Two new Tamil TV titans: Jaya Plus and Jaya Max, the news and the muse

Tamil television is broadbasing itself. Now, every network wants a range of channels. Kicking off the trend is Jaya TV which, as its name suggests, supports AIADMK chief Jayalalitha.

Like the prisoner in the Maggi ketchup commercial, executives of the Jaya Network keep saying, ''It's different,'' when asked about their two soon-to-be-launched Tamil television channels - news channel Jaya Plus and music channel Jaya Max. Both channels commenced trial runs this month.

But vice president (news) K P Sunil, and vice president (programme and operations) V Murali Raaman have reasons to be cautious. The Tamil television industry is notorious not only for copying popular programme formats, but also poaching entire programming teams from their rivals.

No wonder all that Sunil is willing to say is: ''We plan to make it a news plus current affairs channel.'' The entertainment component, says Sunil, will be in small doses. He also refused to say anything about which programme hosts the channel has hired.

The channel will air news bulletins every 30 minutes. But what is interesting is that the women newscasters are attired in smart western clothes, giving Jaya Plus a young and vibrant look.

Sunil says the target audience will be Tamil viewers across the globe, regardless of the age. And he doesn't conceal the channel's slant towards the AIADMK when it comes to reporting political news.

That is no surprise. All Tamil channels with politicians (or those who have a strong association with a political party) as promoters tend to give their political news a slant.