M-Net (an abbreviation of Electronic Media Network) is a South African pay television channel established by Naspers in 1986.[1] The channel broadcasts both local and international programming, including general entertainment, children's series, sport and movies. While the TV signal is generally encrypted, M-Net showed some programmes 'free to air' in its "Open Time" slot between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., until the slot closed on 1 April 2007.

M-Net
M-Net new logo.png
CountrySouth Africa
Broadcast areaSub-Saharan Africa
SloganCome home to Magic
HeadquartersJohannesburg
Programming
Language(s)English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Setswana, Xhosa, Sesotho, Venda, Tsonga
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
Timeshift serviceM-Net +1 (since June 2016)
Ownership
OwnerMultiChoice
Sister channelsM-Net City
Vuzu
SuperSport
Channel O
Mzansi Magic
KykNet
Africa Magic
Maisha Magic
Zambezi Magic
Pearl Magic
History
Launched4 October 1986; 34 years ago (1986-10-04)
Links
WebsiteM-Net website
Availability
Terrestrial
SentechChannel depends on nearest repeater
Satellite
DStv (Southern Africa)101(HD/SD)
901(+1)
DStv (Rest Of Africa)101(HD/SD) West Africa
102(HD/SD) East Africa
Streaming media
DStv NowChannel based on Internet connection availabilty

In the early 1990s, M-Net added a second analogue channel called Community Services Network (CSN),[2] and began digital broadcasting via satellite to the rest of Africa, via its sister company MultiChoice. With the introduction of MultiChoice's multi-channel digital satellite TV service, DStv, in 1995, several different channels have been created to complement the original M-Net channel, including the now-defunct M-Net Series and several film/movie channels based on genre and preference.

HistoryEdit

Early yearsEdit

The idea of a pay-TV network in South Africa came to life in the mid-1980s, when Nasionale Pers (Naspers) - headed by executive Koos Bekker — started to promote the idea to the country's other three largest media corporations: Times Media Ltd (now Avusa/BDFM), Argus (now the Independent Group) and Perskor (which is now defunct).[3]

The newspapers and magazines published by Naspers had lost a lot of advertising revenue to the SABC after the arrival of television and for this reason, according to some sources, the National Party government wanted Naspers to run its own television network.[3] Initially, the plan was for M-Net to be jointly owned by the four media corporations, with the Natal Witness also having a small share in the station. However, as time went on, the project became that of Naspers only.

In October 1986, they started broadcasting for 12 hours a day, to about 500 households who had bought decoders. (Their aim at that stage was to sell 9,000 decoders per month.)[3] The service used the Oak Orion scrambling system, and the decoders were manufactured in South Africa by the local affiliate of Matsushita Electric.[4]

Although it was subscription-based, the Broadcasting Authority granted them a one-hour time slot each day, in which the channel could broadcast unencrypted, free-to-air content, in order to promote itself and attract potential subscribers. In 1987, the Cabinet also approved an arrangement under which the SABC was required to make its TV4 channel available to M-Net between 6 and 7pm.[5] This time slot became known as Open Time, but was only meant to be temporary — M-Net was supposed to close Open Time immediately when it had 150 000 subscribers.

At the end of its first year, they recorded a loss of R37-million.[3] However, it pushed forward and eventually, the public started taking notice. After two years, the loss was turned into a R20-million profit.[3] In 1988, the channel launched Carte Blanche, a multi-award-winning actuality program hosted by Derek Watts and Ruda Landman. In only a few years, Carte Blanche became famous for its investigative journalism. In the process, the show also uncovered many of South Africa's most famous scandals of human rights abuse, corruption and consumer affairs.

1989 saw the launch of M-Net SuperSport, which went on to become South Africa's (and Sub-Saharan Africa's) first dedicated sports channel which spawned into sports-specific channels from 2003 onward.

