Sony Pictures Television and MultiChoice launch new channel, Sony Max


On 25 January 2010, one of the television industry’s leading content providers and distributors - Sony Pictures Television - and MultiChoice, the number 1 multi-channel digital satellite pay television operator across the African continent, announced the launch of a new channel, Sony Max, available to DStv Compact and Premium subscribers on MultiChoice’s network in Africa.

Sylvain Béletre at Balancing Act interviewed Eddie Nelson, Senior Vice President, EMEA Networks, Sony Pictures Television.

Discussing the new channel, Eddie Nelson said:  "We have had long talks with MultiChoice and we have done extensive market research to put together this new channel.  This 24-hour action and reality channel is aimed mostly at a male audience, providing high quality, compelling programming.”
“Sony will launch on DStv channel 126 on 1 February 2011 at 21:00” mentioned Eddie, with the movie “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”.

Eddie added: “Multichoice will be pushing the channel out to more than 40 African countries” including South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Tanzania. Balancing Act’s recent “African pay TV” report counted 5 million pay TV subscribers across Africa, and MultiChoice has the most of them. It has grown its business across South Africa alone to over 3.2 million subscribers.  

The new channel will focus on action-oriented movies, game shows, series and reality programmes. Hit films on the cards for the next few months run the gamut from comedy and martial arts to horror and adventure, and include Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Zoolander, Jackass, Shaolin Temple, Congo and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Sony Max’s menu will also include Mexican professional wrestling (known as Lucha Libre) in CMLL Presents: Arena Mexico as well as the fast-growing sport of mixed martial arts in TKO Major League MMA.

In addition, aficionados of quality television series can look forward to the South African premiere of the quirky Canadian comedy Call Me Fitz, starring Jason Priestley as a charismatic but slightly bent used-car salesman. Another choice addition to the schedule is the gritty police drama The Shield, which has won both Emmy and Golden Globe awards for lead actor Michael Chiklis.

A number of cult Japanese game shows and sports reality contests such as Unbeatable Banzuke, Ninja Warrior and Takeshi’s Castle also make a welcome return to our screens on Sony Max in February. Also look out for the futuristic-styled reality show Solitary, in which contestants have to test their physical and mental endurance while in solitary confinement.

Aletta Alberts, MultiChoice General Manager of Content, says: “We are excited about the launch of another Sony-branded channel on the DStv platform. Sony Max will provide more adrenaline-filled, action programming which our viewers love; with the welcome return of several viewer favourites such as Ninja Warriors and Takeshi’s Castle.”