INDIA's premier television and radio channel, Asianet, is to strengthen its operations in Bahrain, it was revealed yesterday.
It will feature a weekly 30-minute programme titled Bahrain This Week, focusing on the activities of the Indian community in the Kingdom, and another 45-minute slot on the programmes organised by Indian clubs and organisations, starting next month.
The channel's future activities were outlined by Dubai-based Asianet Radio 657am director K Chandrasenan and other officials at a Press conference at the Bahrain Keraleeya Samajam yesterday.
The radio artistes were in Bahrain to stage a programme titled Hridaya Swarangal at the Al Ahli Club indoor stadium last night.
It was held as part of Asianet Radio 657 am's fifth anniversary celebrations, and was attended by more than 3,000 people. Presented exclusively by Asianet radio artistes, the programme was a hit, attracting thousands of people at various stages in the UAE.
They were presenting it for the first time outside the UAE in Bahrain, at the initiative of Asianet franchise holder Gulf-e-Bay, headed by managing director P Unnikrishnan, with the support of socio-cultural association, the Pioneers.
Asianet is committed to maintaining its position as the leading "infortainment" channel in the Gulf, said Mr Chandrasenan. "Currently, we broadcast for 15 hours a day, and it will soon be expanded to 24 hours," he revealed.
"The transmitter capacity will be doubled from 50 kilowatts to 100kw, starting in September this year. "This will enhance our reach as well as the clarity of broadcast not only in Bahrain but in all the Gulf countries."
Chief of bureau-news Biju Abel Jacob said the news telecasting would be streamlined and strengthened with the support of Asianet's 150 reporters working in 20 news bureaus in India. Bahrain This Week programme would be a totally Bahrain production, he revealed.
Assistant programme director Ramesh Payyannur said the channel's popular Voice of Arabia would be produced in Bahrain as well. Mr Unnikrishnan said plans are also underway to set up an Asianet Radio and TV Club in Bahrain. Asianet TV chief producer G Padmakumar was also present.
The three-hour extravaganza of music, skits and mimicry featured Mr Chandrasenan, Mr Payyannur, G Padmakumar, Mr Jacob, Vijay Babu, Maneesha Sheen, Reje Mannel, Manju Thomas, Pournami Sylesh, Wilson Kuzhoor, and Asif Meeran.
Information Ministry Under-Secretary Mahmood Al Mahmood was the chief guest, and MTC Vodafone pricing and marketing manager Tijjay Magbe was the guest of honour.