A CHANNEL devoted to entertainment and news in KwaZulu-Natal is among seven new channels to be introduced by DStv next week.

The local channel, 1 KZN, operating from Richards Bay and previously available since July last year only on the TopTV pay service, will debut on DStv’s channel 261 at 6pm on Tuesday.

It is one of three community-based channels being introduced by MultiChoice to DStv. Other additions from 10am on Tuesday will include three music channels and a martial arts channel.

The 1 KZN channel promotes local culture and offers children’s programming, topics aimed at youth and women, business issues and programmes focusing on education, current affairs, sport and music, with an emphasis on gospel. News broadcasts are scheduled for 7pm and 10pm.

DStv’s other community-based channels will be Bay TV (channel 260), broadcast from Port Elizabeth and focusing on culture, religion and entertainment, and Dumisa (channel 340), described as “the home of praise, providing a platform for top traditional South African churches, their music, traditions and miracles”.

The new DStv music channels include VH1 Classic, which will replace the current VH1 on channel 323, KykNet Musiek (channel 146) and Mzansi Music (channel 321).

The martial arts channel Blackbelt TV (channel 129) is a 24-hour channel airing martial arts fights, series, movies and anime, a style of animation originating in Japan.

“We are excited about these new additions,” said Collins Khumalo, chief executive of MultiChoice SA.

“We believe they will add more value to our packages and give our customers more variety in entertainment.”

Themba Fakazi, the executive chairman of 1 KZN, said: “This is indeed a milestone to be celebrated. This platform will enable 1 KZN to showcase the rich heritage, culture, natural wonders and tourism opportunities in KwaZulu-Natal to a wider, national audience, to people who might not have had the opportunity to visit the province.”

He added that station programming would be aimed at and created by the residents of KwaZulu-Natal.