ETC announces launch of etc Khalsa

MUMBAI: It's official. ETC Networks has announced that its soon to be launched Punjabi religious channel will be christened etc Khalsa. The announcement was made in Amritsar today on the occasion of the 400th Year of Prakash Utsav of Guru Granth Sahib. Uplinking permission is however still awaited from the government.

The dedicated 24-hour religious channel, besides telecasting live Gurbani from the Golden Temple, would also focus on the younger generation 'which needs exposure to religious teachings, as propagated by the 10 Gurus and depicted in the Guru Granth Sahib as well as the tremendous history of the Sikhs over the past five centuries," ETC Networks CEO JS Kohli says.

The channel will have special programmes targeted at Sikh youth as well as other regular programmes like Katha, Kirtan and Kavi Darbars, according to the network. The Gurbani, a salient feature of etc Punjabi thus far, will be the anchor of the new channel. While etc Punjabi becomes a mainstream entertainment channel, the programming on the new channel will be a mix, says Kohli.

While the telecast of the Gurbani had thus far forbidden getting ad revenues, the commercial breaks during allied programming related to the Gurbani on Khalsa would allow the exploitation of ad revenue, he says.

Says etc Punjabi president Rabindra Narayan, "Like Christian channels do, etc Khalsa would also help in spreading the message of the Gurus to a worldwide audience as they would now be enlightened in great detail about the world's youngest religion which preaches a scientific way of living in harmony with nature."

Also in the pipeline is a mega serial on the history of the Sikhs. The serial, to be initially telecast in Punjabi on Khalsa, is also likely to be dubbed into Hindi for airing on parent Zee TV. Says Khalsa's programming VP Rajiee M Shinde, "In order to bring alive the greatness of the Sikhs, our endeavor would be to soon create a mega serial on the lines of Ramayan and Mahabharat on ETC Khalsa about Sikh history."

etc Punjabi meanwhile, is offering 18 hours of live telecast of celebrations of 400 years of Sri Guru Granth Saheb's installation from Amritsar. This will involve sacrifice of all the other programming along with advertisements to give the devotees a chance to watch the proceedings at Amritsar uninterrupted, says the channel. This telecast will begin early tomorrow (1 September) at 3:30 am.

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