M-Net rolls out new TV show strategy

2012-10-17 19:47
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town – M-Net is charting a radical new chapter for the South African pay-TV operator, changing its programming broadcasting strategy to bring subscribers new TV series as soon as they start in America – something which will mean a bit more homework for local viewers.

Starting this month, M-Net is shaking up the pay-TV broadcaster's value proposition. Subscribers on M-Net's analogue service and on MultiChoice's DStv platform will not only see the best TV series first, but also much sooner than before.

Where previously TV series on the M-Net and M-Net Series channels would usually start after or close to the conclusion of a particular season, M-Net is now bringing multiple new and existing TV series to subscribers within weeks – and in several cases within days - of their US debut.

This sea change in M-Net's programming and scheduling operations means that South Africa is finally catching up and adapting to the TV viewing experience of comparable TV markets like Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and elsewhere, where episodes of specific American TV shows are consumed almost as quickly as they become available.

New form of line-up

The one drawback is that it means a bit more homework for viewers since seasons of shows are often interrupted in America which also impacts the global roll-out of episodes in other international markets.

In return for seeing series and episodes immediately, viewers and subscribers have to contend with some interruptions.

Previously South Africans saw TV shows mostly once a season was complete – in a sense as a "DVD box set" with one new episode consistently available per week, over the course of 13 to 24 weeks. Now there might be interruptions and a week where no episode is shown.

"In our continued effort to bring viewers nothing but the best and exclusive entertainment, M-Net and sister channel M-Net Series are proud to announce that we will be enhancing this experience by bringing viewers some brand new shows and familiar favourites within days of the US premiere," said M-Net.

Part of the global conversation

"Now viewers will be brought that much closer to being part of the global conversation with some of the hottest series currently produced in the US. M-Net and M-Net series have started with a few, carefully selected titles, and will be adding even more hit shows to this new form of line-up as the months progress.

"We are very excited to be bringing series to the South African public so close to the US air dates; it's wonderful to not only bring fantastic content to our subscribers first but to also bring it to them as soon as possible," said Theo Erasmus, the channel director for general entertainment channels at M-Net.

"We would love our subscribers to join us in this new part of the journey with all its interesting challenges, as we continually strive to make the television viewing experience more and more magical."

What it means for viewers

If and when there is a special broadcast in the US – for instance a presidential address or the Superbowl – and the American TV network of a particular show decides not to air an episode that week, it will mean that M-Net and M-Net Series will follow suit and will not be able to air a next episode, said M-Net.

"If the distributor decides to stop the production in the middle and write off any additional episodes on the air because the series does not have strong ratings in the United States, the channels will do the same," says M-Net.

"In light of all of the above, please note that NCIS: Los Angeles was originally scheduled to start hot off the heels of the United States on Saturday 13 October at 20:30. Unfortunately, having received the running order from the distributor, the US will be taking numerous breaks in transmission of the show, which we would like to avoid.

"In light of this, the channel has decided to move out the series to start at a later date (February 2013) as opposed to having long breaks in between episodes. Whilst this will be the norm of playing shows hot off the heels of the US air date, this particular show would have been riddled with far too many breaks," explained M-Net.


  • fabian.houten - 2012-10-17 19:53

    awesome stuff mnet

      dragonfire47 - 2012-10-18 06:24

      @bluecrest, actually 720p quality, which no choice dosent broadcast in as its so heavily compressed that by the time it gets to our tv its not even 480p, hd my ass

      dragonfire47 - 2012-10-18 06:25

      and no I use my own internet, enjoy the ads

      terry.ferreira.84 - 2012-10-18 12:26

      dragonfire47 - Maybe you haven't seen DSTV in HD yet. It is 720p. Forgive us for not being an outright pirate like you. We actually pay for our entertainment, and don't steal it.

      john.moodley.7 - 2012-10-18 12:44

      @ dragonfire, Maybe you should invest in an HD PVR. so you can experience true television.

  • tumisang.kolobe - 2012-10-17 20:29

    Really??we need strong competition againts Mnet

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-18 12:58

      No one in Africa come close to Multichoice.

