The dynamics seem to be changing in Tamil Nadu’s television space. Raj Television Network, upbeat on its listing on the stock exchange, and more so from the new found patronage from the ruling DMK, is gearing up for the launch of a news and general entertainment channel unabashedly named after DMK’s head honcho ‘Kalaignar’ M Karunanidhi.
While the channel is set for launch soon, it was earlier expected that it would go on air on the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s birthday, June 3. The logo of the channel would be the DMK’s symbol, the rising sun. The development was confirmed by M Raajhendhran, Managing Director, Raj TV.
Speaking to exchange4media, Raajhendhran said, “Raj Network and DMK would be launching a new television channel which would be called Kalaignar TV. The channel would function under the able guidance of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi,” he said.
Sources said that many of the popular serials, which are aired on other channels, would shift their loyalty and would henceforth be aired on Kalaignar TV. The grapevine is abuzz that top honchos of many channels including behemoth Sun TV are expected to join Kalaignar TV.
With the reliance on the film industry being at its peak on Tamil television, the loyalties of the film industry will play a huge role in the success of any television channel. Given Karunanidhi’s close association with the film industry, any channel with his patronage will have an advantage on that front too.
It may be recalled the relationship between Sun TV, promoted by Kalanidhi Maran and the DMK became strained after the former published a survey (in its daily Dinakaran) on who should be the political successor of the DMK supremo and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi. The survey put Stalin (son of the CM) as the frontrunner with 70 per cent votes. The results of the survey drew instant protests from DMK cadres in Madurai who aresupporters of his other son, Azhagiri. The incident also led to the resignation of Union IT and Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran, brother of Sun TV promoter Kalanidhi Maran.
Meanwhile, DMK’s move to launch a new channel is seen by many as the need for a party mouthpiece for the DMK like other regional parties in Tamil Nadu. Jaya TV shares its name with former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. Similarly, PMK also has its own television channel Makkal TV.
Congress and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) are the two major political parties without their own channels in Tamil Nadu.
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