Sun TV Network is shutting down six channels including four ad-free action movie channels and replacing them with new channels in Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada language.

The company has got the approval of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) to re-launch the channels.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has also approved the pricing of the new channels. Sun TV Network is shutting down Tamil GEC Sun TV RI (Rest of India) and Malayalam movie channel Kiran TV, which is being re-branded as Surya Movies. 

Sun TV RI is a mirror of the network’s flagship Tamil GEC Sun TV; however, its broadcast is specialised for all states other than Tamil Nadu, allowing advertisers to focus on specific geographical areas.

The four ad-free movie channels also being shut down are Sun Action in Tamil, Gemini Action in Telugu, Suriyan TV in Kannada and Surya Action in Malayalam. The South Indian TV broadcasting giant is launching five new channels on 15 March. 

Of the new channels, two each will be in Malayalam and Telugu while one will be in Kannada. Four new channels will be high definition (HD) while one will be standard definition (SD). 

Besides Surya Movies, the company will also launch the HD version of Surya TV and a comedy GEC Surya Comedy in the Malayalam market. 

This will be the first HD channel in the Malayalam market. Malayalam is the third market after Telugu and Kannada to have a comedy GEC. In the Telugu market, Sun will launch HD versions of its movie and music channels Gemini Movies and Gemini Music.

Currently, it has only one HD channel in the Telugu market in Gemini HD, which is a GEC. The broadcaster will also launch the HD version of its Kannada GEC Udaya TV. This will be the first HD channel of the company in the Kannada market.

With the launch of four new HD channels, the company will have eight HD channels. Existing HD channels include Sun TV HD, K TV HD, Gemini TV HD, and Sun Music HD. As far as reference interconnect offer (RIO) price is concerned, Gemini Movies HD is priced at Rs 25 while Gemini Music HD, Surya HD and Udaya HD are priced at Rs 20. 

The SD channel Surya Comedy is priced at Rs 4.5 on RIO basis. Surya Movies is priced at the same rate as Kiran TV, which is Rs 7.64. The four ad-free action movie channels were priced Rs 16.8 each while Sun TV RI was priced Rs 5.25. 

The MIB recently approved the company’s applications to launch Surya Comedy in place of Sun TV RI, Surya Action in place of Surya Action, Surya Movies in place of Kiran TV, Gemini Music HD in place of Sun Action, Udaya HD in place of Suriyan TV, and Gemini Movies HD in place of Gemini Action.

Sun TV currently owns and operates 33 channels across four languages Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. The channels are spread across genres like GEC, movie, news, music and kids. – DTH Forum