DMK-backed Kalaignar TV was officially launched on September 15, after a month-long test run. Meanwhile, a top source at Kalaignar TV revealed that the Group would be launching a 24-hour news channel soon, and that a music or movie channel was also on the anvil.
It may be recalled that exchange4media media had broken the story in May 2007 that Raj TV was planning to launch Kalaignar TV with the DMK symbol as channel logo. The move was following a row between DMK and Kalanidhi Maran after the latter published a survey in its daily ‘Dinakaran’ on who should be the political successor of DMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.
Sharath Kumar has been roped in as Managing Director of Kalaignar TV. Kumar is a former Director of Gemini Television and had played a pivotal role in the enormous success of Sun Network’s Telugu channels Gemini TV and Teja TV, among others, in Andhra Pradesh. Rama Naraynan, who is also President of Tamil Nadu Film Producer’s Association, is the Chief Operating Officer of Kalaignar TV, while P Amirtham, former principal of the Film and Television Institute, Chennai and a nephew of Karunanidhi, is the Chief Financial Officer of the channel.
Kalaignar TV will offer the usual dose of film and entertainment programmes and air news thrice a day. Interestingly, the channel has taken care to ensure that the timing of its news capsules do not clash with that of Sun TV.
Kalaignar TV beamed blockbuster Tamil movies ‘Mozhi’ and ‘Imsai Arasan 23 am Pulikesi’ on the launch day, and premiered director Mani Ratnam’s ‘Ayudha Ezhuthu’ (the Tamil version of ‘Yuva’) on September 16. The channel also aired a series of programmes, including tête-à-tête with who’s who of Tamil cinema such as Kamal Haasan, Ilayaraja, Surya, Vivek, and director Shankar on the launch day. It aired a documentary on DMK founder C N Annadurai on Saturday. Kalaignar TV, which is distributed by Sumangali Cable Vision, an MSO run by Kalanidhi Maran, has roped in a host of prominent production houses like Crazy Mohan, AVM, Kavithalaya, and Annamalai Cine Creations, among others.
Meanwhile, more channel action is expected soon. Congress leader and former Union Minister K V Thangabalu has announced another news and general entertainment channel Mega TV, while Congress MLA Vasanth Kumar will be launching Vasanth TV soon. Jaya TV has been testing its music channel, Jaya Plus, for some time now.
Changing equations: Raj TV to launch ‘Kalaignar TV’ with DMK symbol as channel logo
Sharad Kumar quits Sun Network