M-Net put up a press release on their site informing their viewers that they regret to inform them that after much deliberation, a business decision was taken to make changes to the Maisha Magic channels in East Africa. The release reads:
“Following an in-depth assessment of each of the channels viability was concluded, including a review of the rankings and popularity of the channels a decision was taken to close Maisha Magic and refocus on the Maisha Magic Swahili channel. Thus, the Maisha Magic channel will close at end of March 2015.”
The reasons M-Net has given for the discontinuation of the Maisha Magic channel include ratings that are not consistent enough to sustain the business and continued investment.
“M-Net remains firmly committed to the Kenyan market and will ensure that it continues to support film makers by showcasing their talent on other M-Net channels. The film and television industry in Kenya will continue to be supported by M-Net’s investment in channels made in Africa for Africa, thus ensuring that we assist Kenya in playing a role in the growth and future of African television and film on the continent.”
The launch of the Maisha Magic channels was laced with the promise of a bigger platform to showcase East African content. It is rather disappointing that they have not lived up to this expectation. It is also rather perplexing that the channel is being closed after only 4 months of operation. Is that enough time to get a good read on the success of anything?
One of the issues I had with the Maisha Magic channel was that it was being offered on the premium bouquet. For a channel that was to showcase local content, that was strange. The channel would perhaps have fared better if it it were on the GoTv platform. Also, the timing is a bit off. Isn’t this the best time to invest in more content showcase platforms with the advent of digital migration?
It is a sad day for Kenyan content creators. I hope those who were working at the channel don’t lose their jobs and those who had content showing on the channel don’t make losses. An even bigger hope is that this will be the exception and not the norm. We need more broadcasters to invest in content showcasing platforms.