Technology

Colors launches on Pehla in the Middle East

MUMBAI: Viacom18 has launched its flagship Hindi general entertainment channel Colors on the Pehla satellite packages across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, while firming up plans for other international markets.


The channel has partnered with Arab Digital Distribution Company (ADD), which is the leading DTH player in the region. As per the deal, ADD will also distribute the channel on cable and IPTV in the UAE through e-Pehla packages on E-Vision and on Du, and in Qatar through Q-Tel.



Colors will be available on all three Asian packages offered by Pehla – Pehla Basic, Pehla Silver and Pehla Gold.
 
 
The MENA region launch follows Colors‘ roll out in the UK, US (as Aapka Colors) and Australia-New Zealand.



Colors‘ next launch will be in East Africa, followed by South East Asia, North America, Canada and Caribbean region.


“We are looking at spreading our footprint across the globe. We are identifying the hubs where there is a strong Indian population and our launches will be in this belt first,” Viacom18 chief commercial officer and international business head Gaurav Gandhi told Indiantelevision.com.



Colors has already launched in US, UK, Australia-New Zealand and Fiji. "We will very soon launch on cable in East Africa,” Gandhi added.



In the MENA region, ADD will not only distribute but also take care of the channel‘s advertising sales.



“We have signed a multi-year deal with ADD, wherein it will distribute and market the channel,” Gandhi said, without divulging the details of the deal.


ADD packages reach out to more than 1.2 million subscribers across the region on three different bouquets, offering over 60 channels covering different genres of entertainment and infotainment. Pehla, which caters to the Asian diaspora, is one the fastest growing pay television bouquets in the Middle East.



Commenting on the launch of the channel, Viacom18 Group COO and Colors CEO Rajesh Kamat said, “The launch is part of Viacom18’s aggressive growth plans to extend its flagship brand outside India.”
 
 
Arab Media Corp (ADD‘s parent company) CFO Abdel Ghani Ali said, “Pehla has continued to maintain a robust year-on-year growth despite the prevailing recessionary conditions, with subscription and advertising revenues clocking $55 million in 2009, riding on premium cricket and the diverse content offering. We expect a further boost for 2010 with Colors and new channel additions likely to drive the growth in subscription and advertising revenues.”



Colors will air its most popular fiction shows including Balika Vadhu, Uttaran, Laagi Tujhse Lagan and Naa Aana Iss Des Laado on the same day of the India telecast. Viewers will also get to see the big ticket reality shows including Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi x 3, hosted by Priyanka Chopra and soon to be launched Bigg Boss Season 4 featuring Salman Khan on the channel.

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