Television

ETV Kannada Launching, Urdu Channel Next

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Competition in the Kannada TV firmament is all set to heat up with the launch of a new Kannada Channel from Ramoji Rao's Eenadu TV (ETV) stable on 10 December.

Its launch comes just about a year after news of such a channel first surfaced in December 1999. The new general entertainment Kannada channel faces a stiff test from the well settled Udaya of Sun TV, as also the comparatively more recent Ushe and Suprabhat. Udaya at present hogs a whopping 70% share of the Rs850 million worth of ad spending in Karnataka.

The channel will be a 24 hours free to air channel with the programming pattern on the same lines as other ETV regional channels like ETV Marathi. Transmission is through Intelsat 704 at 66°E. The trial run started on 3 December. On Launch day two Blockbuster movies will be shown, one starring Kannada matinee idol Raj Kumar.

Speaking exclusively to Indiantelevision.com, an executive of ETV's Mumbai office said: "The Kannada audience is very discerning on the quality front. This IT savvy, educated audience will not accept just anything that is dumped to them. But our experience in successfully running Marathi and Bengali channels will definitely help us to deliver the best to our Kannada audience."

For Ramoji Rao, after ETV Kannada, the next on the list is an Urdu channel which will be launched sometime in March 2001. The programme compilation has been going on for the last few months. Other regional channels are also in the pipeline.

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