Karnataka’s first family might soon join the league of media barons like the owners of Sun TV and Jaya TV. On August 17, Anita Kumaraswamy, wife of the Chief Minister of Karnataka, will launch a 24x7 Kannada entertainment television channel Kasturi to pitch for a slice of the Rs 250 crore-market. And it is a matter of Kannadiga pride.
Chief Minister Kumaraswamy said, “This is the only channel owned by a Kannadiga in the state.” The channel will rely heavily on local culture and talent for its programmes with only three news bulletins throughout the day.
This is the only channel in Karnataka owned by a Kannadiga. All the others are branches of Hindi, Telugu or Tamil channels.
The soaps will come from production houses of well-known names in the local film and television industry. Perhaps, the only outsider element would be shows from the production house owned by Smriti Irani.
“Maybe, we will add some content from other well-known production firms of the north in due course. We have looked at lots of models (for content) and taken the suggestions of big names in this field,” Anita Kumaraswamy, Chairperson, Kasturi Media Pvt. Ltd, said.
During the three-year-long planning for the channel, the first family gradually expanded its cable TV network business across the state capital and the districts. Such an extensive network of their cable TV firm, according to Anita Kumaraswamy, would help gain an edge over the established big names in this field. “Our cable TV network has 80 per cent penetration in rural areas and 50 per cent in Bangalore. That will help us take on competition,” she said. The Chief Minister said, “We will give our viewers a break from negative reporting that dominates the news channels today. We will steer clear of sensational reporting.”