NatGeo open to joining DD's DTH platform

NEW DELHI: National Geographic Channel (NGC), part of the Star bouquet of channels in India, is open to the idea of making available its fare on a variety of platforms, including a subscription free direct-to-home television service being proposed in the country by pubcaster Doordarshan.

Responding to a specific query on DD's DTH service by a journalist from a business newspaper, NGC (South Asia) MD Zubin Gandevia said, "We are open to the idea."

Further queried whether NGC is open to joining a DTH platform that would not charge any subscription from its customers - as DD is proposing to do initially when it makes a foray into KU-band TV service some time this year - Gandevia said, "Let them first approach us and then we will take a decision. But, principally speaking, we would like our programming and the channel to be available on as many platforms as possible."

Pointing out that neither DD nor Dish TV have made an offer to NGC to join their DTH platforms, Gandevia made it clear that NGC, if approached, would "consider all the offers and options."

Meanwhile, he claimed that NGC would be reaching between 25-30 million cable homes in India, but added, "Don't ask me for the number of homes we are paid for. It'd be quite shocking."

Gandevia also ruled out any immediate plan to introduce feeds of NGC or The History Channel (distributed as part of the Star bouquet) in other Indian languages, though he admitted that Bengali and Tamil are two languages that are "always under active consideration" of the company.

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