Channel Punjab, is being branded as a different Punjabi channel to the rest of them…it is paving its way to storm the UK market later this year.

Biz Asia had the opportunity to meet the CEO of the upcoming channel, Jasbir Singh Derewal, who was more than willing to talk about the exciting new project.

Channel Punjab will sit under the umbrella of the Derewal Group but will be promoted by “Nishaan Media (India) Pvt. Ltd”. Channel Punjab will be the first media project being undertaken by the Derewals but this prospect has not frightened them in the slightest – far from it.

“The need for such a channel is we want to broadcast something that all the family can sit down together and watch and not where you switching over because of the filth you get to see on TV nowadays,” explained Derewal.

The Derewal Group traces its history back to 1952 when Late Sardar Bhagwan Singh migrated to the UK with his family. What started off as a cloth business grew to become a real estate giant under the visionary leadership of Sardar Bhagwan Singh – A very humble and peaceful man who gave a lot of time and devotion to carry out the good deeds in life. He had a vision to use his good fortune in helping the poor and the needy.

The Derewals continue to help the poor people of India. Now, they have a vast business empire and not forgetting their roots. Sardar Ranjit Singh Derewal came to India and continued what his father started, which was to help the poor people of India. Today, we have Ranjit Singh Derewal’s sons Jasbir, Nishan and Dilbaagh Singh who have joined forces to continue the footsteps of their ancestors and bring Channel Punjab to the forefront.

Channel Punjab is confident that its service will be an instant favourite amongst Punjabi viewers with its clean cut image and family orientated shows.

“As well as Gurbani and shabads from the gurdwara we will be telecasting original shows (including soaps, live shows) from TV producers who have dealt with the likes of ZEE and Sony.

The USP of our channel will be the family values, which we will convey through our shows. There won۪t be a single moment on Channel Punjab where the viewer will feel ashamed or the need to be switching to another channel because of embarrassing content. We have commissioned programmes carefully keeping our family audiences in mind. This is why our channel will be known as the ‘true Punjabi entertainment channel’.”

The channel is planning to launch in India first in May/June being uplinked from Delhi through Thaicom 3 satellite and is then expected to compete with the biggest UK Punjabi TV player Alpha ETC Punjabi by August/September this year on Sky Digital.

When asked on how it feels competing with such a force like Alpha ETC Punjabi, Derewal replied; “Our channel will be completely different to our competition. We won۪t have hours on end of live Gurbani followed by girls flaunting themselves in pop videos. Our aims and objectives are clear…the core principal of the channel is to get the families together again.”

Sticking with programming, we were also told that the channel has also already banned to play music videos by a well known Bhangra star because of his vulgar videos.

Revealing exclusively to Biz Asia, Derewal also informed us on the type of shows, which will get their airings from launch.

Ghera Punjab Da, will be a roadshow based programme where VJs will travel in different cities across India to get views from people on various subjects.

Waris Punjab Da, is a show based on the history of various cities in India.

Women Magazine, as the name suggests, will be a live show for females looking at all aspects of lifestyle including health, beauty and ladies problems.

The channel has also acquired some classic Punjabi movies. It has also vowed to show Pakistani Punjabi movies. The channel still awaits rights for new Punjabi movies. It hopes to acquire new Punjabi movies by launch.

To differentiate itself from its competitors, the channel will break up its Gurbani slots in the morning with religious preaching۪s in Punjabi and English. The channel will also telecast Gurbani from various gurdwaras (Alpha ETC Punjabi has exclusive TV rights to telecast from the Golden Temple). Following on from the religious band will be Channel Punjab’s live Breakfast Show at 08:30 (tentative).

“Nishaan Media (India) Pvt. Ltd, realised that to be different from the other Punjabi channels, they would require the support from the Derewals family living in the UK, a true Punjabi family living abroad, who are like minded Punjabis with the same vision as of Channel Punjab,” said Channel Punjab’s Executive Director, Prem Mahindru.

Even though the channel will launch as a free service, its stance was that they “wouldn۪t want to give too much of a good thing for free because viewers get used to it.” So it has plans to encrypt its channel within the first year of launching.

Channel Punjab has set up its studios in Punjab giving the Punjabis an opportunity to be recognised internationally. The studios are based in Mohali, Chandigarh. The two studios are equipped with state of the art technology. According to the channel, the studios designed are first of their kind for a Punjabi channel.

The channel has offices in the UK, India and Lahore, Pakistan.

With so many channels launching in the UK, this could not only better the choice for viewers but also make competitors stand up and take notice of the radical movements in the ever changing TV industry. No doubt viewers will also benefit from special subscription rates, which broadcasters will introduce to keep viewers watching their channel (s).

Lets keep a watch on this…it sure is getting very exciting!