UK’s first Asian news channel to launch in June

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Parent company of upcoming regional channel Mana Telugu, U-Like Media has confirmed to BizAsia.co.uk that it has dropped plans to launch a Tamil channel opting instead to launch the UK’s first Asian news channel.

Earlier this year, U-Like Media owner Kumar Vupalla exclusively revealed to BizAsia.co.uk that it was looking at launching a Tamil and Telugu channel. However, the company has decided against the Tamil channel due to it not being commercially viable.

Plans to launch Mana Telugu and the news service are in advance stages. The news channel will be known as UNN (U-Like News Network) and will broadcast live bulletins round the clock from its London based studios.

The channel will also feature job advertorials, technology related shows and documentary-type segments.

U-Like Media has also told BizAsia.co.uk that it has been given a provisional launch date of Monday 11th June to launch its channels on Sky Digital.

According to an insider at U-Like Media, the two channels are more than likely to launch on Monday 11th June but could be given temporary EPG numbers of delayed completely due to an EPG reshuffle taking place in the ‘International’ genre. A source at Sky has told the broadcaster the following:

“There is a risk that when you launch into the EPG on 11th June 2007, it may be necessary to temporarily list the channel in a separate ‘overspill section’ of the EPG. This ‘overspill section’ would be situated between programme numbers 890 and 898…Alternatively, we can also offer you the option of delaying the launch of your channels until the re-organisation of the International genre has been completed. Any channels that launch into the ‘International overspill section’ after 11th June 2007, will be listed below your channels once the genre move has been carried out.”

The channels are expected to begin testing 2-3 weeks prior to launch.

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