Sun TV set for direct uplink

Private net 1st to offer exclu channels in 4 Indian languages

NEW DELHI — Sun TV will become one of the first private TV channels in India to begin direct satellite uplinking after Information and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj allowed such facilities for private Indian TV channels.

Sun TV will begin direct satellite uplink from Chennai on Oct. 1. An agreement to facilitate this was signed this week between Sun TV and Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL).

Sun TV, a network of five channels, is also readying to launch its Malayalam channel Surya by Oct. 15. The company already has Tamil, Kannada and Telugu channels and will become the first private TV network to offer exclusive channels in each of the four southern Indian languages.

Kalanithi Maran, chairman and managing director of Sun TV, told Daily Variety that the channel would not have to send its tapes to Singapore, where Sun was uplinking earlier.

While uplinking costs are likely to remain unchanged, in the range of Rs. 6 lakhs (US $15,000) per month per channel, the private TV channels can now afford to cut down on overhead.

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