  • teddy.beer.319 - 2012-10-17 20:37

    Stupid stuff trying to catch up with America. We are Africans. When I saw the heading, I smiled ear to ear thinking that finally we could have more local content and more jobs by translation but alas, we just being force-fed American rubbish. To hell with Mnet. We need more players.

      tsyfert - 2012-10-17 20:43

      We need quality shows if Africa can produce it then show it.

  • Mark - 2012-10-17 20:55

    I sense a price increase coming up.New Kyknet channel,new movie channels,more current shows.Watch this space

  • eugene.h.krabs.336 - 2012-10-17 21:08

    It's because people are downloading shows directly from ITunes, a trend that will make MNet obsolete if they don't catch up. I'm already watching season 2 of Revenge for example, as it becomes available on ITunes directly after it aired in the US.

      dragonfire47 - 2012-10-17 21:21

      and homeland series 2 and dexter series 7 and walking dead series 3, stick it no choice

      dragonfire47 - 2012-10-17 21:23

      and all without stupid no choice moron ads

      terry.ferreira.84 - 2012-10-18 12:24

      dragonfire47 - Homeland Season 2 is showing already on DSTV..... As for The Walking Dead. It is on TopTV due to them getting the license to show it exclusively. As for Dexter, haven't checked on that yet. Other shows like Vampire Diaries and Revolution are also showing 1 week behind the US release. So just check your facts a bit before you go on a rant.

  • dragonfire47 - 2012-10-17 21:20

    yeah right with ad breaks every 30 seconds, stick it in ur ass dstv

      terry.ferreira.84 - 2012-10-18 12:21

      Get a PVR. Problem solved.

  • tammy.petersen.73 - 2012-10-18 07:55

    since the new movie channels ive seen the same movies over and over and over and over showing on those channels.As for series come on you just repeat what ever was on mnet so anything on series ive watched already.Ja true the Ellen show is no longer 3years behind but that really doesnt change the fact that the entire dstv is repeats repeats repeats!!!!!!

      hamish.drake1 - 2012-10-18 09:51

      Tammy you could always watch SABC and see the re-runs of CHiPs, The A-Team,MacGyver, China Beach, Hawaii 5-0. The choice is endless. Of course there is no sport, except for the occasional football match, but women don't like sport anyway. I think it is a perfect solution to your problem.

  • scott.gilchrist.1291 - 2012-10-18 08:34

    Dstv have to do something about the amount and time length of adverts spoils tv viewing.

      terry.ferreira.84 - 2012-10-18 12:21

      Invest in a PVR. Problem solved. We record everything we want to watch, and watch it at our own leisure. Forwarding through adverts. Or you can use the catch up feature and watch the show without any ad breaks. The choice is yours. R1500 is not a lot of money when you think about the added benefits of a PVR. Pausing Live TV, recording movies and series. Recording those SA v Aus Test matches that are going to start at 2AM.

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-18 13:01

      They did, get a PVR. You can even stop a program whenever you want for as long as you want.

  • janet.groenewald.9 - 2012-10-18 11:35

    Well I hope this does away with terrestrial viewing. Mnet broke their contract with consumers who could watch Mnet & DSTV on the respective modems. I pay the full DSTV Premium package but can't watch the Mnet channel between 18h00 and 19h30 (Junior Masterchef etc)I have to view programs that I can view on the DSTV modem in any case in that time slot. They want extra money from me to open the Mnet Channel 101 on the DSTV modem so that I can watch what I am paying for (Full Package) anyway. They can't just break a contract when it suits them but to get hold of anybody on Management level to sort this out is immpossible, you can only get hold of the support consultants that refuse to put you through to their managers and if you go into their offices no management staff is available to help you. They are either in meetings or on lunch. Useless.

  • terry.ferreira.84 - 2012-10-18 12:18

    It seems DSTV/Multichoice can never please their clients. I for one am really happy to hear this. I loved watching Game of Thrones one week behind the states. I love watching Late Nite with John Stewart a day after it airs in USA. Thanks for improving the delay between SA and USA. We really appreciate it and I really believe that this will help get more customers as many didn't want to use DSTV for Series due to the 1 year delay in most shows, and they'd rather pirate the series. Worth every penny in my books. 5/5

  • candy.hooke - 2012-10-18 12:27

    About time!

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