AXN to add one-hour Hindi feed from 5 Jan

MUMBAI: 'AXN now speaks the Indian language,' says the release, but didn't the channel go blue in the face denying any such plans just recently?

As a New Year "bonanza", AXN will introduce a dual feed in Hindi and English from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm every Monday to Friday, starting Monday, 5 January.


The feed will premiere with the popular Ripleys Believe It or Not . Incidentally, it was in September last that a media report had quoted AXN assistant vice president marketing and sales Rohit Bhandari saying a dual feed was in the offing. Later AXN Asia marketing V-P Gregory Ho denied the possiblity in an interview.

When contacted Bhandari offered, "Yes at that time we were considering the propositions, but nothing was decided. When I spoke to the daily, all I said was that a programme like Ripley's believe it or not would be popular even if it was made in any Indian language and I was assured of its success if I were to dub it. The newspaper created a headline stating that we were going for a dual feed. It was completely incorrect. Me saying that I want to get married doesn't translate into me getting married soon!"

The channel will be introducing the dual feed on an experimental basis, only one hour per day, for about three months. Bhandari offered that besides the show, the channel would also be dubbing six odd movies.

Audience who wish to to get the Hindi feed will have to contact their cable operators and make arrangementa.

There is a likelihood of the channel gradually include some other high rated shows in the one-hour time block, but that again will depend on the popularity of this experiment, says Bhandari.

According to the channel, the attempt is to establish a connect with its audiences and broaden its viewership base.

SET's executive vice president Rohit Gupta was quoted in the release as saying, "AXN has been very successful in striking a fine balance between managing a firmly entrenched international brand while infusing just the required amount of local flavour to give viewers the Buzz. AXN constantly ups its ante by bringing viewers a unique mix of on-air programming and off-air activities, whether its bringing Indias first reality TV show the AXN Extreme Dhamaka, the AXN Hot N Wild Contest or introducing the latest dual feed."

"Banking on its unique positioning and solid brand familiarity, we are sure this initiative is going to be a huge success with the Hindi speaking viewers thereby enabling AXN to effectively build bridges with a larger audience base and entrench its roots further" he adds.

Just some more proof (if proof were needed) as to the importance of the Indian viewer's sensibilities to channels that have a pan-Asian reach?

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