Asianet is one of the leading Television channel companies in Kerala, India. The company is owned by Asianet Communications Limited, headed by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, with its head offices at Studio Complex, Puliyarakonam, Thiruvananthapuram(Trivandrum). The channel reaches over 60 countries including the Indian sub-continent, Sri Lanka, China, South East Asia, Middle East, Europe, USA, Singapore and the lower half of the former Soviet Union.
Asianet operates three Malayalam television channels; the Asianet channel which was the first private television channel in Kerala, Asianet Plus and Asianet News. The channels cater to a wide variety of program genres, including game shows, news, serials, live TV chat, music video shows and reality shows.Asianet is the leading television network in malayalam, taking 60% of total viewership. The channel broadcast a hit reality show in south India named Idea star singer.
In June 2007, Asianet started a new channel in Kannada, (the language for the Indian state of Karnataka) called Asianet Suvarna and on 31 March 2007, they started airing their news channel "Suvarna News". Asianet plans to lanch a Telugu channel "Sitara", and also plans to extend broadcasting in other languages.
Asianet operates a radio channel in the United Arab Emirates, named Asianet Radio 1539 AM and in Kerala with the station "Best FM 95".
There were only a limited number of entrepreneurs in India who were willing to invest in sophisticated receiving and distribution equipment in the early nineties. Most distributors operated with crude fixed dish antennae and ordinary satellite receivers and amplifiers, distributing the signals to a few households in a limited area. Asianet addressed this handicap by undertaking cable distribution through a wholly owned subsidiary, Asianet Satellite Communications Ltd., to ensure last mile connectivity anywhere within Kerala.
Asianet commenced operations by the end of 1992 and started telecasting by August 1993. The state owned Doordarshan broadcaster was the only customer for Malayalam programmes. Asianet decided to develop in-house production facilities and now has a large production team with studios at Trivandrum, Kochi and Kozhikkode.
Asianet hired a transponder on the Russian "Ekran" satellite, with uplink from the USSR. Later, the company hired the transponder on the "Rimsat" satellite, and shifted the uplink to Subic Bay Island in the Philippines and then to Manila. Initially, the transmission time was only three hours per day which was gradually increased to 12 hours per day by the end of 1994. In early 1995, the uplink was shifted to Singapore where it attained full operational status. With a change in the policy of the Government of India, Asianet started an uplink from Chennai through VSNL. From July 15 2002, Asianet had its own earth station at the Asianet Complex in Trivandrum.
Asianet began its operations by telecasting for two hours daily in 1993 which was increased to round the clock. The franchise started a second channel 'Asianet Global' targeting gulf malayalees. The channel was relaunched as Asianet News on May 1, 2003 signifying an increased stress on news and current affairs in deference to viewers' demands. On July 23, 2005 Asianet launched its third channel - Asianet Plus, a complete entertainment channel. Another channel Asianet Suvarna has been launched in the Kannada office.
Asianet transmissions are available in the Indian sub-continent, Sri Lanka, China, the South East Asia, the entire Persian Gulf, the UK, Europe, Australia, USA and the lower half of the former south-central Asia - around 40 million viewers worldwide in a total of over 60 countries, and today employs more than 400 personnel.
Asianet FZ LLC, Dubai, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Asianet and owns a majority stake in Asianet USA LLC.
Asianet's majority share was acquired by Asianet TV Holdings Pvt. Ltd, a company owned by Jupiter Entertainment Ventures Private Limited, a subsidiary of Jupiter Capitals Ltd. Rajeev Chandrasekhar is now the Executive Chairman & Editor-in-Chief.
Asianet Plus The third channel Asianet Plus was launched in August 2005. This is a 24 hrs youth oriented channel and is rated third among all the Malayalam channels, and top within Kerala .
Best FM 95 Asianet Communication Limited launched their FM radio channel in Trichur and Kannur. They are the most popular FM network in Kerala.
Asianet Suvarna Suvarna is the least popular Kannada channel. . It has the tag line "24 carat manorangane". The channel airs soap operas, talk shows, news programmes, and game shows. It premieres Kannada movies and presents the most popular Kannada reality show "Confident Star Singer". Suvarna News Represented with the tag line "neera, ditha, niranthara", the channel broadcasts 24 hour live news bullentins, and special bulletins for crime, sports, business and entertainment.
Asianet Sitara The new telugu channel from the house of Asianet,released in october
Sitara News The news channel in telugu..mostly by november