Astro Awani is the in-house rolling television news and current affairs channel providing 24-hour news coverage including news in Malay. With its slogan and motto tagline names News that transcends Dimensions (Malay: Berita Segenap Dimensi), Astro Awani presents news and informative programs including current affairs, lifestyle, documentaries, interview programs and a local and international magazine. Astro Awani started broadcasting on 6 September 2007 as part of the revamp of Astro's news division. The station is targeted at Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. Currently, the channel has numerous bases each with their own correspondents, and can also call upon a wide range of resources and global bureaux provided by the Malaysian government such as reporters from Bernama.
In 2002, the channel existed as Astro News. During that time, it carried programming from Al Jazeera (broadcast in Arabic with live Malaysian translation interpretation on its dual-language button), BBC World, CCTV-9, Eurosport News, the Australia Network (later became a separate channel in December 2007) and DW-TV. It also aired Astro News, a half-hour locally produced news program.
The five channels carried on that channel were since available separately, except when Astro News changes Al Jazeera into Al Jazeera English in its launch in 2006, which was also later became a separate channel, and DW-TV later takes a full-time slot until the Astro News channel ceased transmission on 1 March 2009. DW-TV has also been broadcast in Malaysia through NTV7 for selected programmes only on weekday afternoons in the early 2000s and later on Bernama TV also through selected programmes since 2010. Eurosport News is still airing as programme fillers on Astro SuperSport's channels since circa 2003.
In 2001, was launched as Bloomberg RIA News, as well as Bloomberg Malaysia, a joint production between Bloomberg Television and Astro. This had already dissolved in 2003 and Berita Astro started broadcasting on Astro Ria since then.
Until February 2007, Astro News was co-produced with the national news agency Bernama, with the former taking 12 minutes of the programme for general. The news is also translated into Mandarin Chinese on Astro AEC, Malaysian on Astro Ria and Tamil on Astro Vaanavil. English news was also aired on Astro Prima. On 28 February 2008 was launched form Bernama TV took over the full half-hour production pending a revamp of the internal news team at Astro. Astro Awani was first launched on 15 June 2006 in Indonesia by a joint venture between Astro and India-based NDTV. However, due to continued differences between the JV partners, the Indonesian version went off air in October 2008.
The launch of Astro Awani proved to be a significant milestone for NDTV and Astro, as it is the first channel launched by NDTV outside of India. It first distributed throughout Indonesia on PT Direct Vision's platform, Astro Nusantara.
On 6 September 2007, Astro Awani was launched in Malaysia, at the Palace of Golden Horses.
Astro Awani was the only 24-hour international news channels told from a local perspective exclusively in the Malaysian language until 28 February 2008, when Bernama TV launched, offering three other languages other than the national language.
In March 2009, Astro AWANI produced its first English language programme. Astro Awani not only provides in-depth coverage of issues concerning Malaysia via its current affairs programmes but it also produces documentaries, magazine and talk show programmes. The programmes feature interviews with local experts and personalities in line with Astro Awani's aspiration to provide global coverage and act as a gateway to the world to its viewers.
As of December 2010, some of Astro Awani's programmes such as Awani 7.45 are airing on Astro Ria every Monday to Thursday, starting with the live version of Sukan Awani at 7:30 pm followed by the live simulcast of Awani 7.45 at 7:45 pm for 45 minutes.
Astro Awani was launched to provide incisive, up-to-the-minute news, lifestyle, debate, current affairs and infotainment to discerning viewers in Malaysia. By partnering with NDTV, Astro has assured that nothing less than the best practices in news gathering and infotainment programming will be brought to its viewers. NDTV has been responsible for the training of all editorial, production and technical staff of the channel, the systems integration, workflow and systems design and channel graphics.
In March 2012, Astro AWANI began producing news bulletins for the AMP Radio Networks's (Astro Radio) radio stations Era and Sinar FM.
Astro AWANI launched its mobile application on iOS and Android in May 2013, with cumulative downloads of 750,000 to-date.
Astro Awani is encrypted on the MEASAT satellites carrying Astro on Channel 501 is available in Malaysia (Astro) and Brunei (Kristal-Astro).
When elections, either national or international, take place, Astro edits its schedule to focus on them. Some major examples have been the Malaysian Elections of 2008 and 2013 and the UMNO Elections of 2009.Suhaimi Sulaiman
Syed Faradino Omar