Channel 9 was a Malaysian TV channel that broadcast between September 2003 and February 2005 before closing down due to company debts after having already changed hands once within those two years. The majority of its staff were the same people who had been involved in Metrovision Channel 8 before it closed. Both Channel 8 and Channel 9 were later relaunched as 8TV and TV9 by a company named Media Prima Berhad which continues to operate both to this day (as of January 2013). This company owns, altogether, TV9, 8TV, NTV7 and TV3, thus dominating the free-to-air TV market in Malaysia and being one of the biggest companies of the sort in the region.
As Channel 9, it broadcast a wide range of programmes in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil languages including a TV Shopping programme and a news programme Liputan 9 (9 Coverage) airing daily at 20:00. In 2004 the network changed hands from Medanmas Sdn Bhd to Anaza Sdn Bhd and rebranded launching a new segment named Hindi Power which broadcast Hindi and Tamil Bollywood movies and TV shows. This aired just before the news from 16:00 to 20:00, taking up a large chunk of the channel’s prime air time. Initially, TV9 did not broadcast its own news programme in the way that Channel 9 had formerly, opting instead to rebroadcast Edisi 7 from NTV7. Eventually, in 2007, it began broadcasting Berita TV9 a news programme which also airs daily from 20:00.
The company first announced that it was planning to pause its broadcasts on 1st January 2005 with the hope of dealing with its company debt and also cutting costs. It was at this time that Media Prima Berhad stepped in and accquired 98% of the shares in the company. By April 2006 the channel was back on the air under the new name of TV9 which it retains to this day. It initially changed its slogan from Channel 9′s “Malaysia… lah!” to “Dekat di Hati” (Close at Heart), changing it again in 2010 to “Di Hatiku” (At My Heart).
Since relaunching, the station’s primary target market has been Malay and Muslim and the channel airs a number of explicitly religious shows as well as TV soaps such as Anugerah made in nearby Indonesia. The station also sponsors original programming such as Ampang Medikal, a hospital drama heavily influenced by Grey’s Anatomy, and Gol & Gincu a TV series about an all female football team. A few American TV shows such as Smallville and The Nine Lives of Chloe King are broadcast on the channel as well as many kids TV programmes licensed from Nickelodeon.
Ordinarily, TV9 airs between 07:00 and 01:00 although it extends its hours during Ramadan when it broadcasts 24 hours a day. Without a satellite dish the channel is only available in Peninsular Malaysia but via the satellite TV service Astro, TV9 is available throughout Malaysia on channel 119 and has been since 2006. The channel is also available via IPTV (an internet streaming service) on the network UniFi or to stream through your browser if you are resideint in Malaysia at the URL: tonton.com.my