Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Evaluating M3 [M3 Television]

I applauded Bell Media's decision to refresh MuchMore since that network was a mess. If there was ever a Canadian poster boy for how bad canadian music networks have become, it's gotta be MuchMore. On first glance, it's supposed to be the older version of Much for adult music fans. Then came the teen dramas; it was bad enough they ruined Much, now they gotta take over this network? Oh, but don't forget the reality shows. It started out with VH1 fare, which at least fit with the theme. But then came Mama Drama, Beverly Hills Pawn and apparently Shipping Wars. ...What. The. Fox?

With the rebrand to M3, I was hoping that they would target a more focused demographic. Marketed as a superstation, I was expecting for M3 to incorporate it's music coverage alongslide a fresh slate of relevant programming. For a while it did just that but now, I'm not so sure. Right now, it looks like Bell Media turned MuchMore from a crappy music network, to a cable version of CTV...and it's not off to a good start.

On the music front, M3 is practically playing from the same playlist as Much. At one point, I actually saw Much and M3 play the same video (Happy, Pharrell Williams) at the same time! The M3 Countdown doesn't look good either, it's literally the same videos that are on the Much Countdown. Maybe the actual show, which apparently was revamped, isn't just clone of Much's but I wouldn't know. I hate to admit it but, when it comes to music, MuchMore was...a little better. *gags* At least we still have AUX.

Then you have the actual shows. We now have a slate of teen dramas, mixed in with a handful of sitcoms and reality shows. Great start, but now M3 is resorting to recycling shows from Bell Media's other networks to fill air time. Did we REALLY need to add The Mentalist and Parks and Recreation to the lineup when they already air on Bravo and Comedy? Let's not forget the "leftovers" from MuchMore; Supernatural needs to go back to Space where it belongs, and Gilmore Girls can rot on MTV2 for all I care.

Normally, there would be ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with just using music videos to fill airtime. But if The Mentalist, Parks, Supernatural, and Gilmore bail, M3 will playing an extra four hours of pop music! No classic rock, no adult-contemporary, and no retro hits. Just the same crap you've already heard on the radio. The only time when you'll ever hear different music is during special events. The goal is to "meet the needs of it's audience", but I sense M3 has a severe lack of focus.

Being the only smart person on the internet, I gave the "MuchComedy" networks (Still think Much MTV Comedy Networks is a stupid name) the benefit of the doubt while everyone else ragged on Bell Media. Still, I can't ignore the trouble and controversy their restructuring caused, especially after the Astral Media purchase. I still think M3 has potential, but I also still believe MTV2 should have also rebranded and taken the teen dramas...and the pop music.

As long as Much doesn't go back to that dark age, M3 can start showing professional wrestling for all I care. But they killed one of the only music networks for adults, now they have a responsibility to provide a better service for it's customers. If Bell Media screws up, there will be consequences.

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