Needless to say that, the television in India has become a big industry now. Today, it has become an integral part of a common man’s life. More than 88% of all households are in possession of the television. Even people of the economically weaker section and uneducated persons use television to meet their entertainment, news and information needs. It is also a fact that, the internet has emerged as an alternative source of entertainment and information, but according to the statistics issued by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the penetration rate of the internet is only 19.2% in India. Apart from this, the internet is used by the educated and persons having technological bent of mind only, while the television caters the entertainment and information needs of people of every stratum. It is still a reigning medium in India. The TV penetration is further increasing rapidly. Undoubtedly, this medium of communication has become an important tool for the dissemination of information and it provides immense opportunity to reach millions of people.
It is also a fact that, there are more than 800 satellite channels available to viewers across the nation in different categories, airing thousands of programmes daily in various languages on various topics. More than 100 channels are being operated in the religion category. Out of these hardly 3 or 4 channels are serving the needs of the vast Muslim population of the country, but none of these fall under the ambit of complete Islamic family channel. These channels are either cultural or spiritual. There is a big vacuum in this genre. keeping in view the potential of the mass reach, and to fill the gap, the Mumbai based IPlus Telemedia Private Ltd; ventured into the market with a 24×7 Islamic family channel namely, iPlus TV.
The iPlus TV has a sufficient physical infrastructure including most modern and state of the art studio in Mumbai, the entertainment capital of the South Asia. It has planned its contents to air very tactically, as the company strives to become India’s first Islamic family TV channel. Besides regular religious programmes, the channel airs various socio-cultural and entertainment programmes with Islamic perspective. The day starts with Paigham-e- Quran and continues to serve the viewers by airing the regular programmes like poetic gathering, a game show for children, cookery show for women, sex education for youth and trade show for business persons. The channel has great expectations from its upcoming programmes like Halaat on current affairs, Gol Mez on burning issues, Islam ki Adaalat and Kya kahti hai duniya….. kya kahta hai Islam.
The iPlus TV has brought several new programmes for Muslim viewers on the occasion of Ramadan. These are Taaruf-e-Quran, Aaj ki Taraweeh, Tohfa-e-Ramadan and Masail-e-Ramazan on the issues associated with Ramadan.
No doubt, today Muslims are making great efforts to understand Islam and practice it in the present day’s materialistic environment. It seems that, the iPlus TV has provided a ray of hope for the community, as the channel has capabilities to address various socio-religious issues under one roof. Of course, there are some other TV channels being operated from foreign soils targeting Indian Muslim population. But, these are not as diverse as iPlus TV is. Either their contents are of a religious nature or cultural only. It is a great merit of iPlus TV that, it produces programmes on religion, social, economic, legal, health and all issues concerning the people of the modern age. It is the uniqueness of the iPlus TV that, its contents suit to people of other communities also.
In a very short span of time, the channel has managed to reach millions of homes of about 74 crore Urdu and Hindi speaking people of India. The iPlus TV is gaining popularity among community members. The market intelligence suggests that, the community has started to acknowledge it as an authentic source of information and being the complete family TV channel, it is unrivalled in religious category also. Besides, Muslim community, the iPlus TV expects to reach to a large number of non-Muslim populations also, as the iPlus promises to telecast shows on different socioeconomic issues with justice and ethics.
“The iPlus TV, a free to air, was officially launched on April 3rd, 2015 with a mission to serve the Muslim community in particular and the people of India in general, says Zaid Khalid Patel, the Chairman & Managing Director of the company.” He further said that, “the channel wants to become an educative and informative medium for the Urdu & Hindi speaking community. Through iPlus TV, we want to provide a platform to create awareness about various social issues and opportunities available in India for development. He also said that, the iPlus TV also intends to help the viewers in getting rid of various socioeconomic quandaries through its shows.
Patel Said that, we are making efforts to reach its target audience, but it is a time consuming exercise and we can’t reach everywhere overnight. Being a government approved TV channel, it is available on many of the cable operator’s platform across the country through INSAT-4A. In the areas, where iPlus TV is not available, the viewers can demand it from their cable operator, as this is their right, he added.