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India’s first HDTV channel Sakshi launched

20-March-2009
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India’s first HDTV channel Sakshi launched

Sakshi, a Telugu news channel claiming to be the country’s first HDTV channel, has started full-fledged operations. This 24-hour free-to-air channel is promoted by Jagati Publications of which YS Jaganmohan Reddy, son of Andhra Chief Minister YS Rajashekhara Reddy, is the Chairman.

The channel was initially named Indira Priyadarshini. According to Ramakrishna Reddy, Editor-in-Chief of Sakshi TV, it was renamed to cash in on the popularity of the Sakshi brand of the Telugu daily brought out by Jagati Publications. This popular newspaper has about two dozen multi-coloured district editions.

Sakshi TV has entered a crowded Telugu TV news market with about a dozen Telugu news channels like Gemini, ETV, Teja, TV9, RTV, TV5, and Maa TV already present, besides the Telugu channels of Doordarshan and Zee TV. “Our channel stands out because of its cutting edge technology, superb transmission quality, excellent content and great look and feel,” stressed Reddy.

According to Reddy, Sakshi TV’s strength also lay in its vast editorial network. “We have a team of 500-600 correspondents across the State. Besides, we are also utilising a 1,500-strong reporter network of Sakshi newspaper. We also have our editorial representatives in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Bangalore. We are focusing on real time news, which has been made possible by the largest fleet of 25 OB vans,” he added.

Sakshi TV airs hourly news bulletins, besides doing current affairs programmes. The channel has also launched special election bulletins and is beefing up its poll programming in a week’s time. The channel is being distributed through cable and DTH platforms. Reddy further revealed to exchange4media that the Jagrati Group had plans to launch a national English news channel as well.

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