Chennai-based Intelivision Ltd. is all set to join the satellite channel bandwagon with its free-to-air digital Channel Eye. Targeted at below-20 years segment, Channel Eye will be airing a mix of education and entertainment programs.
"Our programming would include animation, live actions, feature films, educational and informative programs, music, dance and entertainment," outlines Mr. P. S. Sundaram, chief executive officer (CEO), Intelivision.
As there is no education-specific channel now available to a majority of the households in the country, Mr. Sundaram says Channel Eye will fill the gap. "We will deliver the education programs in a unique manner," assures the fifty-one-year old CEO, earlier heading Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Ltd., a government of India enterprise engaged in broadcast engineering consultancy and doing turnkey projects for broadcasters.
Intelivision, the wholly owned subsidiary of Pentamedia Graphics, will use the computer-based training material prepared by its parent company and also access its program software library.
However, Intelivision cannot access the movie and other program library of Pentamedia Graphics – rights acquired for its broadband portal Num TV – as it might clash with the rights of other satellite channels.
As regards programming, Intelivision will produce in-house and as well as outsource software but is not in favour of funded programs. "Our programs will be made available on Num TV and we will also use the latter's own programs," Mr. Sundaram adds.
The channel will beam eight hours of original programming on weekdays and twelve hours on weekends using the New Skies Satellite (NSS) 703 at 57 degrees east. The transmission would be in C band and the coverage will include the Indian sub-continent, Middle East, South East Asia and Western Europe. The channel will be uplinked from India either using VSNL or Sun TV's earth station.
Another unique aspect of the proposed channel is that it will be available in three languages – English, Hindi and Tamil. The programs originally in English will be dubbed in Hindi and Tamil and the cable operator has the option to give the channel in any one of the above languages, based on the demand. The regional language program would, however, be restricted for a few hours in a day.
The company is in the process of building full-fledged studio and related infrastructure for the purpose. "The facilities include a two-camera studio, eight edit suites, including one non-linear edit suite, apart from a proper make-up room," details Mr. P. Murali, head - technical. According to Mr. Sundaram, the total investment in the venture will be around Rs. 20 crore.
Apart from Channel Eye, Intelivision plans to offer other services like distribution of a bouquet of domestic television channels in one KU Band transponder of Europe Star in the Europe region and similarly in the UK and Middle East and US through the Loral Satellite beam.
"We will be creating the infrastructure of a satellite uplink facility and offer satellite bandwidth and uplinking in C band for other Indian broadcasters. We also plan to establish, operate and maintain FM broadcast infrastructure in Chennai for private licensees," reveals Mr. Sundaram. Yet another service that Intelivision intends to offer is to undertake subscriber management services for direct-to-home licensees in India.