Geo TV eyes UK market; sceptical about India

MUMBAI: Dubai headquartered Geo TV, the flagship channel from the Pakistan-based Jang group of media companies, has now decided to spread it wings and is eyeing the UK market, while firm in the belief that India is not yet ready for it.

As part of the expansion plans, Geo TV is also mulling having an additional channel, Geo TV-Entertainment, in Pakistan. The existing channel, Geo TV, transforms into a news channel there. The Jang group has also applied for a DTH licence in Pakistan.

According to a senior executive of Geo TV present at the Ficci-Frames, the next destination for the infotainment channel is the UK, where negotiations are on with the Rupert Murdoch-controlled BSkyB platform.

Though no time frame was enlisted by Geo TV for the UK debut, it is part of a game plan to have a footprint in markets where there is sizeable South Asian population, especially people of Pakistani origin.

In the US, the infotainment channel, which made its debut there last year on the EchoStar platform, beams into approximately 35,000 homes there targeting primarily South Asian viewers. Future target is to reach 50,000 homes.

Asked about Geo TV's Indian plans, the company executive said that though an entertainment channel is being planned for the South Asian region, where the aim would be to exploit the Indian market more, the present regulatory regime in India would not make it commercially viable.

"A major part of our revenue comes from subscription and in the absence of any firm regulatory mechanism to this effect (read conditional access system), the Indian market looks a bit nebulous to enter into at present," the executive said.

However, Geo TV is available in quite a few Indian cable homes and, at one time, the channel was looking at having distribution tie-ups with cable ops and MSOs here.

Explaining the difficulties in making an Indian foray, the Geo TV executive said that the channel has been on air without advertisements since inception, depending on subscription revenue. "In India, the mechanism for accounting the subscription revenue is still hazy and, hence, we would not like to make an Indian debut so soon," the executive said.

Having an Indian presence would make eminent sense for the channel as several Indian television actors are increasingly being employed by Geo for their soaps and serials. Artistes like Sangeeta Ghosh, Aamna Shariff and Vikas Bhalla have been signed for serials on Geo.

As a stand alone channel in the US, it is priced at $ 15 per subscriber per month, while the target is to price the channel at £ 15 in the UK when it makes an entry there.

For UK the programming would be on the lines of the US feed and the effort will be to have localised content to cater to the South Asian viewers. The channel would also beam dramas, among other entertainment fare.

Geo TV airs programmes partly in Urdu and in English in the USA and has sizeable portion of local content The channel forayed into the Middle-East last year and airs there as a free-to-air channel on the Phela bouquet.

Latest Reads

Three new TV channels join DD FreeDish bouquet; 24 get extension

Doordarshan earned a sum of Rs 1293 million (Rs 129 crore ) by sale of three new slots and extension of the licence of another 24 on the 31st auction of its free-to-air direct-to-home platform FreeDish on 20 and 21 October.

DTH DTH Operator
DishTV launches Kids Active in partnership with Shemaroo

Value added services has been a focus area, a clear differentiator and an integral part of our offering. By not leaving any stone unturned in order to provide a wide range of content and services to its subscribers, DishTV Asia’s largest DTH brand has partnered with Shemaroo, one of India’s leading...

DTH DTH Operator
DishTV takes total HD channel count to 55; adds regional HD channels

Catering to the demand of regional viewers and bringing them under the High Definition umbrella, DishTV, Asia’s largest DTH service provider, has added four new regional HD channels to its HD offerings. With addition of these channels, DishTV encourages regional language subscribers to opt for HD...

DTH DTH Operator
Pay and play multi-genre Music+ on Tata Sky

DTH player Tata Sky launched the "nation's first service with four music genres on a pay TV platform" in Mumbai on Wednesday. Christened 'Music+', it has been launched in partnership with digital entertainment company Hungama.

DTH DTH Operator
DD FreeDish to roll out call centre

It’s getting customer-focused. Almost as if inspired by the services provided by the private DTH providers such as Tata Sky, DishTV, Videcon d2h, Airtel Digtial TV, and Sun Direct, the Doordarshan-promoted free TV provider DD FreeDish is getting set to launch its call centre facility.

DTH DTH Operator
DD FreeDish e-auction put off due to technical errors

In probably what is a first, DD FreeDish’s e-auction was scrapped yesterday. The reason: technical glitches on the site of the auctioneer C1 India Pvt Ltd.

DTH DTH Operator
DTH players roll out festival offers

MUMBAI: Brands are bursting Diwali offers. As the festive season draws closer, all the D2H players, one after the other, are extending lucrative offers to consumers to buy their products and subscribe to their service. Tata Sky had run a promotional offer between 8 and 21 August on its tenth...

DTH DTH Operator
DishTV, Shemaroo tie up for 'Comedy Active'

DishTV is all set to expand its bouquet of value added services (VAS). DishTV has partnered with Comedywalas, a division of Shemaroo Entertainment, to launch a new service called ‘Comedy Active’.

DTH DTH Operator
'Love Cinema Live Cinema' with Tata Sky's new service

If you are a passionate movie-lover but miss screenings or are closely related to some aspect of filmmaking which only few are privy to, you need not worry at all as Tata Sky has brought in a solution. After brainstorming for a year, the DTH player has launched a first-of-its-kind service in...

DTH DTH Operator

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories