Reality TV readies for 1 February launch

NEW DELHI: AXN looks like finally having some serious competition on its hands. Reality TV makes it formal debut on 1 February, after some weeks of test runs, as part of a strategic alliance with the Zee Turner distribution joint venture. .

According to Chris Sharp, managing director of Zone Vision, the London based international thematic channel creators, "Reality TV is the real reality television, while other reality shows aired on other channels (like AXN) are not real reality programmes."

Reality TV, a 24-hour channel, combines hard-hitting, real-life drama and close-up looks at the work of emergency services with in-depth analysis of natural and man-made disasters.

This channel is targeted at the age group between 16-34 years and features material sourced from factual producers around the world. Reality TV captures the human drama when everyday life takes a turn for the unexpected, showing events as they actually happened.

"Unpredictable, unbelievable and unrehearsed. These are some of the words associated with the channel," Sharp said.

Reality TV will be aired in India, South Asia and parts of West Asia.

Brought to India by Zone Vision, the London based international thematic channel creators, Reality TV will be distributed in India by Zee Turner, the distribution alliance between Zee Telefilms Ltd and Turner International. 

Zone Vision, is making its first foray into the Indian market by launching Reality TV.

Zee Turner Ltd.'s chief executive Sunil Khanna said: "There are plans to localise the channel too in the long term, though immediately we are not revising the subscription rate for the Zee Turner package."

Added Sharp: "Initially we would look at introducing (an) Indian language as this feed of Reality TV is dedicated to India specifically."

The target for Zee Turner is to enable the encrypted Reality TV channel reach 10 million cable homes in the first two weeks after a formal launch, according to Khanna who, however, ducked a question on whether this target was on the higher side.    

There are plans to localise Reality TV in the long term, though immediately there will be no revision in the subscription rate for the Zee Turner package

Pointing out that the aim is to "drive the Zee Turner package through Reality TV," Sharp also said that they are looking at having a marketing and ad sales outfit for the channel.

Reality programming is a proven success around the world and has helped boost audiences across terrestrial and non-terrestrial channels, Sharp said making a presentation during a press conference here.

The schedule for February 2003 will include the World's Greatest Child Rescues, Busted on the Job, When Chefs Attack, Cheaters, Cheating Spouses, Outrageous Vacation Videos, High Speed Pursuits and When Good times Go Bad among many others.

The launch of Reality TV into India will increase the channel's reach by 10 million subscribers by the end of the first quarter making a current total of 27 million subscribers across five continents. Reality TV reaches all corners of the globe providing thrills, spills and unbeatable round-the-clock entertainment value 365 days of the year. Localisation of content has ensured that today the channel reaches 17 million homes in 15 languages across 100 territories within just 4 years of launch, Sharp said.

Zee Turner manages distribution and trade marketing of a bouquet of channels of the Zee Telefilms Ltd and Turner International and third party channels in India and South Asia.

Zone Vision Enterprises Limited, established in 1991, has developed a leading market position as a broadcaster and distributor of thematic television channels throughout Europe.

Zone Vision, since June 1998, has established five successful channel brands operating across four continents: Reality TV, Le Cinema, Europa Europa, Romantica and Showtime. Apart from broadcasting, the group is actively involved in Channel representation, Programme Sales, Studio productions and Interactive services.

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