Television

Malayalam news channel Indiavision enters Middle East on 1st anniversary, to hit US in August

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MUMBAI: Malayalam news channel Indiavision is one year old. The dedicated news channel will mark its first anniversary by beaming into the Middle East, while its US entry is tentatively scheduled for August.       

Indiavision Satellite Communications Ltd. recorded an estimated Rs 18 million turnover for 2003-2004. On the occasion of the channel's first anniversary, Indiavision COO Vibhaker detailed the channel's plans to Indiantelevision.com.

How did Indiavision take up the challenge of competing with general entertainment channels?

The channel was launched targeting a niche market - news-hungry Keralites. During that time, there wasn't any dedicated news channel in Kerala and it was a 100 per cent market for us. The present scenario shows all the other Malayalam channels giving importance to news-based content and that vindicates our decision.

What is your strategy to retain the viewership during primetime?

We air news shows based on entertainment in that time band. The Malayali viewer is gradually distancing himself from soaps and moving towards other genres in his search for a change. That has put us at an advantageous position.

Future initiatives?

Indiavision will be available in the Middle East from 15 July. We are distributing it through DTH platform. We have already signed a carriage deal with a DTH operator for our US distribution and by August-end we would start beaming. We are planning to transform our music channel Indiavision Entertainment -- which is currently maintaining a low profile -- to a complete entertainment channel by the end of 2004.

Why you are still unavailable in major cities including Mumbai?

Earlier, when fewer channels were there, cable operators used to run after channels. Now the scenario is just the opposite. Cable operators have been demanding very huge carriage fees, which we can't afford. Still, we will be making our presence felt in all the major cities in the coming months and Mumbai is definitely on our list.

What is your USP as a news channel?

On-the-spot news. Reciprocal tie-ups with channels across India and bureaux in the metros ensure that national events are covered to the minutest detail.

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