Television in Sri Lanka

Television in Sri Lanka dates back to 1979. Television broadcasting, like other forms of media in the country, is generally divided along linguistic lines with state and private media operators providing services in Sinhala, Tamil, and English languages.


Businessmen Anil Wijewardena and Shan Wickremasinghe established the country's first TV station Independent Television Network which started broadcasting on 15 April 1979.[1] The new station remained independent for less than two months as the government took control of it on 5 June 1979 following a dispute with President J. R. Jayewardene.[1] Sri Lanka's second state-owned TV station - Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) - was established by the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation Act No. 6 of 1982.[2] SLRC started broadcasting on 15 February 1982.[1] The Act required the SLRC maintain taste and decency and not to incite crime and disorder or cause religious or public offence.

The government maintained a monopoly on television broadcasting until 1992 when private TV stations were allowed to broadcast but they were to be regulated by the SLRC.[1] Maharaja Television (MTV), a joint venture between Capital Maharaja and Singapore Telecommunications Limited, was one of the first private TV stations. Since then many new TV stations have started in Sri Lanka. There are also a number of satellite networks and pay per view television networks in Sri Lanka. The national telecommunications provider Sri Lanka Telecom also launched an IPTV service in 2008.

Since then, during the last two decades, multiple broadcasting networks have entered the public frequencies. A privately owned company, Swarnawahini came into action in 1997 and still functions under the same brand name. In 2005 another major television channel came into action under the name Derana which now has multiple broadcasting platforms including radio, printed media, and a fully dedicated news channel called adaderana24X7.

Since 2020, where the Pandemic starting taking over the country's Education system, Television has been more and more in use for distance education.

A table has been created for the children to find channels where they can study freely in Sri Lanka if they cannot go to schools

Educational Television providers

Provider Channel Number Language Grade Duration
Ask Cable Vision[lower-alpha 1]Nilet19Sinhala/Tamil MixedFull day
Grade 620Sinhala6Full day
Grade 721Sinhala7Full day
Grade 821Sinhala8Full day
Grade 921Sinhala9Full day
Grade 1021Sinhala10Full day
Grade 1121Sinhala11Full day
Channel EyeSinhala/TamilMixedFull day
Nethra TVSinhala/TamilMixedFull day
Kalvi-TV 1Tamil6-13Full day
DialogTV - VIU APPGuru TV22Sinhala/Tamil 5 - 13Full day
Nenasa Sinhala24Sinhala5 - 13Full day
Nenasa Tamil25Tamil5 -13Full day
Channel One1Sinhala/English6 - 132 hours
A-Plus52Sinhala51 hour
Supreme TV118Sinhala10 - 118 hour
Channel Eye3Sinhala/Tamil7 - 13Full day
PeoTVVidasa 5205Sinhala5Full day
Vidasa 6206Sinhala6Full day
Vidasa 7207Sinhala7Full day
Vidasa 8208Sinhala8Full day
Vidasa 9209Sinhala9Full day
Vidasa 10210Sinhala10Full day
Vidasa 11211Sinhala11Full day
Channel Eye2Sinhala/TamilMixedFull day
Nethra TV16Sinhala/TamilMixedFull day

Television providers


The following is a list of current television providers based in Sri Lanka.

Provider Ownership Owner Transmission Established
Ask Cable Vision[lower-alpha 2]PrivateAsk Media & Cable VisionDigital cable2010
City Cable[lower-alpha 3]PrivateCity Cable LinksCable
Dialog TV[lower-alpha 4]PrivateDialog AxiataDigital satelliteJuly 2005
Dish TV[lower-alpha 5]PrivateDish TVDigital satelliteMarch 2015
Lanka Broadband Networks[lower-alpha 6]PrivateLanka Broadband NetworksAnalog cable, digital cable2000
PEO TVState-owned[lower-alpha 7]SLTMobitelIPTVSeptember 2008
Satcom[lower-alpha 8]PrivateFuture Sat Com HoldingsSatellite
TV LankaPrivateDigital terrestrial2012


The following is a list of former television providers which were based in Sri Lanka.

Provider Ownership Owner Transmission Established Closed
Multivision[lower-alpha 9]PrivateRuhunu 2001 MultivisionAnalog microwave19992008
Franknet[lower-alpha 10]PrivateT.GuhanCable TV19951998

Television stations


The following is a list of current television stations based in Sri Lanka.

Station Ownership Owner Language Established Terrestrial Satellite Cable IPTV
[lower-alpha 11]
Digital Dialog



