Media24 has unveiled its first television offering, the very first Afrikaans lifestyle channel on DStv.
Even though the channel, called Via., is only officially being introduced next week on Monday (9 November), Media24 in collaboration with DStv held a glittering launch event at MultiChoice City. Hosted by comedian Schalk Bezuidenhout, who also hosts one of the shows on Via., the event served as a platform to thank those who have been involved in the creation of the channel as well as a teaser of what viewers can expect.
Izelle Venter, head of editorial solutions at Media24, says the inspiration for the channel came from similar offerings such as BBC lifestyle, and that it has taken a year for the creation of content and the full conceptualisation of Via. Venter says the underlying principles of the new channel are, “emotional, visual storytelling with a lot of the content coming from peer advice”. The channel wants viewers to be able to relate to the people and topics on offer and Venter says that one of the best things about Afrikaans is that it is easy to make content local. “Lifestyle is an escape even though it is about real people, real characters with real stories. We went with people that had heart and soul and that’s what we want reflected on the channel,” she explains.
Content on the channel will fit into three pillars: food and diets, relationships and weddings, and style and makeovers. Some examples of shows included in the preview screened include Deur Dik & Dun, Padkos, Kersie op die Koek, Mooi van Binne, and My Droom Trourok. A game show where couples test whether they really know each other, called Ken Jy My? is also ready to run. Amor Vittone also hosts a cooking show which pits the cooking of mothers in law versus their daughters. Media24 CEO Esmare Weideman explains that there will be a mix of recognisable faces and new presenters on Via. and she predicts that, “many more stars will be born because of the channel”.
Aletta Alberts, head of content at MultiChoice, says lifestyle as a genre “has changed the face of TV across the world. It has become main stream. Channels base their big ratings on lifestyle shows. So it’s about time an Afrikaans version was launched”. Weideman adds that, “The channel should have happened earlier as there is such a big Afrikaans market. The main target audience of Via is young, funky Afrikaans women and their families”.
The channel ties in with Media24’s other Afrikaans offerings like Die Burger, Beeld, Volksblad and Rapport as well as the digital news platform Netwerk24 by offering 360° storytelling. Staff involved in these offerings will also become involved with Via and a strong digital strategy is being implemented to bring the new channel into the digital space. The new slice of life that is offered by Via. is just one part of the bigger puzzle that is Media24.
The 24-hour Afrikaans lifestyle channel Via. can be found from next week Monday onwards on DStv channel 147.
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