M-Net celebrates 25th birthday

Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 30-10-2011

Pan African pay-TV broadcaster M-Net has been celebrating 25 years of operation in its home country of South Africa, hosting the newly appointed Minister of Communications Dina Pule among other dignitaries, sportsmen and celebrities.
"TV is such a big part of our lives that we'd shrivel away if we didn't have it anymore," Nolo Letele, chairman of M-Net's subscriber management division MultiChoice South Africa, told the guests at a black tie event in Johannesburg on 26 October.
"TV makes us laugh, it makes us cry, it makes us shout out loud...it's our lifeblood. M-Net has always been synonymous with magic and I can say that the magic is getting stronger," Letele was quoted as saying by Screen Africa.
Letele talked about M-Net's inauguration with just one analogue channel in 1986, and how it had grown to become a broadcaster of 30 channels across 48 channels in Africa. "M-Net spawned SuperSport, which today has 14 channel, as well as the DStv platform," he said.
The most recent addition to M-Net's stable, Mzansi Magic - a year old channel which is dedicated to local content - was also highlighted.
Cricketer Makhaya Ntini and rugby player Victor Matfield rubbed shoulders with Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau, and winner of the first Survivor South Africa , Vanessa Marawa; while studio executives from NBC Universal, HBO, Disney, Warner and Paramount, Fremantle and ITV were also among the 300 guests at the broadcaster's Randburg headquarters.
"It's hard to imagine that 25 years ago a business that was only the second of its kind in the world was born. Tonight we pay tribute to Koos Bekker and his colleagues for founding such a successful venture," Imtiaz Patel, CEO of the MultiChoice Group South Africa is quoted as saying by Screen Africa.
"MultiChoice now employs 5,000 people and has one of the broadest black economic empowerment (BEE) bases of any company in South Africa."