Haritha TVNon-profitHaritha NetworkSinhala31 March 2021149
Ada Derana 24[lower-alpha 12]PrivatePower House Ltd under Dilith JayaweeraSinhala/English20 July 201414250814
ART Television[lower-alpha 13]PrivateIWS HoldingsEnglish199613017
Channel CPrivateWide Angle ProductionsSinhala10 March 200845
Channel Eye[lower-alpha 14]State-ownedSri Lanka Rupavahini CorporationEnglishApril 1999032572002
Citi HitzPrivateOnAir World CeylonSinhala10 December 2007019
Colombo TVPrivateColombo Television LimitedSinhala1 January 2015111
Dharmavahini TVPrivateDharmavahini FoundationSinhala20 May 2007
Dream TV[lower-alpha 15]PrivateGalleZone SolutionsSinhala20102511015
ETV[lower-alpha 16]PrivateEAP Broadcasting CompanyEnglish1995119
Heritage TV[lower-alpha 17]PrivateHeritage TelevisionSinhala8 May 2009
Hiru TVPrivateAsia Broadcasting CorporationSinhala23 May 2012112507019
ITN ChannelState-ownedIndependent Television NetworkSinhala13 April 1979042517003
Knowledge TVPrivatePix & WordsSinhala2010018
Nethra TVState-ownedSri Lanka Rupavahini CorporationTamil1 January 2008016
Rangiri TVNon-profitRangiri Sri Lanka Media NetworkSinhalaJuly 2011212532022
Raw TVPrivateRaw TelevisionSinhala26 October 2015
Ridee TVPrivateTiss Nagodavithana FilmsSinhala201218
RupavahiniState-ownedSri Lanka Rupavahini CorporationSinhala15 February 19820022506001
Supreme TVPrivateSupreme Global HoldingsSinhala19 December 2019118140
Sarana TVNon-profitSarana Media NetworkSinhala2014094
Shakthi TVPrivateMTV ChannelTamil20 October 1998092609011
Shraddha TVNon-profitMahamevnawa Buddhist MonasterySinhala29 September 2012272531099
Sindu TVPrivateIraj ProductionsEnglish/Sinhala2015
Sirasa TV[lower-alpha 18]PrivateMTV ChannelSinhala10 June 1998082513010
Siyatha TVPrivateVoice of Asia NetworkSinhala17 September 2009152512008(SD)
Siyasa TVPrivateSiyasa Media NetworkSinhala28 January 2014095
Sri TVPrivateSri TVSinhala2006
Star Tamil [lower-alpha 19]PrivateVoice of Asia NetworkTamil17 September 20092618021
Swarga TVNon-profitRock FoundationEnglish/Sinhala/Tamil201130
Swarnavahini[lower-alpha 20]PrivateEAP Broadcasting CompanySinhala1997072516006
The Buddhist[lower-alpha 21]Non-profitSri Sambodhi FoundationSinhala29 June 20070262592096
TNL TVPrivateTelshan NetworksEnglish/Sinhala21 June 1993122526013
TV 1[lower-alpha 22]PrivateMTV ChannelEnglish/Sinhala14 December 1992102553012
TV Derana[lower-alpha 23]PrivatePower House Ltd under Dilith JayaweeraSinhala11 October 2005062514004
TV Didula[lower-alpha 24]Non-profitSanhinda Media NetworkSinhala20 February 2016172509117
UTV Tamil[lower-alpha 25]PrivateSATIS Agency (Pvt) LtdTamil23 March 201723127
Vasantham TVState-ownedIndependent Television NetworkTamil25 June 20090052614007
Verbum TV[lower-alpha 26]Non-profitVerbum TelevisionEnglish/Sinhala/Tamil2014031093
CeyFLiX Private Ausflix PTY LTD Sinhala/English/Tamil/Hindi 2019
Lankan Link Private CodeNinja PTY LTD Sinhala/English/Tamil 2015


The following is a list of former television stations which were based in Sri Lanka.

Station Ownership Owner Language Established Closed Notes
Carlton Sports NetworkPrivateCarlton Sports NetworkEnglish/Sinhala7 March 20112016License suspended[8]
DAN Tamil OliPrivateAsk Media and Cable Vision NetworkTamilJanuary 20092013Now shown only on cable and satellite.
NTVState-ownedSri Lanka Rupavahini CorporationEnglish18 November 20092015
Prime TVState-ownedIndependent Television NetworkEnglish12 November 20092010
TV 2PrivatePeoples Media NetworkEnglish1 November 20082009
You TV[lower-alpha 27]PrivateMGM NetworksEnglish/Sinhala/Tamil17 January 2007

Most viewed channels

PositionChannelShare of total viewing (%)
1Sirasa TV12.5
2TV Derana11.3
3Hiru TV10.9
5Shakthi TV5.4
8Siyatha TV1.9
9Channel Eye1.4
10Vasantham TV1.0


  1. Available in Jaffna peninsula only.
  2. Available in Jaffna peninsula only.
  3. Available in Colombo only.
  4. Formerly CBNsat.
  5. Formerly Star TV Lanka, Satnet
  6. Available in Colombo and Jaffna only.
  7. The Government of Sri Lanka owns the majority of shares in Sri Lanka Telecom, the ultimate parent company of PEO TV, either directly or via organisations controlled by it (e.g. Bank of Ceylon, Employees' Provident Fund, National Savings Bank and Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation).
  8. Formerly Srilakvahini.
  9. Formerly Comet Cable.
  10. Formerly Hatton Cable, Special in up country and wellawatte area.channels of Sun TV Network,Doordarshan from S-C Band Satellite.
  11. Channels 21-69 on UHF, channels 2-12 on VHF.
  12. Formerly Ada Derana 24X7.
  13. Formerly Dynavision.
  14. Formerly Rupavahini 2.
  15. Also known as TV Dream Music.
  16. Formerly ETV 2.
  17. Also known as HTV.
  18. Formerly MTV.
  19. Formerly Varnam tv Vettri TV.
  20. Formerly ETV, ETV 1.
  21. Also known as Buddhist TV.
  22. Formerly MTV Newsvision, MTV, Channel One MTV, MTV Sports, MTV.
  23. Formerly Derana TV.
  24. Formerly TV Didula.
  25. Formerly Udhayam TV.
  26. Also known as EWTN.
  27. Formerly Max TV.


  1. Indrajit Banerjee, Stephen Logan, ed. (2008). Asian Communication Handbook 2008. Singapore: Asian Media Information and Communication Centre, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University. pp. 446–459. ISBN 9789814136105.
  3. "Channels". Dialog TV.
  4. "List of Channels on Dialog TV". TV Channels List.
  5. "Packs: Ntertainment". Dish TV (Sri Lanka).
  6. "LBN Packages". Lanka Broadband Networks.
  7. "Channel Lineup". PEO TV.
  8. "Media Ministry suspends CSN license".
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