Malaysian TV adds ayem programs

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Morning television is coming to Malaysia. Final technical glitches are being ironed out at broadcasters TV1 and TV3 as they prepare to accommodate 10 additional hours daily.

Both stations will soon begin their broadcast day at 6 a.m. rather than the current 4 p.m.

The extended viewing hours will cost government-owned TV1 an extra RM18 million ($ 7 million) annually, while TV3 will spend $ 3 million.

Datuk Jaafar Kamin, director-general of RTM, the government department that controls TV1, said the daytime shows will not be entertainment-oriented. Rather, the emphasis will be on news, information and education. This is to comply with the government’s stated objective to bring about a more informed and caring society.

The three main sources of programs will be made-for-RTM productions, those produced by the private sector and imports.

After six months, RTM will reassess the impact of these morning shows including surveys of the public.

The kind of children’s programs the station has in mind is shows such as “Sesame Street.”

There will be a profusion of women’s programs and a special afternoon slot devoted three times weekly to feature films from Southeast Asian countries in their original language with Malay subtitles.

TV3 expects a viewership of 1 million based on surveys. It is banking heavily on a three-hour program called “Malaysia Today,” which will kick off the day following 10 minutes of news.

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