H Vasanthkumar, a Congress MP and owner of Vasanth & Co, one of India’s largest consumer durable retailers, has launched a 24-hour Tamil general entertainment channel Vasanth TV. The channel was inaugurated by Congress party president Sonia Gandhi from the party headquarters in New Delhi on May 4. However, the formal broadcasting began only from May 19.
Apart from news and current affairs, Vasanth TV will also provide entertainment via tele-serials, feature films and documentaries. It will also focus on the Congress party and its achievements, and air programmes highlighting the sacrifices of various Congress leaders before and after Independence.
Speaking about his channel, Vasanthkumar candidly admitted, “I have no plans to compete with Sun TV, on the contrary, I am here for survival. I am nothing compared to Sun TV, the market leader.”
Though Vasanth TV started beaming programmes formally from May 19, it is not available on Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV), the multi-system operator (MSO) arm of the Maran family-owned Sun TV Group and Hathway. Therefore, the channel is not available in many parts of Tamil Nadu. When questioned on this issue, Vasanthkumar said that he was in talks with both the operators and was hopeful of a solution in the near future.
Both SCV and Hathway control a major chunk of cable TV distribution in Tamil Nadu.