MUMBAI: Lok Sabha Television (LSTV), a dedicated satellite channel to telecast live proceedings of Lok Sabha or Lower House of Parliament and air programmes on important public issues, hit the airwaves today.
LSTV will function as a 24-hour channel, telecasting programmes of national interest when the Parliament is not in session.
In addition to the live telecast of Parliament proceedings, the programming line up of LSTV comprises a series of live and recorded programmes. The channel will offer a mix of panel discussions and educational and informative programmes.
To start with, LSTV will have programmes such as Today's Agenda, Party Stand, Awaaz Aap Ki / Street Talk, Sansad Se Sadak Tak, Village Voice / Gram Sabha, Know Your MP, Review by the Chair, and The Issue this Week. Viewers, who have missed the day's live action, can catch up with the developments through House Highlights, scheduled for 7:30 pm and 11 pm.
The channel also promises to offer cultural programmes such as music and dance, plays especially staged for LSTV, fortnightly film and more.
According to media reports, LSTV has been launched on an initial investment of about Rs 80 million for hardware and the annual recurring expenditure will fall in the range of Rs 120-150 million. The channel expects to meet the operational expense through advertising, which is initially open to public sector units only.
The channel is being supervised by former information and broadcasting secretary Bhaskar Ghose, who got a mandate from Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee some months back to do a feasibility report on TV channels dedicated to Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha (Upper House).
What is not clear at this moment is, whether such dedicated parliament TV channels cannibalise advertising revenue from pubcaster Doordarshan, which depends heavily on public sector undertakings for advertising support.