Zee launches Tamil channel Bharathi Friday

MUMBAI: Zee Telefilms, in continuance of its efforts to have a presence in south India, is launching on Friday a 24-hour Tamil television channel, Bharathi.

To be uplinked from Singapore on the Asiasat 3s satellite, the new channel hopes to capture the number two slot in the state. Sun TV is at present the numero uno channel in Tamil Nadu by a long ways with a host of others trailing far behind in terms of viewership and revenue.

Bharati is the second south Indian channel that Zee is launching after the Kannada language channel Kaveri, which was launched in June 2000. Zee Telefilms and Malayalam language channel Asianet each have a 50 per cent stake in Kaveri. Kaveri is still struggling to get recognition and efforts are on to try and revive it. So with another new channel to be nurtured it looks like the Zee team will have a plateful on its hands.

Dakshin Media Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zee Telefilms, is launching this channel in "strategic alliance" with Asianet, Arvind Kumar, senior vice-president and business head (southern channels), told reporters in Chennai on Wednesday night, the Press Trust of India reported.

A Telugu channel will be launched very soon, PTI quoted Kumar as saying. By middle of next month, one news bulletin would be introduced and gradually the number of news bulletins would be increased, he added.

Named after the Tamil poet, Bharathi, the channel will offer a mix of mega serials, weekly serials, films, film-based programmes, game shows, talk shows, health, and many more to cater to all segments of society.

Leading content developers like Tamizhmani and Citadel Video are producing various programmes to be aired on the channel, Financial Express quoted Kumar as saying. News and news-based programmes would be aired from next month on a phased manner, he added.

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