The publishers of Mathrubhumi newspaper are all set to foray into the television business with the launch of two channels - a news channel, Mathrubhumi News and a speciality channel, Kappa.
Kappa, which is to be launched first, will carry a mix of music, lifestyle and trivia. The test runs for the same are expected to start from next month and a full-fledged launch is expected in July. NDTV has helped Mathrubhumi set up the two channels.
Talking to afaqs!, Shreyams Kumar, director, Mathrubhumi, says, "At the moment, system integration is going on for both the channels and in June, test runs will start. The test signals are on for the news channel, which will be launched second in the next couple of months after the speciality channel." The group is yet to reveal the logo of the two channels.
Kerala is likely to see the launch of about 10 channels in the next one year.
According to those familiar with the TV space of Kerala, the channels in the pipeline include names like Kaumudy TV (by Kerala Kaumudi) and Raj News Malayalam (test runs are on for both the channels), Media One, scheduled to be launched in August this year, Zee Malayalam, Asianet Chiri, Janapriya TV and Kairali Arabia, apart from the two channels by Mathrubhumi.
Mathrubhumi News will be a hard core news channel with features forming an important part of the content mix. Kumar informs that both the channels will be free-to-air (FTA) and the group is eyeing to place them in the prime band across Kerala. The group is also in discussions with DTH players to reach out to various parts of the world wherever there are prospective audiences, including West Asia. However, during the initial phase, the focus will be on establishing the channels in Kerala.
Mathrubhumi News will face competition from Indiavision, a Malayalam news channel from Indiavision Satellite Communications; Asianet News from Asianet; People TV from Kairali; Reporter TV from Indo-Asian News channel and Manorama News, the channel from its arch rival in the print domain, Malayala Manorama.