African’s ever-growing music TV landscape is shifting. M-Net, the parent company of the ever-popular Channel O, recently announced that the channel would shut down its transmission of Channel O Africa at the end of March 2015. The move - done to promote more regionalised music content - has raised questions about the future of the Channel O Africa Music Video Awards (AMVA).
In a statement, M-Net said that it would instead focus on providing regional music channels for each of its African territories. The company revealed that Channel O Africa would hand over to Africa Magic, who are taking over as “the new home of local music in the rest of Africa”.
"The decision to review the Africa feed of Channel O has certainly not been an easy one,” read M-Net’s statement. “However, the termination of the channel in the rest of Africa will also enable M-Net to refocus investment efforts in local dramas and series productions where the market is growing.”
“As M-Net continues to evolve, the decision was made to refocus its strategy to achieve a more efficient and streamlined approach that will enhance our subscribers’ television experience by providing them with regionalised music content.
“One of the results of this new approach was the termination of the rest of Africa feed of Channel O, effective on Tuesday 31 March 2015, to allow M-Net to create customised music content according to regional preferences on its existing Africa Magic brands where the rest of Africa’s music talent will get ample space to shine.”
On 31 March, the channel stopped airing on DStv channel 320 and GOtv channel 70 (where available). Since 1 April, subscribers have been able to tune into Africa Magic World (DStv channel 155 and GOtv channel 10) to keep abreast of the best in African music talent, particularly in West Africa. The channel will get viewers into party-mode with an hour-long daily music show which will showcase the latest music videos made in Africa. Maisha Magic Swahili (on DStv channel 158 and GOtv channel 4) will continue to support the East Africa’s musicians by promoting their music videos on various music shows.
Sadly, it seems that the future of the Channel O Africa Music Video Awards (AMVA) now hangs in the balance. However, MultiChoice's PR and content manager, Mokgadi Seabi, told Zalebs that the awards might still continue, as putting together such a large annual ceremony relies on sponsors coming on board. "If we can secure enough funding, then there is no reason why the Channel O AMVAs shouldn’t continue," she explained.