Reality TV to debut on Pakistan's Cross Current platform

MUMBAI: Zone Vision has inked an exclusive five-year carriage agreement with Cross Current in Pakistan to broadcast the company's flagship Reality TV channel. Amongst the special line up for the debutante channel is a hit series- Matchmaker.

The channel will reach approximately 1.5 million cable and DTH subscribers throughout the region.

A 24-hour channel delivering a non-stop insight into people's lives without actors, special effects or rehearsed material, Reality TV tells the stories of real people in real situations and shows events as they actually happened, says an official press release.

According to the release, Cross Current went ahead to sign the deal following channel's impressive reach within a few months of the launch of Reality TV in India. The channel has crossed a viewership of 15 million households across the country in a short span of 13 months, claims the release.

Distributed in India by Zee Turner, the channel is available worldwide to over 120 million subscribers in 16 languages.

Announcing the launch, Zone Vision senior vice president, group sales and marketing Mark David said; "This is a significant deal for Zone Vision because very few foreign cable channels have secured penetration in Pakistan as the territory has remained one of the few relatively closed markets to broadcasters. Cross Current has both the professionalism and the backing to put Reality TV on the map in this region, providing us with a significant inroad to Pakistan's huge television audience."

Besides, the global producer and distributor of thematic channels, Zone Vision has concluded an exclusive program licensing agreement with Canada's Tricon films and television, an independent entertainment production and distribution company, to acquire the international cable and satellite rights to the hit reality dating series Matchmaker.

A part of channels prime-time agenda, Matchmaker is scheduled to premiere on 3 May 2004 in the UK, the series will rollout in January 2005 on Reality TV in the US, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

Says Reality TV vice president, programming Steve Cole: "Matchmaker is an exciting acquisition for our expanding global network of channels. With this we have widened our range of programming content. We're confident that Reality TV viewers will enjoy Matchmaker's excellent production values and mischievous sense of humour."

First produced in 2001 and currently in production on season five, Matchmaker became one of the highest-rated programs on Canada's Life Network. Produced by Tricon, the series has established itself within the 18 - 34 demographic with an equal number of men and women viewers, says the release.

The series features a matchmaker in each episode, who arranges a date for a loveless friend. The entire experience is captured via closed circuit television. Hosted by Andrew Anthony, the series has the producers scour the city for that special someone.

On the matchmakers request, the producers also help the contestant with a complete make-over prior to their date. Be it makeup artists, wardrobe consultants, or psychics, everything is taken care of.

Looks like reality is taking roots in Indian subcontinent.

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