Kochi Media City plans TV hub

The first ever media city in India will house television stations, entertainment and movie production facilities and media education facilities like media schools has been planned in Kochi, Kerala, home to the Smart City project being developed by Tecom.  Modelled after the UK and Dubai Media cities, the Koch Media City project in Kochi, is being developed by Insight Media India, with the investment of major Non-Resident Indian investors and professionals who have worked in the UAE media.

Started with the plan to develop 27 acres of land in Kochi for a news channel, Flowers International is functioning from the media hub. Speaking to Emirates 24|7, Sreekandan Nair, Managing Director, Insight Media India said the media city in Kochi is an ongoing project, modeled after the media cities in the world, and leading investors from the UAE and Saudi Arabia have come forward to invest in the media ventures, starting with Flowers International, an expatriate focused Indian television channel in Malayalam, which will be telecasting programmes targeted at the Keralite community in the UAE and other GCC countries.

Insight Media City is a $88 million project being developed in three phases. The projects planned in the city includes an international media school spread over 10,000 square feet that can accommodate 1,000 students, the largest studio complex for television production in south India spread over 1.5 lakh square feet and an amphitheatre and performance arena with a seating capacity of 6,000. Sree Kandan Nair, Managing Director, Flowers International Channel, the first television channel form the Media City, said UAE based investors, Dr Vidya Vinod, Vice Chairman of Flowers International and Dr Alunkal Mohammed, a Healthcare businessman from Saudi Arabia are among major investors in the new project. Gokulam Gopalan, a major Indian businessman and film producer, Dr B Govindan, Bhima Jewellers Chairman, are among the investors.

Speaking to Emirates 24|7, Dr Vidya Vinod, CEO & Executive Director of Study World Education Holding, Dubai said: “We are planning to start an international media school in collaboration with a prestigious foreign university. There is a big demand for trained media professionals and the new international media school will train some of the best talents for the Indian media and entertainment industry.” 

Quoting a report by KPMG, the officials aid the Indian media and entertainment industry grew to 820 billion in 2012, registering a growth of 12.6 per cent. This is set to grow to INR 661 billion by 2017. The International School of Media will be established in collaboration with European Universities, for imparting training in various disciplines of electronic media and film direction, audiography, cinematography, television production and management. The courses to be offered at the  school includes editing, production control, art direction, scripting, broadcast engineering, broadcast journalism, television anchoring, radio and video jockeying, social media management, animation and advanced special effects.

Insight Media City will launch a news and current affairs television channel, Flowers International, and a new channel providing round the clock entertainment, both high definition. The server based and tape less television channels and their mode of functioning and content design will be delivered by over 100 well established media professionals from India.

R. Sreekandan Nair, a well known Malayalam television personality is leading a team of journalists including those who worked in the UAE. The news channel under the group will be headed by Lean Jesmas, an Indian television journalist who was behind NTV UAE, a local television channel for Keralties in the UAE. Nikhil Raj, another Indian journalist too has joined the team to launch the latest television channel for the Keralite community in the UAE. Davies Edakulathur, Chairman of Bludan Trading, Qatar, Sathish G Pillai Jabir Valiyakathu from Global Broadcasting Network and T A Sundar Menon, Chairman, Sun International Group are in the team of Insight Media.

Flowers International will be cooperating with Broadcasting Network started telecasting on November 1, the Kerala Piravi Day. Now the channel is reaching out to Keralite community in the Gulf, where a number of television channels are already operational from the Dubai Media City. Dr Alunkal Mohammed from Saudi Arabia has been named the Chairman of the new news channel 24 from Insight Media. More interactive programme contents targeting the expatriate community will be developed from the UAE and other GCC countries, said Nikhil Raj, former CEO of NTV UAE and part of the Flowers International. “We hope more channels will be coming to the Insight Media City and we hope to become a major media hub like Dubai Media City and UK Media City. The stiff competition among Kerala television channels is preventing them to come together in one common media city,” added Sree Kandan Nair, famous for his Nammal Thammil, a programme that he anchored on Asianet Television for 18 years.

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