Nasionale Pers ("National Press") was the original name of a print media company that has since expanded into many areas to become the largest and most varied media company in South Africa today.
Also referred to as Die Nasionale Pers.
The origins: Nasionale Pers
De Nationale Pers
Founded on 12 May 1915 as De Nationale Pers, with the aim of advancing the cause of the Afrikaans language and the Afrikaner people, it initially only published a newspaper, Die Burger, but soon expanded and in 1916 published its first magazine Die Huisgenoot. Dr. D.F. Malan, a former minister in the conservative Dutch Reformed Church and supporter of J.B.M. Hertzog's National Party was persuaded to become editor and thus the paper and the company became a main supporter of both Hertzog, the Nationalist movement and the apartheid cause.
In 1918 the company took a further step towards expansion when it founded its lucrative book publishing operations as Die Burger Boekhandel, which would become the Nasionale Pers Boekhandel (NPB) - also listed over the years as Nasboek, Nasionale Boekhandel, NB Uitgewers, etc.
Nasionale Pers had itself listed on JSE on 12 September 1994 and in 1998 the group's name was formally changed to Naspers.
In January 2000, Naspers merged its existing private education activities with that of another leading South African private education business to form Educor Holdings Limited - one of the leading private education providers in South Africa.
In 2000 Naspers re-organised and re-branded its print media business as its Media24 division.
Entering the digital market
In 1985, Nasionale Pers and a number of other South African media companies joined forces to form an electronic pay-television media business they called M-Net, which was listed on the JSE Securities Exchange (JSE) in 1990.
In 1993, M-Net was divided into two companies - M-Net itself became a pure pay-television station while the company's subscriber management, signal distribution and cellular telephone activities were formed into a new company called MultiChoice Limited (later renamed MIH Holdings Limited).
Multichoice and DStv
In 1995 Multichoice announced that it was launching a new digital, satellite service in South Africa to be known as DStv (Digital Satellite Television). This was officially launched on 6 October 1995 to become a South African based African direct broadcast satellite service providing multiple channels and services to around 11.9 million subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa (Africa excluding North Africa and Somalia)
In 1997, MIH Ltd. created an internet service provider, M-Web Holdings, which also runs M-Web Blogspace, a popular South African blogging platform.
In view of growing fears that the Afrikaans language could be swamped by the flood of English language programming on TV, M-Net launched a commercial Afrikaans language satelite TV channel, on the DStv satellite service in October 1999. On 16 July 2014 DStv announced that kykNET would be broadcast in high-definition from 12 August 2014.
(Though the officially registered spelling is kykNET, the name is sometimes also found as KYKnet, KykNET or KykNet in some sources.) Interestingly, the Afrikaans "kyk" word means "look" or "view" and the word "net" can mean either "only" or it can refer to "network". This sets up an interesting pun, the title meaning either "viewing channel" or "only view".
kykNET now hosts a number of channels, among them kykNET, kykNET HD, kykNET&kie, kykNET NOU!, KykNet Lekker and fliekNET. A kykNet International service is available online to subscribers in selected countries in North America, Europe and Australasia via the Showmax platform.
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