Sri Lanka’s first television channel dedicated to sports, Carlton Sports Network (CSN) last week completed its first year of successful operations.
CSN which started its journey broadcasting only in Colombo has within the year reached islandwide status by launching seven transmission channels a few months after the start of operations.
The channel, which features premier sporting events both in Sri Lanka and around the world, will soon launch a ‘comprehensive strategic plan’ which would act as a road map taking the channel forward.
At a media gathering organised on Tuesday, Director of Administration and Finance Janaka Ranathunga stated that the year 2012 will be a significant one for the Network during which the long term success of CSN could be assessed. “We have survived a year in this highly competitive field of media in this country. We have also managed to make a name for ourselves within a short period of time,” he said.”The idea of a sports dedicated channel was formulated in January last year and we, within a short time managed to both launch and establish ourselves in the industry.”
Trying to set new trends in the market, the Network introduced four of the new program lined up for the year. In search of hidden sportsmen and sportswomen in rural parts of the country under six sport categories which includes volleyball, cricket, netball and kabadi, the channel will launch ‘CSN Future Stars’ in the near future.
Competitions will be held on district levels, provincial levels and national levels to find the hidden sports stars of the country. Winners will be introduced to national bodies to train them to take them to international levels. This is likely to be an annual event, they said.
CSN will also host a ‘National Sports Awards’ recognising sportsmen across a wide category of sports. The Awards aim to appreciate both the popular and the unsung heroes in the field.
A ‘CSN National Sports Directory’ will be launched soon this year for which information collection has already started. The directory will be launched as a publication as well as on a CD.
Another program called ‘Kreeda Saviya’ will also be conducted throughout the year where schools and clubs in rural villages who have talented sportspersons but not the necessary infrastructure, requirements and equipments, will be supported by donations and renovations etc., when necessary. Starting off the program at Tuesday’s event students from Kandepola Primary School was given equipment for volleyball, which the school excels in.
Commending unsung heroes in the sporting world, CSN awarded cash prizes to the families of late marathon runner, K.A. Karunanada and 5000 meter athlete R.J.K Karunarathneat the event.