Sun TV spearheads channel war in south

After waiting for nearly seven years to launch his first four channels, Kalanithi Maran, the 35-year old chairman and managing director of Sun TV, is now going all out and launching four new channels within a span of seven weeks.May 19 saw the launch of their new Telegu movie & music channel, Teja TV. The channel is expected to take on market leader Ramoji Roa's Eenadu TV. The total ad revenue for the state is about Rs 1.3 billion and Eenadu has the lions share of almost Rs 600 million, Sun's Gemini is second with Rs 400 million share.

Sun also launched its second Kannada channel, Ushe Tv which is also a music and movie channel. Though the channel has no competition in the state, (the only popular satellite channel in the state is Sun's Udaya TV) the move to start another Kannada channel is seen as more of an defensive step. This is because the all the state needs is another Kannada channel and there will be a huge dent in the ad revenue distribution in the state. Udaya TV, incidentally grabs a huge chunk of almost Rs 600 million out of the total market of Rs 850 million. The other channel is the state owned DD-9. 

Apart from this Maran also plans to launch a 24-hour news channel, Udaya News, which will air news in Kannda and English.

This major offensive on Maran's part is unlike his characteristic behaviour which he has displayed in the past. But if you have indusrty heavyweights like Subhash Chandra and Ramoji Rao as your competitors it is definitely justified on Maran's part to go all out in trying to get the first move advantage.

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