie heroes and heroines hang out, either saving the day in adventure classics, or inhabiting the imaginary worlds of sci-fi and fantasy. Sometimes, they even tickle the funny bones in star-studded comedies, or show off their acting chops in gripping dramas".

M-Net Movies 4 will be on DStv channel 108 and will showcase "the world’s biggest blockbusters, as well as their prequels and sequels, are lined up here. While movie franchise lovers can enjoy great movies for hours on end, friends and family can join all the action and fun too".

Mark Rayner, MultiChoice South Africa CEO, in a statement, says "It’s important for us to facilitate the best possible viewing experience for our DStv customers in our ever-evolving world of entertainment".

"While the proposition of the current six movie channels – M-Net Movies Premiere, M-Net Movies Action+, M-Net Movies Action, M-Net Movies Smile, M-Net Movies Zone and M-Net Movies All Stars – made perfect sense when they launched years ago, recent comments and requests from our movie-loving DStv audiences indicated that it was time for a reboot."

Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice CEO of general entertainment and connected video, says the pay-TV operator is trying to improve its film offering.

"In our quest to remain Africa’s most-loved storyteller, innovation and quality will always be key. Local movies will also play an increasingly important role, alongside screening handpicked Hollywood films first on all our platforms."

M-Net Premium subscribers will have access to all 4 channels while DStv Compact subscribers will get M-Net Movies 3 and M-Net Movies 4. DStv Family and DStv Access subscribers will only get the M-Net Movies 4 channel.

From September M-Net's Afrikaans language division will launch kykNET's pop-up fliekNET channel as a permanent movie channel on DStv channel 149.

fliekNET will showcase locally-produced blockbuster movies, classic favourites and a variety of Afrikaans film formats such feature films, short films, story films, made-for-TV movies and documentaries.

MultiChoice is also adding the KIX channel on an as-yet-undisclosed DStv channel number as a martial arts channel that will carry films from stars like Jet Li and Jackie Chan. The specific launch date that will be sometime in October has not yet been announced.

From time to time a M-Net Movies Pop-up channel will run on DStv channel number 111 for DStv Premium subscribers.