Broadcast Worldwide Ltd launched a new channel, TV South Asia, on April 19, 2008. In India, the channel is backed by Broadcast Worldwide’s Rathikant Basu, a television veteran. The channel was unveiled in Mumbai by Pandit Jasraj and Javed Akhtar.
Broadcast Worldwide already operates the Tara channel, which would also contribute to the content for TV South Asia. The channel would focus on the infotainment genre, reflecting the spirit, heritage and culture through the form of content contributed by Aaj TV of Pakistan, Tara of India, Image channels of Nepal, Maharaj group (MTV Pvt Ltd) of Sri Lanka, and private broadcasters from Bangladesh.
Commenting on the objective of the channel, Basu said, “The channel’s focus would be on harmony, secularism and peace, which would be conveyed through our various shows. It is a great product in a small budget. The idea is very simple. It is about bringing together the South Asian region and creating an understanding between the neighboring countries. I believe in interdependence of our economy through diverse culture and traditions.”
The channel will target the English speaking SEC AB+ population. Basu explained that though the channel was free-to-air (FTA), it also had a tie-up with Tata Sky and cable operators in the CAS areas.
In India, the channel would operate out of Kolkata and have its distribution offices in Delhi and Mumbai as well.
As for the team, Basu is the key driver for the channel. Rubana Huq, a journalist from Bangladesh, is the Executive Editor. Basu has sourced his Tara channel team for marketing and sales. He also informed that the channel had already confirmed three advertisers, but refused to divulge their names. The channel would have 10 minutes of commercial breaks in an hour.
Commenting on the channel’s programming and content, Huq said, “TV South Asia will have a contributory and collaborative look with the participation of five channels in the SAARC region. The programme slots will be rotational in nature and the objective is to focus on harmony, secularism and peace, which will be conveyed through talk shows, music shows, quiz shows, features, telefilms, documentaries, interviews, shows on lifestyle, cuisine, and architecture, as also fashion reviews, spanning commerce, trade, showbiz, etc.”