Recent historyEdit

1990 was the first year that they made a profit[6] and also the year that saw a few major changes for the channel. It launched K-TV, a daily time slot specialising in kids entertainment, and Open Time was expanded from the initial one hour per day, to two. They applied for a licence to broadcast news and the application was granted in December 1990. (Former State President P.W. Botha once claimed that "M-Net would not broadcast news as long as he was State President."[7]) but during June 1991, they announced that it was putting its plans for news broadcasts aside and that, instead, more money would be invested in local productions, including South Africa's first local soap opera Egoli, which started in May 1992 and ended in April 2010. However, they began re-broadcasting BBC World Service Television (now BBC World News) that same year.

M-Net SuperSport changed its name in 1994 to SuperSport only, in order to create a more recognizable brand. During that year it broadcast live coverage of South Africa's test cricket series in Australia for the first time. At the same time, Hugh Bladen and Naas Botha - two of the channel's most colourful rugby commentators — joined SuperSport. By that time, its sports coverage became very impressive, including the US Masters, the FA Cup Finals, the Indy 500, the US PGA Championship, Wimbledon, the Tour de France, MotoGP and an ever-expanding rugby package. In 1995, SuperSport started broadcasting 24 hours per day on M-Net's spare channel, the Community Service Network, which paved the way for a 24-hour multi-channel sports network. When rugby became a full professional sport in 1995, most of the broadcasting rights in the Southern Hemisphere were sold to Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. In response, they started negotiating with NewsCorp in August 1995 and in February the following year, SuperSport was granted sole broadcasting rights to both the Super 12 and Tri Nations rugby tournaments.[8] It was a major breakthrough for the channel as well as SuperSport, which had by now expanded to sports-and-leagues-specific TV channels on DStv and GOtv, MultiChoice's satellite TV services.

High definitionEdit

Launch of DStv's first High Definition decoder the HD PVR, XtraView and the first HD channel, M-Net HD. M-Net began broadcasting a 720p high definition channel in 2010, which is available on the majority of availability of a HD PVR; the standard definition channel for non HD PVR subscribers, as is merely downscaled at the provider from the HD feed rather than having a devoted analog channel. In 2012, the original film/movie channels were expanded to 6 channels which grouped films according to genre/preference.[9]

M-Net channelsEdit

M-NetEdit

The original M-Net channel broadcasts general entertainment, as well as premiere movies, documentaries, music specials and first-run TV series. The channel has a timeshift service, a terrestrial service and a CSN in South Africa. In Other African countries the channel broadcasts exclusively on the Dstv Service with Two different feeds, M-Net East for East Africa and M-Net West for West Africa. These feeds broadcasts nearly the same content, though the West African feed is 2 hours behind the East African feed as programmes are scheduled based on the Local Time Zones of the regions (EAT and WAT respectively) except for Some Live Programmes, Advertising on the East feed is targeted at Kenyan viewers while the West feed is targeted at Nigerian Viewers. Over the course of several years, M-Net has launched numerous sister channels. In 2016, It launched a new timeshift channel, M-Net +1, which broadcasts shows that are on M-Net delayed by an hour.

M-Net MoviesEdit

The original two movie channels, Movie Magic 1 and Movie Magic 2, launched in 1995 to coincide with the launch of DStv, were renamed M-Net Movies 1 and M-Net Movies 2, respectively, in 2005. Two additional movie channels, M-Net Movies Stars (previously M-Net Stars which launched in 2009) and actionX (which was renamed M-Net Action in 2008), were later launched. In October 2012, the channels were expanded to six which grouped films according to genre and preference. The 7 film/movie channels currently broadcast by M-Net and MultiChoice are:

M-Net Movies Premiere

M-Net Movies flagship channel consisting of first run movie premieres mostly after being available on the DStv BoxOffice rental service

M-Net Movies Smile

The film/movie channel, replacing the fusion of M-Net Movies Family and M-Net Movies Comedy, airs animated films during the day and comedy films at night.

M-Net Movies Action

First launched as ActionX in 2006, then M-Net Action in 2008. The channel previously was a general entertainment channel, with notable series in-between movies. It has since moved from its series root to focus more on new action film and action classics.

