Thursday, December 10, 2015

M-Net's kykNET content goes global on-demand on ShowMax; as Naspers' video-on-demand service expands to Europe, Australasia and North America.

The pay-TV broadcaster M-Net's Afrikaans channels unit kykNET is working with Naspers' video-on-demand service, ShowMax, to now make Afrikaans content available in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North America and Canada.

ShowMax declined to comment when it was specifically asked about expansion plans outside of South Africa's borders at the end of November, but is now releasing a statement exactly two weeks later.

Viewers in Europe, New Zealand, Australia, North America and Canada where a lot of Afrikaans speaking expats now live, can now watch kykNET programming on ShowMax with around 13 000 episodes of TV shows and movies - almost 6 000 hours - of Afrikaans TV content available to them.

ShowMax outside of South Africa, and offering only Afrikaans content for now, cost $8.99 (R134.85) per month. It's the first time that ShowMax is expanding its footprint outside of South Africa since the subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) service from Naspers launched in August.

In the content agreement between ShowMax and M-Net, the latest episodes of kykNET shows like the weekly magazine shows like Kwêla, Robinson Regstreeks, and the weekday soaps Binnelanders and Villa Rosa will be added and available for viewing within 24 hours after it's broadcast on kykNET (DStv 144 on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform in Africa.

"There are vast numbers of Afrikaans speakers who live outside Africa and still want to keep in touch with their culture and language," says Jeanne van Zyl, now the head of kykNET Internasionaal. "kykNET Internasionaal now makes this easy to do using the ShowMax platform".

"TV shows and movies are a great way to keep the Afrikaans link alive and help make sure that young and old alike don't lose contact with their roots. As an example,it's a great way to immerse children in a world that they may not have experienced directly, or are too young to remember."

"Because we're adding content within 24 hours of it airing in South Africa, it also means that being away from home doesn't mean being out of date," says Jeanne van Zyl.

"No matter where South African expatriates end up on the globe, they remain fiercely loyal to, and supportive of, their heritage," says Karen Meiring, the director for M-Net's Afrikaans channels.

"We're thrilled to be able to work with ShowMax to help keep that link alive and deliver the best Afrikaans content, fresh from home, to fans across the globe".