Television

Disney to launch Indian variant of ABC: paper

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MUMBAI: While the industry impatiently awaits an announcement as to who will be heading Disney in India, some news on what the three channels it is launching in India will constitute.

It's not just kiddies channels that the Little Big Mouse is planning to bring to India early next year but a general entertainment channel as well. Going by what a German newspaper reported recently, one of the channels Disney is thinking of launching is a localised version of ABC.

Which is certainly not what indiantelevision.com had thought was coming from the Disney stable in March-April 2005. The three channels that this website had assumed were coming to Indian shores were The Disney Channel, Playhouse (for pre-schoolers) and Toons.

The German business daily Handelsblatt recently quoted David Hulbert, president of the Disney unit of Walt Disney Television International, as saying that the launch of the three channels (the other two being TDC and Playhouse) would definitely happen within a year.

Handelsblatt has additionally reported that Disney is searching for a local partner for content generation.

One thing certain about any plans Disney may have for a general entertainment in India. It will be a long haul for it to better its current standing in the US as far as the network pecking order is concerned. ABC has been struggling to close the gap with Murdoch's Fox, GE's NBC and Viacom's CBS.

It will be the same in India what with three well entrenched players in Star, Sony and Zee having pretty much carved out most of the ad pickings in the Hindi general entertainment space.

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