South Africa’s M-Net pay-TV channel is deep in the content sales business, too. We caught up with Mike Dearham, head of Sales and Library at the self-described “multi-channel Pan-African Pay TV content provider,” to find out more.
VAI: What kind of programs does M-Net produce (drama, docs, children’s)?
MD: M-Net produces content across a wide range of genres. Our most popular genres include high-quality drama series, comedy, African documentaries, crime docu-dramas, entertainment and lifestyle shows. Further to this, and albeit on a smaller scale, we also commission programmes that target children and youth
VAI: Is the company open to co-productions?
MD: Our core focus as a business is to satisfy a growing Pan-African Pay TV demand for compelling and entertaining TV content, in this regard, M-Net’s strategic focus is to enhance its ability to effectively acquire, package, promote and broadcast quality TV content across all African based digital delivery systems.
Over the years we have partnered with African based production houses to create world class television content with a distinctly African flavour. In pursuit of the above, we have made significant contribution to the development of employment and training opportunities across the entire television production value chain – these include such disciplines as script development, set design, acting, editing, camera, sound, lighting and other technical skills etc.
VAI: Is M-Net negotiating with US companies (like Viacom for example) to have new channels on their DTT platform?
MD: In our quest to promote and distribute M-Net owned library content to a wider global audience, we are closely examining a number of distribution and delivery models.
VAI: Which countries are your main targets (or clients)?
MD: We are essentially a multi-channel Pan-African Pay TV content-provider, delivering top programming to our subscribers through a variety of platforms.
The M-Net Content Sales Department (a division of M-Net’s Group Content Services), has been established to promote the existence and availability of M-Net’s vast library of African content for worldwide licensing across all delivery platforms.
To this end, we will be attending MIP-TV 2012 to showcase M-Net commissioned content which will include such productions such as The Wild — an exciting half hour drama set in an exotic South African game lodge; Crimes Uncovered — a 13 hour docu-drama expose of some of the most horrific crimes ever committed in South Africa, Cooking With Siba –- a show which profiles a gorgeous African presenter who makes cooking local cuisine look both sexy and appetizing. Last but not least is our ‘jewel in the crown’ – in the form of awarding winning drama series – Jacob’s Cross – a fast-paced African drama series that boast one of the highest ratings in Africa and which has already built a huge international following.