M-Net Movies Action+

The premium action movie channel focused on thrillers and horror movies shown here before moving on to M-Net Movies Action.

M-Net Movies All Stars

Launched as M-Net Stars in 2009 then renamed M-Net Movies Stars in October 2011, this is a general entertainment channel focusing on the most favored stars. Due to most stars being voiceovers, the channel has mostly animated films/movies, with a mix of comedy and romance.

M-Net Movies Zone

The lower tiered channel aimed at DStv Access and GOtv Plus subscribers which air all movies shown on M-Net or other M-Net Movies channels.

M-Net Movies Channel 109

The pop-up channel and the first of the movie channels to broadcast less than 24 hours a day. Initially, the channel was named M-Net Movies Showcase. In 2015, the same year M-Net Movies Smile was formed, another channel, M-Net Movies Romance was incorporated into Showcase, in direct response to viewer complaints of too many repeats. Mostly airing movie festivals such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, James Bond, etc.

M-Net CityEdit

Most of the programmes broadcast are unique to M-Net Series but some are rebroadcasts of episodes previously shown on M-Net.

A single series channel (known as The Series Channel (renamed as M-Net Series in 2005) was introduced in April 1998 as a sister channel to the original M-Net channel. On 9 July 2013, this channel was split into three, namely;

  • M-Net Series Showcase, which was broadcast in high definition, previously served as the primary series channel on which most new content unique to Series was broadcast.
  • M-Net Series Reality broadcast talk shows and other reality media
  • M-Net Series Zone which served as a catch-up channel, and featured previous seasons of shows. Several TV shows also ran back-to-back in marathon blocks.

On 11 September 2014, it was announced that Showcase and Reality would be discontinued and replaced with two new channels, Vuzu Amp and M-Net Edge, on 20 and 13 October, respectively.[10] Only one channel of the original three, M-Net Series Zone, remained. The standalone channel is reminiscent of the initial channel, in that it airs shows that previously aired on the main M-Net channel. It was rebranded M-Net City in 2015.

M-Net EdgeEdit

On 31 March 2017, M-Net Edge programs were moved M-Net as part of a merge and various other channels from M-Net. On January 29, 2018, Vuzu AMP/Vuzu Amp was rebranded as 1Magic.

KykNetEdit

KykNET, which broadcasts solely in Afrikaans, was launched in October 1999. The channel features general entertainment, series, informative programs and music. KykNET also has two sister channels, KykNet & Kie and KykNet Musiek.[11] DStv announced on 16 July 2014 that kykNet would be broadcast in high-definition as of 12 August 2014.[12]

It was launched in the UK on TalkTalk's IPTV service, TalkTalk Plus TV, in October 2013.[13] However, it was dropped by TalkTalk in December 2015.[14] A kykNet International service is now available online to subscribers in selected countries in North America, Europe and Australasia via the Showmax platform.[15]

VuzuEdit

Vuzu, originally launched as Go in 2003, has a strong focus on Southern African youth, specifically preteens, teens and the 20-49 demographics, similar to some popular American TV Channels such as Bravo, FX, BET, The CW, NBC, TNT and many others. A sister channel, Vuzu Amp, was launched in October 2014, which was later relaunched as 1Magic.

Mzansi MagicEdit

Mzansi Magic features original South African series, movies, music, documentaries and reality shows. It has two sister channels, Mzansi Magic Music, Mzansi Wethu and Mzansi Biskop.

Africa MagicEdit

Africa Magic, which started off as single channel of the same name, is a brand owned by M-Net and MultiChoice and now comprises 7 channels. The first Africa Magic channel was launched in July 2003 as a movie channel and over the next decade, the brand expanded to include 6 more channels comprising movies, television shows and general entertainment. Africa Magic currently broadcasts in more than 50 African countries. The channels include Africa Magic Family, Africa Magic Showcase, Africa Magic Yoruba, Africa Magic Igbo, Africa Magic Hausa. Africa Magic Epic and Africa Magic Urban. Africa Magic is also responsible for the annual Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards (AMVCAs), the biggest celebration of film and television talent in Africa.

