BBC shows to air on IN Mumbai cable channel

MUMBAI: BBC World and IN Mumbai, the news and events channel of Hinduja Group MSO INCableNet, today announced a content sharing agreement that allows for the airing of the British pubcasters programmes on the channel.

Starting 2 December, three of BBC Worlds popular programmes Wheels, India Business Report and Talking Movies will be available to IN Mumbai cable subscribers as part of their weekly schedule.

The announcement further cements a relationship that was forged in June with the signing of a deal that allowed for the 24-hour carriage of the BBC World Service radio programmes on INCableNet.

Asked as to what time slots the three BBC shows were getting, IN Mumbai president Ramindar Singh said the highest viewership the channel got was in the 10 pm prime time band. This is where the shows would be positioned, Singh said. The shows will have a twice-daily (first at 9:30 am) airing on three days of the week, he added.

Regarding the revenue sharing arrangement the deal envisaged, BBC World airtime director of sales Jonathan Howlett would offer no clue and said that was still being worked out. Queried as to what sort of brand positioning BBC hoped to achieve through the cable carriage deal for the radio service and TV programmes, Howlett said the long-term aim was to expand presence across television, radio and the Internet in India. These were all parts of a composite effort in that direction, he added.

Howlett also raised the possibility that BBC programmes would be dubbed into Indian languages to offer a wider reach. For the 24-hour radio service, in addition to English programmes, there is also four hours of Hindi programmes every day and half an hour of Tamil programmes.

Meanwhile, commenting on the new distribution agreement, IN Network Entertainment Ltd CEO R C Khanduri said: "The agreement is of strategic importance and comes at a time when channels are anxious to reach larger audiences and at the same time to bring new and varied content to viewing audiences. The large subscriber base of IN Mumbai will mean a wider audience for BBC World programmes and we look forward to developing this association further."

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