Television

Discovery heads south; launches Tamil feed

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Discovery's mission is clear. Build up the audience base by offering content in regional languages. With this objective in mind the channel on Wednesday announced the launch of a Tamil-language broadcast fuelled by the encouraging response to its 24-hour English and Hindi language feeds. 

An official release informs that the channels decision to diversify into Tamil was based on a study that showed that Discoverys viewers who converse in neither English nor Hindi want to watch and understand programmes in their mother tongue. This prompted the channel to move into the region-specific mode and speak the viewers language. The release states that the channel will maintain the relevance and quality of the content through the use of colloquial and viewer-friendly terms and phrases. 

For starters the Tamil broadcast will air in the Family Time timeband from 8 to 10 pm, Monday to Friday, with repeat telecast from 10 am to 12 noon. The channels long term goal is to gradually make the broadcast 24 hours a day. Tamil programmes will concentrate on fact based entertainment programnmes which are based on theme nights. They are History on Mondays, Science on Tuesdays, Forensics on Wednesdays, Health on Thursdays and Special Premieres on Friday. 

Speaking on the latest initiative MD Discovery Communications India Deepak Shourie said, Discovery in Hindi achieved an enormous jump in viewership for the channel in regions where Hindi is predominant. With Discovery in Tamil, we are confident of attracting a large Tamil-speaking viewer base to the channel and expanding viewership in South India. We decided to begin the Tamil-language broadcast as Tamil Nadu comprises the largest number of cable and satellite television channel viewers in South India. After Tamil, we plan to diversify into more regional languages in South India." 

Reports indicate that the Tamil channel will be followed by a Telugu one. Judging by viewers response the channel will consider launching feeds in Malayalam and Kannada.

The release informs that as of now the Discovery Channel is available in 33 languages worldwide. The Tamil-language broadcast reflects Discovery Channels international strategy to be accessible to the largest number of people and to showcase high-quality global content in region-specific languages. 

Launched in India in 1995, Discovery is today the sixth most-widely distributed channel in India and reaches over 21 million households. 

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