Maisha MagicEdit

Maisha Magic comprises two channels Maisha Magic East and Maisha Magic Bongo which focus on East African movies, series and music. It was initially launched Africa Magic Swahili but was later rebranded as Maisha Magic Swahili then rebranded again as Maisha Magic East. Maisha magic bongo have been working with Many producers from Tanzania like Mtitu Game 1st Quality, Steps entertainment,Halisi film, Joh films,Severini film entertainment etc..

Channel OEdit

Channel O is a present music channel with a strong focus on urban music genres. It also holds the annual Channel O Music Video Awards ceremony where artists are awarded for their outstanding contribution to music.

SuperSportEdit

SuperSport is a group of sport television channels carried on DStv and GOtv. It provides sports content in South Africa and many other African countries.

Novela MagicEdit

Novela Magic celebrates unique African Storytelling and Showcases Local Content, African Stories made by African talent by bringing together a rage of content from across the region on one platform. [16]

All HD channels are aired in 1080i but are downscaled to SD if the subscriber isn't in possession of an HD or Explora decoder.

Current Programming (as of September 2020)Edit

DomesticEdit

DramasEdit

General EntertainmentEdit

News and Current AffairsEdit

RealityEdit

MiscellaneousEdit

  • Open Time (since 2017)

GlobalEdit

AnthologyEdit

ComedyEdit

DramasEdit

Game showsEdit

RealityEdit

Sci-FiEdit

SitcomsEdit

Talk ShowsEdit

Past ProgrammingEdit

DomesticEdit

Children'sEdit

  • Disney's Family Time
  • Eko-Boffins
  • K-T.V.
  • K-T.V. Playback
  • Mousetrap
  • Roundabout
  • Shingalana the Little Tiger Hunter
  • Simba Surprise

Game ShowsEdit

RealityEdit

Soap OperasEdit

Talk ShowsEdit

  • The John Berks Show

MiscellaneousEdit

  • Open Time (1987-2007)

GlobalEdit

AnimationEdit

AnthologyEdit

Children'sEdit

Disney showsEdit
Cartoon Network showsEdit
Nickelodeon showsEdit
Arabic animationEdit
European animationEdit
Russian animationEdit
Brazilian animationEdit
Japanese animeEdit
Korean animeEdit
Chinese animeEdit
Taiwanese animeEdit
European children's showsEdit
Other children's showsEdit
  • The Adventures of a Mouse
  • The Adventures of Buzzy Bee and Friends
  • The Adventures of Eric
  • All for One
  • The Amazing Children
  • Audubon's Animal Adventures
  • Basket Fever
  • Billabong Tales
  • The Boy from Andromeda
  • Bugs Bunny and Friends
  • Bush Beat
  • Bush School
  • Capertown Cops
  • Children of Liberty
  • Children's Island
  • Chinawings
  • Christopher Crocodile
  • Coconuts
  • The Croc-Note Show
  • Cupido
  • Eddy and the Bear
  • Enchanted Tales
  • The Fantastic Adventures of the Ugly Duckling
  • Farzzle's World
  • The Fire-Raiser
  • Frances
  • Frootie Tooties
  • Funky Valley
  • Groot Dog
  • Honk Toot and Swo-Swoosh
  • Hot Shots
  • The Human Race Club
  • Inuk
  • The Island of Inis Cool
  • Just for the Record
  • Just Like Dad
  • Kingdom Adventure
  • Lenzenmer & Kids Another Way Block Rock
  • Little Annie Ladybird
  • Mac and Muttley
  • Madison's Adventures: Growing Up Wild
  • Merlin the Magical Puppy
  • Milo's Bug Quest
  • Mirthworms on Stage
  • The Nimbols
  • Old MacDonald's Sing-A-Long Farm
  • Panshel's World
  • P.C. Pinkerton
  • Piggeldy and Frederick
  • Polterguests
  • The Real Story of...
  • Ric the Raven
  • Rotto-Botto
  • Say It with Noddy
  • Scream Xtreme
  • The Scheme of Things
  • The Secret of Bear Mountain
  • The Secret Series
  • The Secret World of Polly Flint
  • The Shelly T. Turtle Show
  • Slim Pig
  • Spark Park
  • Steel Riders
  • The Story Store
  • Strangers
  • Sunkist Kids
  • Take Off
  • Teddy Drop Ear
  • The Telecat Show
  • Tell Me Why
  • Tic Tac Toons
  • Timberwood Tales
  • The Torch
  • The Twins
  • We All Have Tales
  • Westward Ho!
  • Wide World of Kids
  • Wildside
  • Wimpy Kids
  • You Can Read
  • Youthe Quake
  • Zoey
  • Zoo Life with Jack Hanna

