Aastha channel to beam in UK, US, Canada

Indian spiritual channel Aastha will soon be spreading its wings to the UK, USA and Canada.

According to Kirit Mehta, promoter of CMM Broadcasting Network Limited, which runs the digital channel: "Plans are at an advanced stage to distribute Aastha channel in the UK, USA and Canada, since there is much demand for this channel in these countries."

"Currently these three countries are not being covered through the present global beam of Thaicom-3. Several interested parties from these countries have approached us with telecast offers, after we telecasted a few live programmes covering these regions.

"We are also in the process of turning the Aastha channel into a pay service by teaming up with DTH and multiple system operators in these countries as well as in countries which are presently being covered through Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, West Asia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mauritius, Maldives and Sri Lanka."

In India, Aastha has a higher viewership than CNBC, CNN, Hallmark and Jain TV, a company release states. Most of these numbers however, are not in the cities but come from the rural populace.

On the international arena, CMM Music, the other channel under the CMM label, claims higher viewership than rivals Zee Music, B4U and Channel V.

Aastha and CMM Music have a programme library of over 8,000 and 4,000 hours respectively, the release says.

CMM has also announced that Ernst & Young has been appointed to value the intrinsic worth of the channels. The company is hopeful that the valuation exercise will help rope in more strategic investors.

If this happens, the channels will be able to make good on their aggressive expansion plans.

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