The battle of the ballot in Tamil Nadu is about a month away, and Tamil entertainment channel Raj TV has jumped into the fray, announcing a new daily show, ‘Therdhal Kalam’ (Political Arena).
Without the news advantage of market leader Sun TV, and the channel that presents the politically opposed perspective to Sun, Jaya TV, Raj TV’s will clearly be an attempt to grab its share of the politically curious eyeballs with the new show. Given the channel’s acknowledged lack of political orientation, credibility will be one of the factors working for ‘Therdhal Kalam’.
“We are, and have always been recognised as, an unbiased channel. And we feel the views we put across are extremely significant to the people of this state. Hence, this programme,” said B Shankar, VP-Sales & Marketing, Raj TV.
The show will air Monday to Thursday, between 8:00 pm and 8:30 pm. The format will be a mix of set-based interviews by celebrated news anchor Nirmala Periasamy, on-location shoots and voter-views at constituencies, as well as questions from viewers to the political leader in the studio. The deferred live show will go on for around 30 episodes, up to May 7, 2006.
While the names of individual politicians expected to make the trip to Raj TV’s studios have not been divulged, we are promised that the much-imitated Periasamy will question several big guns from the state’s political arena.
The channel must be missing the days when it brought to viewers scenes of political battles in the form of news, especially now, as what promises to be one of the most keenly contested and widely reported elections in the state, unfolds.
Said Shankar, “It’s a given that as a property, news is something we have been missing for a very long time, and we have explored avenues like the Mudhalvan Awards and other on-ground events to reach out to audiences. The elections have given us another good platform to go and speak to the masses.”
The big day for political parties is May 8, 2006. The show goes on air from April 3, 2006. The competition for eyeballs promises to be as tough as the one for power between the ‘Rising Sun’ and the ‘Two Leaves’. ‘Therdhal Kalam’ is pitted against Sun TV’s news bulletin at 8:00 pm.