SAB TV starts beaming off Sky in UK

MUMBAI: Over a year and a half after its terrestrial launch in the United Kingdom, Sri Adhikari Brothers Television Network Limited (SABTNL) today started beaming its Hindi entertainment channel SAB TV on the Rupert Murdoch-promoted Sky TV's DTH platform.

SAB TV will be a digital free to air 24-hour entertainment channel in the UK.

The channel will reach around 75 per cent Indian and Asian households in the UK through DTH network. Soon SAB TV will also be available on cable networks to expand reach to those other Asian homes that are not on DTH platform, a company release says.

Speaking to, Markand Adhikari, vice-chairman and managing director, SAB TV, said the channel's content would be same as that seen on the Indian feed. The only difference being that that there would be an hour of localised programming daily.

SAB TV broadcast will also be available in Europe. The negotiations are on for finalising cable distribution rights in other European countries on pay basis. SAB would continue to operate on terrestrial platform and will also expand in other regions.

With the launch of SAB TV on Sky, SABTNL is now operating both on satellite and terrestrial platform and will offer reach substantially higher than other Hindi entertainment channels, the release says.

SAB TV's terrestrial link is via a 50:50 joint venture that was formed last year with the MATV Channel 6 - the only operator among Asian channels in the UK to have secured a restricted service licence (a requirement for terrestrial broadcast). SABTNL put in an initial investment of $1 million towards the JV in MATV, a Leicestershire based free-to-air Asian channel that was launched in 1999 as a terrestrial broadcaster.

The MATV hook-up was the first major initiative on the part of SABTNL to leverage internationally the programming that it had built up over the years. SABTNL also has joint ventures in Sri Lanka and Indonesia for providing programming.

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