The Ministry of Cults and Religion, in collaboration with a Chinese internet service provider and TV broadcaster, is planning to launch a new television channel that will focus on Buddhist programming.
“We recently registered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the new TV channel with the ministry to start a new television station broadcasting about Buddhism,” said Seng Someny, a spokesman from the Ministry of Cult and Religion.
The types of programming on Sasnsa TV (Religion TV) will differ little from other television channels in terms of formats.
It will include talk shows, topical programs and reality shows, he said.
While several TV channels in Cambodia offer religious programming, this would be the first to focus entirely on Buddhist teachings.
“We have agreed together to be named Sasna TV because we plan to broadcast about Buddhism and will have programs hosted by members of the Buddhist religious committee and monks,” Someny said.
Information Minister Khieu Kanharith confirmed that the Sasna TV was going ahead, saying the Ministry of Cult and Religion was leasing the Phnom Penh-based channel from Chinese cable TV firm SuperNet.
Official broadcasts for the new channel are scheduled to start at the end of this year, the content of which will be under the supervision of a committee of monks from the Ministry of Cult and Religion.
According to Someny, part of the reason for the new channel was to publicise Buddhist morality.
“If we are free to publish Buddhist principles, it will expose people to good morals for life,” he said.
He declined to say how much money SuperNet was investing in the channel, but added that the Ministry of Cults and Religion would have complete control over the content of the programming.
Last month, the Ministry of Interior announced plans to launch a TV channel of its own.
That project is also backed by a Chinese company.