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For other uses, see Mnet (disambiguation).
Launched 1986
Owned by Naspers
Picture format 576i (SDTV, 4:3) - Terrestrial, 576i (SDTV, 16:9) - DStv, 1080i (HDTV, 16:9) - DStv
Slogan Where's magic lives (M-Net) & It's magic (M-Net Movies & M-Net Series)
Country South Africa
Language English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Setswana, Xhosa, Sesotho, Venda
Broadcast area South Africa, Africa
Headquarters Johannesburg
Website http://www.mnet.co.za
Sentech Channel depends on nearest Sentech repeater
DSTV Channel 101

M-Net (originally an abbreviation for Electronic Media Network) is a subscription-funded television channel in South Africa, established in 1986 by Naspers.

The channel offers a mix of general entertainment, children's programmes, sports and movies, most of which are acquired from overseas but some are also locally produced. 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. In the early 1990s, M-Net added a second analog channel called Community Services Network (CSN), 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 terrestrial channel.

M-Net launched its subscription based Web TV service in August 2005 under the name KuduClub. The service operated in unison with the premiere of the Idols South Africa 3 series. The service hosts all of its channels described above, excluding DStv, plus exclusive content.


The Early Years (1986-1989)[edit]

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).[1] 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.[1] 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.)[1]

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. 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.[1] However, it pushed forward and eventually, the public started taking notice. After two years, the loss was turned into a R20-million profit.[1] 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 cutting edge and fearless 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 first dedicated sports channel.

Becoming a hit (1990-1996)[edit]

1990 was the first year that they made a profit[2] 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."[3]) 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 unique 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.[4] It was a major breakthrough for the channel as well as SuperSport, which had by now expanded to channels on DStv, Multichoice's satellite TV service.

Premium Channels[edit]

Premium General Entertainment Channels are

M-Net's high definition logo which only appears as a channel ident


Premium general entertainment channels featuring premiere movies, as well as first-run TV series, music specials and documentaries. Includes M-Net Satellite, M-Net Terrestrial, M-Net HD, M-Net Africa East, M-Net Africa West, M-Net Africa East HD and M-Net Africa West HD.

Generic logo for M-Net Movies, introduced in October 2012

M-Net Movies:[edit]

Includes M-Net Movies Premiere HD, M-Net Movies Premiere Africa HD, M-Net Movies Showcase HD, M-Net Movies Showcase Africa HD, M-Net Movies Comedy HD, M-Net Movies Comedy Africa HD, M-Net Movies Drama & Romance HD, M-Net Movies Drama & Romance Africa HD, M-Net Movies Stars, M-Net Movies Action, M-Net Movies Action Africa, M-Net Movies Action+ HD, M-Net Movies Action+ Africa HD and M-Net Movies Zone.

M-Net Series:[edit]

Premium series channels. Includes M-Net Series Showcase HD, M-Net Series Reality and M-Net Series Zone. For M-Net Series Showcase HD and M-Net Series Reality end the Broadcast in October 2014. Two new Channel launched in October 2014.

Other Channels[edit]


Premium Afrikaans language general entertainment channels with series, information programs and music. Includes KykNet, KykNet & Kie and KykNet Musiek. See KykNet


Premium general entertainment channel featuring premiere and classic series with a strong focus on Southern African youth. See Vuzu

Mzansi Magic:[edit]

General entertainment channel featuring original Southern African series, movies, music, documentaries and reality shows. Includes Mzansi Magic, Mzansi Magic Music, Mzansi Wethu and Mzansi Bioscope.

Magic World:[edit]

General entertainment channel featuring African,2nd grade international content and reruns of popular shows.

Africa Magic:[edit]

General entertainment channel for Africans by Africans. Includes Africa Magic, Africa Magic Entertainment, Africa Magic Entertainment Africa, Africa Magic Movies, Africa Magic Movies 1, Africa Magic World, Africa Magic Hausa, Africa Magic Yoruba, Africa Magic Swahili.

Channel O:[edit]

Music channel with a strong focus on urban music genres. Includes Channel O and Channel O Africa. See Channel O

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

Popular Current Shows[edit]

  • All Access Mzansi - airs on Mzansi Magic. (Original Production - Various Languages)
  • Binneland - airs on M-Net and KykNet. (Original Production - Afrikaans with English subtitles)
  • Bravo - airs on KykNet. (Original Production - Afrikaans)
  • Cula Sibone - air on Mzansi Magic. (Original Production - Various Languages)
  • Dagbreek - airs on KykNet. (Original Production - Afrikaans)
  • Gospel Alive - airs on Mzansi Magic. (Original Production - Various Languages)
  • Jara - airs on Africa Magic. (Original Production - English)
  • JukeBox - airs on KykNet. (Original Production - Afrikaans)
  • Ka-Ching - airs on Mzansi Magic. (Original Production - Various Languages)
  • Lokshin Bioscope - airs on Mzansi Magic. (Original Production - Various Languages)
  • Mashariki Mix - airs on Africa Magic. (Original Production - English and Swahili)
  • Sifun'ukwazi - airs on Mzansi magic. (Original Production - Various Languages)
  • StarGist - airs on Africa Magic. (Original Production - English)
  • Tinsel - airs on Africa Magic. (Original Production - English)
  • VillaRosa - airs on KykNet. (Original Production - Afrikaans)
  • Wang Verstana - airs on Mzansi Magic. (Original Production - Various Languages)
  • Zabalaza - airs on Mzansi Magic. (Original Production - Various Languages)

Awards & Live Shows[edit]

Other Projects[edit]


  • In 2012 changed the Design for M-Net Movies & M-Net Series
  • In 2014 also changed the Design for M-Net Movies

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "How pay-TV in SA was started". financialmail.co.za. Retrieved 6 August 2008. 
  2. ^ "Kinder-TV 'n groot hupstoot vir M-Net (Afrikaans)". beeld.com. Retrieved 6 September 2010. 
  3. ^ "Die tyd is ryp vir M-Net-Nuus (Afrikaans)". beeld.com. Retrieved 6 September 2010. 
  4. ^ "M-Net slaan slag met rugby op TV (Afrikaans)". beeld.com. Retrieved 6 September 2010. 

External links[edit]