M-Net responds to angry subscribers

2013-07-17 12:30
Cape Town – M-Net is addressing angry DStv subscribers' resentment over the new M-Net Series channel changes, and said on radio that DStv subscribers and M-Net Series' viewers will be seeing more new content on the new M-Net Series Zone (DStv 115) channel in coming months.

DStv subscribers accustomed shows on the former M-Net Series (DStv 114) are fuming after the M-Net Series channel was split into three M-Net Series channels – Showcase, Reality and Zone – with only the Zone channel made available on the DStv Compact and Extra bouquet.

M-Net Series Showcase (DStv 113) which grew out of M-Net Series as the premium channel, has not been made available to DStv Compact subscribers. DStv Compact subscribers feel that M-Net Series has been substituted by a lesser channel and are angry that shows they followed are no longer available now.

'It is totally unacceptable'

DStv subscribers started an online petition last week protesting the M-Net Series channel changes implemented on 9 July.

The petition states that "it has become apparent that DStv has complete disregard for their Compact and Select package subscribers. Taking away a channel we had previous access to is the final straw. We request that the original M-Net Series channel be reinstated or that access to all three new M-Net Series channels be granted to ALL DStv subscribers."

The online petition, which was started last week, has drawn over 340 responses from subscribers. "It is totally unacceptable to remove a channel that we used to be able to watch with all the reality and series shows and the cheek to still charge us the same price. What a shame," wrote one petitioner.

"The recent changes that was made in the last week or so to DStv Compact has maybe created some of these complaints that's coming out now," Pierre Cloete, M-Net's director for general entertainment channels told John Webb on Talk Radio 702.

"We actually tried to improve a lot of the channels that's currently on the bouquet," Cloete explained.

'Zone still carries all the great shows'

"The complaints mainly are that some of the shows that's been on M-Net Series are now not on the DStv Compact bouquet anymore, it's on the Premium bouquet."

"The changes that we've made are specifically trying to expand our series offering into three very dedicated channels," said Cloete.

"The first one is M-Net Series Showcase. It's also in HD. A lot of premium first-run content goes onto this channel. We've actually lifted up this channel. We've rebranded the channel and we've added a lot of brand-new series to this Series Showcase channel.

"Then we've created M-Net Series Reality channel which is dedicated to reality content and talk shows.

"Then M-Net Series Zone which still carries all the great shows that used to be on Compact. They're still on Compact, they're just in a slightly later window," said Cloete.

'Viewers actually want the repeats'

"We've also increased the actual content on M-Net Series Zone; because now we're taking the best from M-Net, the best from Showcase and we're putting it on Zone for the Compact subscriber. So overall the Compact subscriber in the long run in the next few months will  see a lot of new content coming through on the M-Net Series Zone channel."

Regarding the number of repeats which viewers complain about, Cloete said, "We're not really concerned."

"We do look at international channels. We look at other pay channels. The basis of pay television is there are repeats. It's not really a negative in many cases to be honest. I know some viewers do see it as negative. On our channels our viewers actually want the repeats because they do miss shows. There's so many shows on at the moment," explained Cloete.

"If you don't have any repeats people miss it and they don't actually get to watch it. We don't repeat anything in primetime. All your primetime shows are premium shows and we mainly repeat 'off primetime' for people to catch up."

"On the M-Net side we don't really see repeats as a negative. There are complaints obviously across the board. We try and limit it. We don't play shows more than four, five times on a channel. So it doesn't really get repeated a lot and it's more for the convenience factor," said Cloete.

Read more on:    dstv  |  talk radio 702  |  m-net  |  tv

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