Many Indian channels have started beaming to audiences in Sri Lanka through the country’s first DTH platform, CBNSat, which was launched on May 27. These channels include Raj TV, Vissa TV and Raj Digital Plus from the Chennai-based Raj TV network.
Speaking to exchange4media from Colombo, Mukundan, CEO, CBNSat, said, “There is an effective Tamil viewing population of around twenty per cent in SriLanka. Currently we have around 24 channels being offered on the platform, and by the next week we expect this number to go up to 27 or 28.”
Besides the two Tamil and one Telugu channels from Raj TV, more channels catering to Indian audiences are being offered on the platform, including Zoom, SET, Travel & Living, POGO, Animal Planet, CNN, AXN, F TV, BBC World, Discovery, M TV, Vh1, Nickelodeon and Animax. Indian news channel NDTV may also be offered on the platform soon, according to Mukundan.
B Shankar, Vice-President, Marketing & Sales, Raj TV, said, “The SriLankan market with its sizeable Tamil population is a very important market for us. We are already present on the terrestrial platform through Rupa Vahini, where our software is aired through the SriLankan Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). This makes us the first Indian Tamil channel on the DTH platform in Sri Lanka.”
Another Tamil channel, Sun TV, is said to be present via Maharaja Television’s Shakti TV. While Raj TV, Raj Digital Plus and Vissa TV (Telugu) will be available on the DTH platform, it is still not known if the new music channel from the Raj group, Raj Musix, will also be made available on this platform. The channel is due to launch along with the makeover of the Raj group on June 5.
In a release, BBC World head of network development Gerry Ritchie was quoted as saying, "Sri Lanka is an important and growing market for BBC World and we are very excited to be part of this new platform and the horizons it opens up for us in the region." The Hong Kong-based Asia Broadband Network is a partner in the CBNSat platform.