M-Net: from South Africa to CEE
2012.07.13 | M-Net, a South African media company, is the the top distributor from the continent with series, documentaries, films and formats available for licence. It attended Natpe Budapest for the first time with very positive results, according to Mandy Roger, Head of Sales, Acquisitions & Business Development.
Belonging to Naspers (considered the 7th highest revenue generating media company worldwide), M-Net operates more than 20 channels, some of them local, others pan-African, and have recently launched the VOD platform African Film Library with some of the World’s best African films.
Roger is in charge of acquiring African Content for the African Film Library and Africa Magic channels. ‘we currently have around 800 African Films, 400 Nollywood titles (the 2nd largest export genre in the world after Nollywood) and 12,000 hours of M-Net commissioned content. Africa has produced some of the most beautiful unseen films in the last few years that deserve to be seen worldwide’, she explained to Prensario.
In the international field, the distributor is pretty new, but it has a large catalogue, where the crime and drama series are the most sought after. The main markets where the company is doing businesses are in the UK, US and Africa. ‘We have had amazing feedback for the daily drama The Wild (416x’24) and Jacob’s Cross (104x’48), as well as Snitch (44x’48), a modern-day Romeo and Juliet Crime Drama story with suspense and humour’.
M-Net is also pushing telenovelas, cooking shows, documentaries and docu-dramas, entertainment shows, kids programming and formats. During Natpe Budapest, M-Net presented seven new own developed formats, like Pop Part, Duet Date and Way of the Warrior, among others.
Roger is also in charge of this area. She explains: ‘We are developing many new shows as we are producing high quality shows that appeal to an International audience more and more. On the format side, we have produced shows that are easy to make, cheap, fun and uplifting where the participants, members of the audience and public can really get involved’.
‘The market is still becoming familiar with African content, the general reaction we receive is one of surprise at the high quality production, great narrative stories, international appeal and competitive pricing compared to other distributors. What is sure is that African production is different from anything else which contributes to its appeal’, remarks Roger.
‘Actually, we have seen in Budapest that the CEE buyers are looking for new, fresh programming instead of the traditional content. They have requested more true to life content, something real, raw and touching because of the current difficult economic climate and we have a lot of this type of content’, she completes.