Let’s break it down for you – 9 takeaways from the launch of 4 new AfricaMagic channels

by Hauwa Gambo

The new logo

So today, Mnet officially launched new AfricaMagic channels – including AfricaMagic Entertainment, AfricaMagic Family, AfricaMagic World and AfricaMagic Movies.

The major AfricaMagic channel will be a multi-programme, able to compete on content as Mnet – and African shows such as Big Brother, Jacob’s Cross, Changes, Tinsel and Studio 53 Extra are moving to the new Africa Magic branded channel.

Already, I’m loving the sexy new branding – with logos and endorsements and adverts – and the I Am Africa campaign is already creating buzz. What does it mean for the viewer? Trust us, we’ve broken it down for ya!

Mo’ money

If you watch enough of DSTV channels, you know several of them are unable to make money from advertising because of the nature of the programming, save for perhaps Mnet, AfricaMagic, Channel O. It is difficult for a brand to advertise on a documentary channel when he doesn’t know who’s watching what at what time. It’s the same with AfricaMagic as a movie channel – it makes it difficult for brands to make ad spends with specificity. With it assuming the trappings of a multi-programme channel like Mnet, sponsors are able to get spots at specific times. That’s more money for Mnet.

Magic now makes sense

Have you ever been confused by MagicWorld? Is it a movie channel? Is it a Nigerian channel? Is it a music channel? Well now, that confusion is gone. Magic World as AfricaMagic World now has streamlined focus as a movie channel, and is able to attract and retain more fans and a dedicated audience.

Hey, I watch AfricaMagic

Right now, it is difficult to see many people who proudly say they have their DSTVs set on Africa Magic, now it’s easier. With Tinsel, Studio 53, Big Brother and the cool set now on Africa Magic, see the brand equity increase dramatically in the coming months. It’s all about property – and added to the cool new logos and stuff – check out the new cool kids!

Mnet can stay true to its vision

Sometimes it came across as awkward, as if DSTV was sacrificing the true vision of Mnet in order to avoid the accusation of not being ‘African enough’. There was the constant feeling some shows had been force-fed to the channel. (Hello, Moments with Mo!) Well, now it can be what it always wanted to be – an international channel showing us the choice foreign (read American) shows we want to see. Hopefully, this deepens the quality. Now, you don’t wonder why some shows are on AfricaMagic and others on Mnet. Local (albeit international-standard) content goes one way, international content the other.

Jara vs 53

Uti Nwachukwu

There are some who do not understand in any way why it seems Studio 53 Xtra is treated more specially than Jara – since the latter is an eminently better show. Granted, Uti Nwachukwu isn’t the best male presenter you could find even if your sole purpose is to annoy us, but together with Helen Paul, they give a good show – or at least a better show than Eku Edewor does. Now, 53 Xtra doesn’t have Mnet to boost its profile anymore – everyone’s on a level playing field. Competition is a beautiful thing. Let the games begin!

More options, more movies

It’s always been a little bit annoying that nothing interrupts all the foreign movie channels – it’s all movies, all day – but Africa Magic has been interrupted by game shows, reality television and the rest. Now, not only do you now have movies segmented into family etc, you now also have channels solely focused on movies the same way the MovieMagic channels are. So you know if all you want to do all day is see the face of Clem Ohameze or Chiege Alisigwe, you now have it.

Africa Awakes will wake up

This breakfast show has suffered from poor quality all round – production values, presenters, guests, set, thought and everything else. It’s always seemed like the ugly sister in the entire Mnet family even though as a magazine show it has such immense possibilities. It’s taken for granted now that if it will be on the same channel as Jara and 53 Xtra, then it has to step it. It will be interesting to witness the transformation.

A-game for A-magic

Africa Awakes probably has been the flagship of the general disconnection with quality that has afflicted Africa Magic, but it is not the only one. Everything about that station reeks of standard disrepair up unto those tacky “Ego means money in Igbo” translation ads. For some reason, Africa Magic seemed to have decided that everything on the station must descend to the standards of the movies they show. Now, it’s all guns blazing, and the viewer is the better for it.

Competition has work to do

Is there any place where this sounded like promotion for DSTV? Well, promotion as against whom? There’s no competition, yet these guys keep innovating and improving, getting better as against the last time. Their payment systems, quality under poor weather and other matters are still problematic, but on the matter of content, it’s all good stuff. Something we couldn’t say for their last real competition.

Just one problem: why are South Africa and Lesotho exempted from this Africa Magic re-construction?

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