“Our philosophy is the latest programming with a contemporary attitude”, said Mahen Perera, Marketing Director of the EAP Edirisinghe Group, at a news conference held recently to mark the re-launch of ETV.
“We have a new slogan, TURN IT ON”, to accompany our screen logo and that is exactly what we are going to do for television in Sri Lanka”, said an enthusiastic, Mr Perera. “We have invested heavily in new programmes, upgrading transmission equipment and improving the quality of our signal in the south of the island, because we are serious about television.”
The re-launched ETV has invested a lot of time and money into making their channel a fully-fledged conventional television station, with all-new programmes, a new corporate philosophy and a pledge to open up new vistas in entertainment in Sri Lanka. They have signed a formal agreement with NBC and CNBC and have also paid nearly Rs 100 million in the purchase of some of the world’s top-rated programmes.
On the 16th November, EAP Networks switched off the Star Plus signal and began transmitting NBC and CNBC. While NBC is 24-hour entertainment and information channel providing a di verse mix of programmes ranging from Asian and global news, current affairs and documentaries to drama, music, sports and children’s programmes, CNBC is the world’s first 24-hour global business news television network offering viewers a live and comprehensive coverage of financial, economic and business news from Asia, North America and Europe.
Among the programmes being telecast are situation comedies such as ‘Saved by the Bell’, ‘Married with Children’ and ‘Mad About You’, one of the highest rated soap’s in the world, called the ‘Young and the Restless’, the all new ‘Flipper’ series, dramas such as the ‘Monroes’, ‘Midnight Caller’, Cape’, ‘Models Inc.’, and the very popular ‘Party of Five’, documentaries from the ‘Discovery’ channel and children’s programmes such as ‘Enid Blyton’ and ‘The Adventures of Long John Silver’.
In addition to all this, movie. buffs are treated to Blockbuster movies during the weekend, while sports fans can enjoy a choice of programmes from the NBC Super Sports channel. ETV has also purchased the television rights for many sporting events in 1997, including the rights to telecast World Cup Rugby and Wimbledon tennis upto the year 2000, announced Rosamand Senaratne, Director/ General Manager, ETV.
For those in the corporate world, CNBC’s news and business programmes provide ample viewing. ‘Money, Money, Money’, ‘How to Succeed in Business’, ‘Management Today” and “The Money Wheel (Asia), are just a fraction of the programmes being telecast.
ETV is fast gaining popularity with their quality programming and ETV’s Executive Director, Lucky Dissanayake, emphasizes and assures viewers that all programmes will commence at the exact scheduled time.
Entertainment value is high on ETv’s list of priorities, “people watch TV to be entertained, they want a good quality product and this is what we’ll be giving them”, Ms. Dissanayake added.
A point worth mentioning is that the improvement in ETV programming will be attributed to their unique “belt” format. This will ensure that viewers can tune into programmes of their choice with the assurance that there will be no last-minute changes. ETV’s daily schedule will comprise of a children’s belt, comedy belt, an action and drama belt, sports belt, business belt, movie beltete; this system will also enable advertisers to reach their target audiences effectively.
Apart from the abundance of programmes, ETV is also giving away two gold coins every day, in a competition based on one of the programmes telecast on that day. One gold coin will be given to a viewer who calls in and the other to whoever writes in with the correct answer.
Sri Lanka is no doubt being given a treat worth its weight ‘in gold”, “we also want to maintain a balance between information and entertainment”, said Mr. Senaratne, “we believe that television is primarily a source of entertainment and our mission is to be THE entertainment network in the country.”by Neelika Goonetilleka