Sikh Channel launches this month - UK
The owners of Brit Asia TV have confirmed it will be launching the UK's first all-Sikh religious channel later this month.The Sikh Channel as the service will be known is set to commence broadcasting on Tuesday 14th April, to coincide with the annual Sikh festival Vaisakhi.
The Sikh channel will be the first UK TV station to focus upon the essence of Sikhism providing a national television platform free-to-air for the Sikh faith.
Unlike rival ZEE Punjabi, the Sikh Channel will primarily focus on education and religious programming for the Sikh community. Whilst ZEE Punjabi holds the exclusive UK/Europe telecast rights for up to ten-hours a day of Gurbani live from the Golden Temple, Amritsar, its programme line-up is heavy on entertainment shows consisting of Bhangra music and Punjabi films.
The Sikh Channel will start the day at 05:00 with 'Asa Di War', which will then be followed with 'Live Kirtan Darbar', 'Gurbani Explained' and 'Dhadi Jatha'. The channel will also be the first to broadcast live discussion shows on Sikh religious issues. At midday-daily, a two-hour show will air called 'Sikhs Today', which will let viewers interact with the channel on issues affecting today's Sikh society.
The rest of the day's output will include more religious and discussion shows. 'Rehras' will air daily at 17:00 in a 60-minute slot.
Brit Asia TV, which broadcasts free-to-air on Sky channel 833 will continue with its British Asian mix of live and recorded shows. Its playlist will be influenced with Punjabi music videos, whereas the Sikh Channel will concentrate purely on the religious side of the Punjabi community.
There have been plans to launch The Sikh Channel, even before Brit Asia TV launched in March last year. Davinder Singh Bal is behind the channel who up until now has controlled other media ventures including Legal TV, Red TV and Brit Hits TV.
Bal seems to have beaten its namesake rival The Sikh Channel to launch first this month. To avoid confusion, the second Sikh Channel, which BizAsia.co.uk announced the launch date of this week has no connection to Bal's service.
Incidentally, Vaisakhi will see the launch of two new Punjabi TV services - 1. The Sikh Channel, 2. Punjjabi TV. The latter is being launched by World Media Connect, however programme details are being kept underwraps.
The Sikh Channel is expected to launch on Sky channel 840.