Smile TV gears for cable debut in September

JAIPUR: Zee Telefilms, India's largest vertically integrated media and entertainment conglomerate, has decided to launch a comedy channel, Smile TV, as part of its cable service from September.

Till recently, Smile TV was available only on the ASC Enterprise and Zee Tele-promoted Dish TV, the country's first Ku-band direct-to-home television service. The comedy channel has been positioned as a 24-hour fun and entertainment channel with a slew of new programming previously not seen on the Dish TV service.

According to Ashish Kaul, vice-president, corporate brand development, Essel Group (the umbrella entity for all businesses of Subhash Chandra), "The Zee Network has been at the forefront of offering new and varied entertainment to its viewers. Smile TV has the potential to provide novel entertainment to audiences of all age groups as the programming mix of the channel has been developed with a prime objective to bring wholesome fun and entertainment."

Smile TV is being made available on a free to air mode, which means that the cable operators cannot charge an additional subscription fee from consumers.

Since the channel is digital, it would need a decoder box at the cable operators' end to be accessed. According to company executives, the boxes are being seeded in the market at the moment.

At a pre-launch press conference here, Zee Telefilms executives said that Smile TV has lined up five new shows of multi-genre entertainment, which include YO YO, Hasya Kavi Sammelan, Ek Minute, Kahaani Mein Twist, and Hasne Bhi Do Yaaro

Though Smile TV aims to garner viewership through fun programming to cater to all age groups, there may be a segment that can cater to adults during late night.

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