M-NET GROWS ITS EAST AFRICAN PORTFOLIO ON DStv

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M-Net said it would create compelling local television content in East Africa. It did.

M-Net said it would launch a dedicated Swahili channel for audiences in East Africa. It did.

M-Net said it would partner with SuperSport to build a studio facility in East Africa. It did.

M-Net said it would produce 56 original films in East Africa in a single year. It did.

Now M-Net has revealed it will launchanew East African focussed TV brand, Maisha Magic, specifically tailored to meet DStv subscriber viewing needs. And on September 1, it will.

The announcementof its latest East African investment was made by M-Net and MultiChoice Kenya and Multichoice Uganda at a press conference this week at the Hilton Hotel in Nairobi. Speaking at the event, M-Net East Africa Regional Director Michael Ndetei confirmed that Maisha Magic would be launched on DStv in just four short weeks.

“M-Net has been building steadily on its investment in the East African market, centralized in Kenya but with outreach across the region. We have recognized that whilst the AfricaMagic brand has come to represent a powerful philosophy about pan-African cohesion, there is definitely great potential for a customized East African television brand.

As such, M-Net put in place a detailed project a few years ago to carefully build its technical, staffing and content capacity so that when Maisha Magic is officially launched, it would be the culmination of all these investments.”

He goes on to say, “We have always believed that East African talent, East African stories are as vital and as compelling as those found anywhere else in Africa. This is a fact proven by the success of East African content at the first two Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards. Now with our studio fully functioning, the AfricaMagic Original Films Project well underway producing made-for-TV titles and our flagship show Mashariki Mix well established, we are ready to launchMaisha Magic,both the channel and the brand.”

The Maisha Magic channel will be screened 24/7 to DStv Premium, Compact Plus and Compact subscribers on channel 161. It will predominantly be made up of East African content, though the channel will also include some international programming that have resonance with East African audiences, such as Latin American telenovelas, dubbed into English.  Ndetei confirms the combination strategy saying, “Our research demonstrated clearly that our audiences want home-grown entertainment, interspersed with very specific kinds of international content, so we’re working on getting that balance right to ensure that this is in fact a channel made in East Africa, for East Africans, to meet East African tastes.”

Programming on the Maisha Magic channel will encompass multiple genres including sitcom, telenovelas, reality, drama and music. Highlights to look out for include comedy shows Mr & Mrs Singh and Mazagazaga and Comedy Club Ugandahosted by Ann Kansiimethe dramas Rush and The Tendo Sisters; the music shows Wakilisha and Beyond the Beat; the Mexican soaps A Love To Remember and Loving You Is All I Wantas well as recent hits such as Konaand Noose of Gold. TheMaisha Magic channel will also be the home for all daily highlight programs from Big Brother Africa 9, plus all the live Sunday eviction shows. 

Further, given that the Maisha Magic channel is East African focussed and will be compiled in East Africa, the major benefit is that its scheduling will be harnessed to maximize the prime-time viewing patterns of its audience, while offering the region’s advertisers a targeted channel opportunity for talking to the market.

In addition to the Maisha Magic channel, the Maisha Magic brand will also be entrenched on September 24th when Africa Magic Swahili officially becomes Maisha Magic Swahili. Simultaneously, the Africa Magic Original Films initiative which produced 56 movies in East Africa recently will transform intoMaisha Magic Original Films initiative under whose banner a massive 60 more films will be produced before the end of this year.

Meanwhile, thanking East African filmmakers and producers for their strong support of

M-Net, Ndetei also expressed his appreciation for their partnership. “Our team is focussed on growing the positive relationships M-Net already enjoys with the film, TV and media community across the region; professionals and visionaries who have and are continuing to collaborate with us to establish this exciting new brand. Together we are emphatically saying that Maisha Magic is here and it is here to stay!”