FTV connectivity higher than HBO, AXN, CNBC, says MEN CEO

It may be fashion consciousness, it may be something else. But French fashion channel FTV is expanding its reach at a fast clip, or so it is claimed.

According to Modi Entertainment Network CEO, distribution, Rajan Kaaicker, FTV's paid connectivity has crossed three million across India. That is higher than better known channels like movie channel HBO, action channel AXN and business news channel CNBC India, asserts Kaaicker. For good measure, Kaaicker adds that this figure compares well with Hindi entertainment channel Sony Entertainment Television (AXN), which according to him has a paid reach of only around 3.5 million.

When asked for his reaction, Shantonu Aditya, senior V-P, franchise channels & distribution, was quite dismissive of Kaaicker's assertions, saying that that both in the case of SET and AXN, the numbers were far higher than what was being quoted.

Kaaicker gave the numbers while claiming that most big MSOs in the major metros were carrying FTV, with some of them carrying the channel on the prime band (RPG in Kolkata was one such, Kaaicker says). Questioned as to why FTV was not being carried on west Mumbai-based MSO Seven Star Cable Network, Kaaicker said a deal had been signed and FTV would be available on the network from 1 April.

FTV is also in the process of expanding its Indian fashion band from the current one hour to two hours with top designers like Rohit Bal and Tarun Tahilani seeing in the channel a chance to showcase their offerings, says Kaaicker.

FTV is beaming off PanamSat-10 with uplink from Singapore. The channel is being bundled with DD Sports and Hallmark with a combined package pricing of Rs 13.25 per subscriber per month.

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