Africa’s pioneering TV channel, M-Net, is about to hit a milestone birthday– the big 3-0! In October 2016, it will be thirty years since the very first M-Net subscribers connected their newly-acquired analogue decoders. This was a major technological breakthrough at the time giving viewers access to a brand new world of entertainment.

While the industry has continued to evolve at lightning speed, M-Net has always been at the forefront of the latest developments.

What started as one South African analogue channel has grown into an array of more than 40 channels (including M-Net Edge, kykNET, Mzansi Magic, VUZU AMP, Channel O and Africa Magic), addressing the viewing needs of diverse audiences on different platforms in almost 50 countries across the African continent. In curating and creating the very best content and channels for DStv customers, M-Net also boasts an impressive and long list of revolutionary moves and “firsts”– from being the first to screen movies without ad breaks to introducing South Africa’s very first soap, bringing local versions of blockbuster reality shows like Big Brother and Idols to our shores, producing ten language-specific TV channels, going HD and adding events-driven pop-up channels as well as services like “Express from the US”.

Now, in the trend-setting and magical fashion that it has become renowned for, M-Net will be celebrating its 30th birthday in a unique way– with a fun-filled comedy pop-up channel.

M-Net’s on-screen birthday bash, the M-Net Movies BlockParty, will run for the entire month of October on channel 109 on DStv Premium, playing everyone’s favourite comedy movie hits, the latest comedy shows and handing the mic over to the world’s best stand-up comedians. The channel will be rolling out the red carpet for comedy greats Seth Rogen, Eddie Murphy, Amy Schumer, Jim Carrey, Leon Schuster, Steve Martin, Austin Powers, Kevin Hart, Trevor Noah, Ellen DeGeneres, Martin Lawrence and many more.

M-Net Movies BlockParty will be screened around the clock for 30 days. Every weeknight there will be seriously funny classic series from 19:30, side-splitting movies at 20:30 and raucous stand-up comedy shows from 22:00.

“M-Net would not have been where it is today without the loyal support of our viewers,” says M-Net’s CEO Yolisa Phahle. “M-Net Movies BlockParty will have something for everyone and provide shows for the whole family to enjoy together.  Comedy is always popular and we would like our viewers to have some fun, so we look forward to celebrating our big birthday with as many people as possible.”

Apart from the M-Net Movies BlockParty pop-up channel, M-Net is also producing an exclusive TV special about the history and evolution of the network, as well as the way in which it has developed the African film and television industry and positively changed the lives of many people. This nostalgic TV special gives viewers the opportunity to hear from M-Net’s biggest stars and will be screened on several of the M-Net channels in early November.

To add to the M-Net 30th birthday celebrations, viewers can also look forward to plenty of fire-cracking new programming on M-Net’s various channels in October.

The new tension-filled reality show Shark Tank South Africa, in which budding entrepreneurs will pitch their ideas for a possible investment to business moguls, will be launching on M-Net 101 on Sunday, 2 October at 18:00. Also look out for the brand new sci-fi series Frequency, which takes time-travelling to a whole new level, starting on Thursday, 6 October at 20:30.

From Friday, 14 October at 21:00, M-Net Edge viewers will have a weekly date with the always hot – and always witty – Sarah Jessica Parker, the star of the much-anticipated new HBO comedy DivorceAnother exciting new series on M-Net Edge is the big-budget sci-fi thriller Westworld, based on the Michael Crichton movie set in a futuristic theme park. The impressive cast includes Sir Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton and the action starts on Monday, 3 October at 21:00.

The kykNET highlights for October include, among a variety of brand new series, the return of Karen Zoid’s popular talk show Die Republiek van Zoid Afrika (Tue, 11 Oct at 20:30) as well as the inimitable Nataniel’s cooking travel show Edik van Nantes (11 Oct at 20:00) and the channel’s firm favourite reality show Boer Soek ‘n Vrou (Thu, 20 Oct at 20:30) with new host Minki van der Westhuizen.

VUZU AMP, on DStv’s channel 103, will be the home of the novel new reality game show PowerPlay Coalition (starting on Sat, 15 Oct at 18:00) in which creatives showcase their best innovative work to expert event promotors.

On Mzansi Magic (channel 161 on DStv) fans can enjoy more compelling episodes of The Queen, Idols, Greed and Desire, Isikizi and Isibaya while the hit coming-of-age drama It’s Complicated, starring Atandwa Kani and Fikile Mthwalo, will be back for a second season on Sunday, 9 October at 21:00.

More details about the M-Net Movies BlockParty channel, the M-Net TV special and highlights on the M-Net family of channels in October and November will be shared in due course. For the latest information, go to www.mnet.tv