Test signals begin for Malayalam channel India Vision

A fifth Malayalam channel is all set to hit the airwaves. India Vision, the long delayed satellite channel promoted by Muslim League legislator MK Muneer, began test signals yesterday, industry sources say.

The channel aims to propagate Kerala's rich traditions "since many second and third generation Keralites in the US have forgotten the past." 

The channel is being run from the studio and uplinking centre, located at Kochi. This phase will be marked by invitations to a select audience which will suggest improvements and fine tune the shortfalls, before the channel is launched formally. 

India Vision, with its focus on promotion of secularism and values, makes its debut at a time when Kairali TV, promoted by the Communist Party (Marxist) in the state has reported losses nearly Rs 70 million when it completed a year on air in August last year. India Vision, a Rs 800 million project, which initially planned to go on air in August last had a setback when Sony backed out of a marketing and distribution arrangement. 

While Muneer dismisses fears that India Vision might end up as another religious channel, India Vision, he says, would be free to air in India and the Middle East while viewers would have to pay to watch it in the US. India Vision will be competing for eyeballs with Asianet, Surya, Kairali and Doordarshan.

Another rival, Jeevan TV, backed by the Catholic Church in Kerala, has also started a test run.

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