Internet radio KZNET has scored an African first with its live broadcast of the 2001 Powerade Dusi Canoe Marathon.It was the first broadcast of an event on the African continent by an Internet-only radio station and, according to station owner Rob Fisher, it was spectacularly successful with thousands of listeners from around the world tuning in each day to catch the latest on the marathon.
Former Capital 604 and Radio Port Natal disk jockey Garth Whitaker anchored the broadcast playing a selection of music from the sixties and seventies and chatting live to contestants and race promoter Ray De Vries.
Waterproof cellphones provided by Vodacom were used by contestants including Baby Jake Matala, Bruce Fordyce and Oscar Chalupsky to keep listeners up to date with their progress in the Dusi.
KZNET Radio was launched three years ago with an hour-long broadcast each week but now transmits 24 hours a day from its studio in Everton outside Durban. The station is run by computer using Windows Media Server, which can either be controlled by a DJ or can pick songs at random from the station’s 9000-song library.
KZNET specialises in music from the late fifties to the seventies but does broadcast the latest hits whenever Fisher’s daughters Mandy and Kelsey take a turn in the DJ’s chair. The station can be found at www.kznet.co.za but listeners will need Windows Media Player to receive the broadcast.
Fisher is a self-confessed Internet addict having been involved in the online world since the days of bulletin boards and having started Club Internet, which was one of the first ISPs in Africa. The station is his hobby and is sponsored by Storm Internet, Club Internet’s direct descendant, which was launched recently after a deal with UK-based Storm Group.