Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL) will uplink ATN World, a 24-hour Bengali channel from November 1. ATN World has been working as an 18-hour cable channel for the past one-month, beamed by leading signal provider RPG Netcom. According to industry sources, RPG Netcom services 11 lakh households in a 800 sq km area in and around Kolkata, while older but smaller multi-system-operator (MSO) SitiCable, the 100 per cent subsidiary of Zee Telefilms Ltd, covers only three lakh households.
ATN World was supposed to be uplinked by VSNL on September 15, but the arrangements were not ready at that time, sources as ATN International.
A recent government order required all Indian channels to be beamed via VSNL. Industry sources say that ATN World failed to pay its dues to Thaicom-3 satellite and so it shifted to AsiaSat. But after 10 days of operations, the latter asked the ATN management to pay Thaicom first and then come to them.
ATN International will be launching a 24-hour spiritual channel by the end of this year. It is only after an in depth study of the whole issue that ATN decided to go for it. It will soon launch the channel which is expected to be a commercial success.