According to TAMS (which measures TV audiences), kykNET can pride itself on an audience numbering 1.8 viewers and it's one of the top three of DStv's 80 satellite channels. kykNET has been able to maintain this strong position in the DStv bouquet thanks to strong advertising support, which speaks volumes about marketers' awareness of and regard for the buying power of the Afrikaans target market.
"As we depend on the creative sector of the industry, it's important for us to be involved with Pendoring in the sense that we want to encourage agencies to create advertisements in Afrikaans and not to simply translate ads from English. In this way the message will carry a far greater punch among our viewers," says Karen Meiring, head if Afrikaans channels at M-Net.
But it goes beyond Afrikaans advertising; it also involves the creation and production of outstanding Afrikaans viewing material and programs. "We basically depend on ourselves to create all our content; we cannot, like many other channels, buy our programs in the States."
According to Meiring, kykNET is inundated with complaints from viewers regarding English ads on the channel. "We would like advertisers to be aware of this. At the same time people must also realise that English as the business language in the country is a given and that we cannot isolate Afrikaans completely: we must always see ourselves in light of the bigger picture.
"But as our viewers appreciate communication with them in Afrikaans, advertisers and marketers should go to the trouble of at least dubbing their advertisements. It's cost effective and a far more effective way of communicating with our viewers. That's why we're doing everything in our power, with inter alia our support for Pendoring, to make marketers realise the importance of Afrikaans advertising - something that will also benefit them financially."
Meiring reckons kykNET is doing everything in its power to increase its market penetration and to make the channel more accessible. "We're in constant touch with MultiChoice to improve accessibility, and kykNET has now also been included in the more affordable Select 2 package of a mere R148 a month. The Afrikaanse news is also a lovely new experiment for us, which has lifted the channel's profile from being an entertainment channel to a full-spectrum channel."
With its 11th anniversary around the corner, kykNET is entering its teens full of plans and expectations. "There are many dynamic things in the pipeline at kykNET. We're very enthusiastic and optimistic about where we're heading with regard to kykNET's content and programming. To now be able to say that we're a full-spectrum channel is a big bonus."
Meiring says kykNET is also a favourite TV channel among ex-pats, who have access to the channel's programmes through the Kudu Club on the Internet. kykNET's news bulletins are also the only Afrikaans ones broadcast in Namibia, and the strategy surrounding this service is currently being refined.
Meiring reckons the Afrikaans music channel, MK's sponsorship of Pendoring's late-night joll is most apt. "In the case of MK as well, it's important to speak to your target market in Afrikaans, and through this channel's involvement with the after-party, this message comes through loud and clear."
MK easily holds its own among the music channels, thanks to the high and exceptional production quality of the music videos.
"With kykNET's Pendoring sponsorship, we once again want to emphasise that it's extremely important that the creative industry should also think and create in Afrikaans. Afrikaans speakers are by nature a specific group with a specific mindset and distinct needs," says Meiring.
Pendoring general manager, Franette Klerck, says kykNET's continued support of Pendoring is worth its weight in gold. "In the area of outstanding Afrikaans entertainment and now news as well, kykNET is a leading light attracting viewers across language and cultural divides. This proves that Afrikaans is still standing strong as a user and advertising language and that it still has a right to exist."