ComedyEdit

CookingEdit

DocumentariesEdit

DramasEdit

Brazilian DramasEdit
European DramasEdit

EducationEdit

Game ShowsEdit

MagicEdit

MusicEdit

  • The New Generation

News and Current AffairsEdit

RealityEdit

Sci-FiEdit

SitcomsEdit

Soap OperasEdit

Talk ShowsEdit

WesternEdit

Locally produced programmingEdit

PresentEdit

Show Airs on
53 Extra Africa Magic
Africa's Next Top Model Africa Magic
Binnelanders kykNET
Bravo! kykNET
Carte Blanche M-Net
Cula Sibone Mzansi Magic
Dagbreek kykNET
Date My Family Mzansi Magic
Doubt Mzansi Magic
Dream School SA M-Net
Greed & Desire Mzansi Magic
Gospel Alive Mzansi Magic
Igazi Mzansi Magic
IsiBaya Mzansi Magic and Mzansi Wethu
Isithembiso Mzansi Magic
Jara Africa Magic
JukeBox kykNET
Ka-Ching Mzansi Magic
Lokshin Bioskop Mzansi Magic
Mashariki Mix Africa Magic
Our Perfect Wedding Mzansi Magic
Sifun'ukwazi Mzansi Magic
StarGist Africa Magic
The Queen Mzansi Magic
Tinsel Africa Magic
V Entertainment Vuzu
Villa Rosa kykNET
Zabalaza Mzansi Magic
Wang Verstana Mzansi Magic

PastEdit

Show Airs on
Egoli M-Net from 1993 to 2010
The Wild M-Net from 2011 to 2013

Awards and live showsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "History - M-Net Corporate". M-Net Corporate. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  2. ^ Mass Media, Towards the Millennium: The South African Handbook of Mass Communication, Arrie De Beer, J.L. van Schaik, 1998, page 220
  3. ^ a b c d e "How pay-TV in SA was started". financialmail.co.za. Retrieved 6 August 2008.
  4. ^ Green, David Robert (1989). M-Net Decoder Production, A Technical Analysis (Thesis). Cape Technikon.
  5. ^ Communication and Democratic Reform in South Africa, Robert B. Horwitz, Cambridge University Press, 2001, page 125
  6. ^ "Kinder-TV 'n groot hupstoot vir M-Net (Afrikaans)". beeld.com. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
  7. ^ "Die tyd is ryp vir M-Net-Nuus (Afrikaans)". beeld.com. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
  8. ^ "M-Net slaan slag met rugby op TV (Afrikaans)". beeld.com. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
  9. ^ "Mnet movies".
  10. ^ "M-Net Edge and VUZU AMP coming to DStv". channel24. 11 September 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  11. ^ "DStv launching kykNET music channel". channel24. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  12. ^ "GoesHD". Archived from the original on 23 July 2014.
  13. ^ "TalkTalk launches World TV Boosts". 5 August 2013. Archived from the original on 15 February 2016.
  14. ^ "TalkTalk to reduce international channel offering on YouView". a516digital.com. 25 November 2015.
  15. ^ kykNET goes global with ShowMax, Independent Online, 10 December 2015
  16. ^ MultiChoice and M-Net launch first African telenovela channel for dstv customers

External linksEdit