Tamil TV War in Europe 2003

Topic started by Media Asia (@ ravnsbjerg.bnaa.dk) on Mon Aug 18 15:09:08 .
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.

In 1997 there was only one Tamil TV-channel in Europe, called TRT Tamil TV (Tamil Radio & Television Network) from Paris. But today there are more than 3 Tamil TV-channels telecasting in Europe.

There are 3 Tamil TV-channels which are running on the basis of subscription-system. These channels are TTN Tamil TV, Deepam TV and Cee(I)TV. Especially TTN Tamil TV and Deepam TV are the leading channels in Europe. TTN is popular because it is telecasting many programmes about the struggle for Tamil Eelam, not cinema-based, and they are doing a lot of programmes by themselves (e.g. Nayandi Maelam/Puthina Kannadi etc.). Deepam TV is popular because it is telecasting af lot of serials and entertainment-programmes from India. It is also noticable that TTN Tamil TV was the first channel ever in Europe to telecast an event (Marvira Naal London) live for Tamil viewers in Europe and Middle-East. TTN did also telecast live from Marvira Naal-event and the speech of the leader of LTTE live from Tamil Eelam to Europe.

Today the European Tamil TV-stations have got competition from Tamil TV-channels from Tamil Nadu – like Jaya TV, Sun TV and very soon Raj TV. Sun TV has been an important part for Tamil TV-channels from Europe of getting subscribers. In the beginning TRT Tamil TV was telecasting Sun TV-programmes, and then Deepam TV telecasted Sun TV-programmes. Today Sun TV has started live from India to Europe without a co-operation with a Tamil TV-station in Europe. Jaya TV is also telecasting to Europe, but they have been bought to Europe by Dish Asia Network, and they are also getting Raj TV to Europe. So in total there will be:

24-hour Tamil TV channels:

TTN Tamil TV
Deepam TV
Sun TV
Jaya TV
Raj TV
TRT Tamil TV
Vectone Tamil (Coming soon)

Channels – mainly Tamil, but also programmes in other languages:

Cee(I)TV South For You
SS Music
DAN Cinema

This will be too many TV-channels for the Tamil community in Europe. This large number of Tamil TV-channels is like the number of Tamil TV-channels in Tamil Nadu, and there they have a viewer-basis of 50-55 million Tamils. So many Tamil people are not living in Europe, so the chance of existence of all these channels in Europe is very minimal as these channels will be pay-tv. Let us take a look of the their chance to survive in Europe:

TTN Tamil TV:

This channel has many subscribers and a good reputation among (eelam) Tamils in Europe. TTN has not started a co-operation with other Tamil TV-stations from Tamil Nadu, and it is doing its programmes in its programme-divisions in Europe, Tamil Eelam and Tamil Nadu. It is telecasting as a single channel, but it has a sister-station called TVI Tamil Vision in North America. TTN has a co-operation with IBC Tamil Radio from London. This channel can survive because it is pro-LTTE, and it could be good if TTN gets TVI and Nitharsanam TV (from Tamil Eelam) to Europe.

Deepam TV & Cee(I)TV South For You:
It is very difficult to say the future of these channels. Deepam TV was very popular when it telecasted Sun TV-programmes, but today this channel is telecasting programmes from Vijay TV. Deepam TV has started a co-operation with Cee(I)TV South For You, so their subscribers can watch 2 channels on one smartcard. The London-based Cee(I)TV South For You is also telecasting programmes in other Southindian languages, so it is not a 24 H Tamil channel. It seems to be that Cee(I)TV is only popular among some Tamils in London. Maybe loyal-subscribers to these TV-stations can help these stations to survive in this “war”.

Sun TV (& Surya TV):

Finally Sun TV and its sister-station Surya TV (malayalam) has come to Europe. Sun TV is a popular channel in India, and it is also running 2 other Tamil channels called Sun News and Kondattam TV in India. It does not seem to be that Sun TV can get enough subscribers in Europe. The channel is telecasting too many serials in e.g. prime time, and people here in Europe are not ready to watch serials all the time. Some other reasons are that the serials are not running from the 1st episode, and it is not interesting to watch a serial which has come to e.g. episode 200. There are also too many advertisements before the programmes and in the programmes. But the picture-quality of the programmes are very good. It will also be little difficult for Surya TV in Europe, because there are allready 2 other malayalam channels (Asianet and Kairali TV), which are telecasting free-to-air in Europe. Sun TV could survive if KTV and Sun News were bought to Europe.

Dish Asia Network:

It seems to be that Dish Asia Network is going to be very popular in Europe. Dish Asia Network is going to provide TRT Tamil TV, Jaya TV, Raj TV, Ceylon TV (Sinhala), DAN Cinema and SS Music for its subscribers. The concept is very good, as there will be a channel by srilankan Tamils (TRT Tamil TV) and 2 channels from Tamil Nadu (Jaya TV & Raj TV). So people can watch news from both Sri Lanka and India, and a lot of entertainment programmes in different categories. Some channels of Dish Asia Network is allready running in Europe (Ceylon TV, Jaya TV and SS Music), and the rest is coming soon.

Now we have looked on the situation of the channels in Europe. Tamil TV-stations cannot only survive with the money they get from the supscription – the advertisements is also important. It seems to be that TTN has a good basis of advertisers from Europe. Channels from India like Sun TV cannot telecast advertisements from advertisers from Europe. Dish Asia Network has the possibility to do this on their channels like TRT Tamil TV, Ceylon TV and SS Music (and maybe DAN Cinema).

So what is going to happen? Dish Asia Network is going to give the other Tamil TV-channels in Europe a big competition, so maybe there will come new alliance between the other channels. We must wait and see......


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