The Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation established by Parliament under Act No. 6 of 1982 for the provision of national television service.it produces and broadcasts programmes in three languages. Distinguished civil servant M.J. Perera was the founder and chairman of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation. SLRC is the largest television broadcaster in Sri Lanka and has an island-wide reception of its channels. SLRC broadcasts its channels in both VHF and UHF frequencies in Sri Lanka. Currently, all of the network’s services are only available by analog transmission. But there are plans to upgrade to digital broadcasting. From 2011 Kokavil began to broadcast in DVB-T2 for the North area in Sri Lanka. There were plans to transmit DVB-T2 digital television all over the country in 2015. By 2021, however, the government had switched to a plan to use ISDB-T after receiving aid from the Japanese foreign ministry.
Rūpavāhinī was created under a government act on January 23, 1982, and established on February 14 the same year. Rupavahini began broadcasting on February 15, 1982, one day after it was established, with an opening speech from J. R. Jayewardene, Sri Lanka’s president at the time. Funding was donated by the Japanese government. Both transmitters were built and installed by Japanese technicians.
In 1986, Rupavahini expanded its facilities and, in 1998, rehabilitated most of the original equipment using digital technology under three grant aid projects from the Government of Japan. Its studio complex is in Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. The complex comprises a master control room, four studios, two dubbing studios, a digital post-production unit, two analogue post-production units, several editing suites including non-linear editing, and four outside broadcast vehicles. ‘Rupavahini 2’ launched in April 1999 before it changed its name to the current ‘Channel Eye’ in August 2000.
In December 2014, the main channel was made available via satellite to Europe (via Eutelsat 70B), prompting the channel to temporarily go 24/7 (still doing the formal start and end of transmission routines) to alleviate time zone differences. Due to unknown reasons, the channel was removed. The channel now starts up shortly before 04:00 IST and closes down shortly after midnight.
On January 1, 2008, Channel Eye became a time-shared channel, altering with the newly created Nethra TV. In 2009, series of Rupavahini productions available in DVD and VCD formats under the title”RU Entertainments”.
Rupavahini is the first Sri Lankan channel to telecast foreign teledramas. The most popular of them was Oshin, which was a Japanese teledrama dubbed in Sinhala. Also, the channel telecast the first Korean drama to air in the country called Sujatha Diyani also known as Dae Jang Geum, in November 2012. Which is another popular drama where it led to the foundation of other Korean historical dramas to air and be dubbed in Sinhala as well.
Rupavahini is the main channel, in Sinhala. It transmits on a 20-hour schedule and features news, teledramas, educational programming, discussion shows, and imported programming.
Channel Eye is the English language and sports channel. The channel’s name is derived from its three focal points: Education, Youth, and Entertainment. The channel airs a wide range of original productions and sporting events. In the first years of Channel Eye, it telecast documentaries of Discovery Channel and international and local sport programs, mainly cricket, volleyball, and motorcar racing. Channel Eye became the official TV broadcaster for five Cricket World Cup tournaments: 1996, 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2015.
Nethra TV (nethra is Tamil for “eye”) is the Tamil language channel started in 2008. Initially, it was broadcast on Channel Eye’s frequencies between 07:30 and 21:00. Since February 20, 2018, it has had its frequencies separate from Channel Eye. The channel focuses on Tamil culture and customs with original and acquired programming, including Tamil serials. It also airs an amount of religious programming, especially aimed at religious minorities.
Between 2009 and 2015, a fourth channel, NTV, was operated by the corporation. It aired contents entirely in English and was known to be a “worthless” channel upon its launch by critics. Eventually, NTV was shut down owing to low ratings.