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The Independent Television Network Limited (ITN) is a state-owned media company. Founded by Shan Wickremesinghe, the brother of the incumbent Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Chairperson of Telshan Networks (Pvt) Limited (TNL), ITN commenced its operations as a private sector company in April 1979. However, it was nationalised by the Gazette Extraordinary No. 39/4 of June 1979. In 1992, it was incorporated as a state-owned public limited company.

Currently, ITN manages two media platforms in TV and radio broadcasting. In the TV sector, it manages ITN and Vasantham TV. The Sinhala language ITN TV channel has an audience reach of 7 percent while the Tamil language channel Vasantham TV has an audience reach of 2.4 percent. In the sector of radio broadcasting, ITN manages ITN FM, which has an audience reach of 0.48 percent and Vasantham FM, which has an audience reach of 1.6 percent. ITN FM was formerly known as Lakhanda and this radio station originated as a subsidiary of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC). It was incorporated into ITN in April 1997. In addition to its existing radio and television outlets, ITN previously had another English language TV channel named Prime TV and a radio station named Prime Radio Sri Lanka. Both outlets ceased broadcasting in 2011.

Although ITN was formed and registered as a private company, since becoming a state-owned public company, all of its 9,500,000 shares are vested in the Secretary to the Treasury of the Government of Sri Lanka. Hence, this body comes under the purview of the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media.

Key facts

Business Form

State owned

Legal Form

Public Company

Business Sectors

Radio and TV broadcasting


Individual Owner

The Government

The Secretary to the Treasury owns 100 percent of shares of the Independent Television Network Limited (ITN). This body comes under the purview of the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media.

Media Outlets
Other Media Outlets

Other Radio Outlets

ITN FM (0.48%)

Other Online Outlets


General Information

Founding Year


Affiliated Interests Founder

Shan Wickremesinghe is the eldest son of Esmond Wickremesinghe and Nalini Wickremesinghe (nee Wijewardene). His brother is Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is the incumbent Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and the Leader of the United National Party (UNP). Shan founded the Independent Television Network (ITN) in 1979. ITN is the first private TV station in the country. Shan's uncle, J.R. Jayawardene, was Sri Lanka’s first Executive President under the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka. Under J.R. Jayawardene’s government, ITN was converted into a state-owned property in 1979. Shan’s maternal grandfather, D.R. Wijewardene, established the Lake House Group, which became the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL). Currently, Shan serves as the Chairperson of Telshan Networks (Pvt) Limited, which owns the TNL TV channel and radio station.


Missing Data


The Independent Television Network Limited

Wickramasinghepura, Battaramulla 10120

Tel: +94-11-2774424


Tax/ ID Number


Financial Information

Revenue (Financial Data/ Optional)

9.37 Mio $ / 1,429 Mio. LKR

Operating Profit (in Mill. $)

-1.88 Mio. $ / - 287 Mio. LKR

Advertising (in % of total funding)

Missing Data


Executive Board

Chandana Thilakarathna – is the CEO of the Independent Television Network Limited (ITN). He served as a Senior Consultant at China Radio International. Before joining ITN, he served as the CEO for Sath FM.

Further Information

Data Publicly Available

ownership data is easily available from other sources, e. g. public registries etc.

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Meta Data

The ownership structure of the Independent Television Network Limited (ITN) is not clearly determined on its official website and there is minimal information on the current CEO, Chandana Thilakarathna. Financial information on the company was taken from the Mid-Year Fiscal Position Report 2018 by the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media and the Annual Report 2017 by the Ministry of Finance. Meanwhile, The Fourth Report of the Committee on Public Enterprises which was presented by the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) revealed that from 1 September 2016 to 28 February 2017, many operational inefficiencies had been made on advertisements relating to the presidential election campaigns in January 2015. For instance, broadcasting advertisements to the value of Rs. 101,773,058 (USD 667,583.20) were done free of charge to promote a particular presidential campaign. However, the report does not disclose the respective presidential campaign promoted by the channel. Information on the ITN’s shareholders was gathered through the annual returns available at the Department of Registrar of Companies. The most recent data was available for the year 2017. While the Media Ownership Monitor research team reached out to the Independent Television Network Limited (ITN) by formally requesting for the company’s information on 20 July 2018, the company did not respond to the aforementioned request. The Central Bank's average exchange rate for 2017 (152.45) was used to convert the amounts into USD. Viewership data was obtained from the Kantar Lanka Market Research Bureau (LMRB) for the year 2017, while listenership data was gathered for the period of January- November 2017.

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