Wednesday, October 28, 2015

MultiChoice adds VIA from Media24 to DStv as a new Afrikaans lifestyle and entertainment channel focused on women and their families.

DStv is adding a new lifestyle and entertainment TV channel called VIA from Media24 that will broadcast in Afrikaans and be geared towards women and their families.

VIA will launch on 9 November at 16:00 on channel 147 on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform as the 5th Afrikaans TV channel in South Africa.

VIA launches with 22 new locally produced shows ranging from food and diets to covering relationships, style and a sprinkling of reality programming.

The channel will broadcast a three hour premiere block of new episodes every weekday between 16:00 and 19:00 which will loop and repeat during the rest of the week and over weekends.

VIA, with channel head Cheryl Uys-Allie, will be available to DStv Premium, DStv Extra, DStv Compact and DStv Family subscribers in South Africa and Namibia.

Via hails from Media24 - unlike ASTV available on the StarSat and Platco Digital's OpenView HD platforms and the M-Net Afrikaans channels like kykNET, kykNET Nou and kykNET & Kie supplied to MultiChoice for its DStv platform.

Media24 will use both its print magazines and Afrikaans newspapers to market and cross-promote VIA, as well as leverage some of its existing titles to introduce new local TV content, for instance using established brands and editorial talent at magazines like Huisgenoot and Sarie as new on-air extensions and to present and appear in certain shows.

In South Africa VIA as a new Afrikaans channel will compete with the likes of existing channels like BBC Lifestyle, TLC Entertainment and Fine Living in the lifestyle entertainment and reality genre.

VIA will also likely further chip away at the eroding audience share of the SABC's Afrikaans viewers. While the public broadcaster is producing little in fresh Afrikaans content to cater to this market segment, Media24 has made a big investment in producing several brand-news shows aiming to attract female Afrikaans viewers and their families.

VIA's creation has been a boon for South African production companies and Afrikaans TV programming. Both established production houses ranging from Quizzical Pictures to newer ones like Afrokaans have been commissioned to make shows in Johannesburg and Cape Town for VIA ranging from reality competition and style shows to food, diet and lifestyle programming.

"They have worked under enormous pressure to deliver fresh, local content in a remarkably short time," says Cheryl Uys-Allie.

"VIA's content strategy is to delight and entertain our audiences with shows that resonate with their lives," says Pat van Heeden, VIA's head of content. "We offer a glimpse of the lifestyles of others, we see the remarkable characters in our midst and we celebrate the quirkiness in the ordinary."

"We are extremely excited to launch VIA and proud that we can treat our Afrikaans audiences to a brand-new Afrikaans channel," says Esmaré Weideman, Media24 CEO.

"We are delighted to include TV as another platform where we can serve our audiences working closely with our magazines, newspapers and digital platforms".

VIA shows at launch include Zavion, a reality show following the Survivor SA contestant Zavion Kotze, juggling his job as events coordinator organising weddings with decathlons.

In Kom Ons Braai three couples huddle around the coals to see who can outdo the other, while three brave women tackle three diets over a period of 30 days in the hopeof fitting into their swimsuits before summer in Die Eet Oorlog.

My Droom-trourok gives brides a chance of taking home a designer wedding dress but only if her guests agree on the winning gown.

In Stylstryd two contestants with dreams of seeing their decor talents in TUIS magazine will duel it out. With a decor blogger alongside them, they will decorate an empty room according to a set challenge.

Inspirasiekos met Sarie sees the women's magazine's food editor Herman Lensing looking for the best ingredients, while Carmen Niehaus, the Huisgenoot food editor choose the best one out of three aspiring chefs who get their recipe featured in the magazine in Jy het 'n Wenresep!.

Rapport newspaper journalist Hanlie Retief has a profile interview show, 'n Halfuur met Hanlie in which she introduces viewers to people who interest and inspire her.

Amore Vittone is the referee in Skoonma se Tong in which the age-old unease between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law is on the table. The man they share is blindfolded and tastes both their dishes - and must choose his favourite.

In Nikki Sê Nee, Nikki Roos, the mother of four who knows how to make the most of her rands and cents, shares her tips to help viewers save money and time.

Other VIA shows at launch include Familiefoto, Kersie op die Koek, Mooi van Binne, Maak My Nuut, Brood & Botter, Deur Dik & Dun, Vrydag 4 uur, Ken Jy My?, Ruil My Styl, Hartskos, Padkos and Die Kliek.