Channel Guide makes formal launch

Channel Guide, which started beaming its test signals four months ago, was formally launched earlier this week at the Club in the northern Mumbai suburb of Andheri.

Channel Guide India managing director Rajesh Jain says that loads of research has gone into the channel before its launch.

'We are spending more on state-of-art technology and distribution, but the programming cost is almost nil for us. All the data is provided by the advertising channels themselves. I feel this will help us to break even in fourteen months,' says a visibly relaxed and confident Jain.

The television channel is an innovation for the Indian market as it is hoping to serve as a promotional platform for the entire entertainment industry - namely, television, films, music and events.

'It also provides programming info to viewers in a simple format. Any person will get to know maximum within six minutes what is going on on any of the channels,' he points out.

At present, Channel Guide is not charging advertisers and partners for placing their promos. Channel Guide COO Ravi Deshmukh says that advertisers will be provided prime and non-prime time slots with rates for the former being on a par with the prevailing commercial market rates.

'We will start charging from mid-October when our channel will be reaching 3 million homes,' says Deshmukh. As of now the reach, is 2.1 million.

Deshmukh reveals that that three channels have already confirmed their partnership status with Channel Guide.

From 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm, time slots will be sold to advertisers - be they channels or event creators or producers - for shows/events that each of them wants to promote. The rest of the time will be allocated to promos of various channels in a format designed by Channel Guide programming executives themselves.

Each screen can have a maximum of 16 small windows, showing what is going on 16 channels at any point of time along with a live programming schedule which will change every few minutes. The management is planning to reduce the number of channels visible to four at a time.

Programming blocks in Hindi and English have been set aside. "In the near future we are going to dedicate separate time slots for regional languages," says Deshmukh. "Marathi, Gujarathi, Bengali and Punjabi are the four languages on the cards."

One of the shows that Deshmukh is extremely kicked about is Meet the Telebrity featuring a popular TV personality. The first episode features Amar (Mihir) Upadhayay.

Channel Guide is beaming off Thaicom-3 as a free-to-air service. The channel is looking forward to getting an Indian uplinking from either Delhi or Hyderabad.

Technical Specifications:

Satellite : Thaicom - 3

Downlink Frequency : 3554 MHz

FEC : 2/3

Downlink Polarisation : Vertical

Symbol rate : 13333 Kg Symbol/sec


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