Television

Bahl's SAW to launch on Zee bouquet in UK

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MUMBAI: Raghav Bahls international venture South Asia World (SAW), which has been looking at the UK space for a while now, has signed a distribution pact with Zee Telefilms.

SAW would be bundled and distributed with the Zee channels. The infotainment channel, which made its debut in the US last year, is now looking at charting a new route in the UK market around May.

According to broadcasting industry sources, a memorandum of understanding with regard to distribution pact has already been signed with Zee Telefilms. However, as of now, other financial details of the deal are not available.

SAW will be the fifth pay channel in the Zee bouquet on the Rupert Murdoch-controlled BskyB digital platform.

In the Zee platter on the BskyB platform, Zee TV and Zee Cinema cost ?12.99. Alpha Punjabi as a stand alone channel is priced at ? 9.99 while Zee Music is a free to air channel.

For UK, SAW is likely to be uplinked from India to HongKong from where it would be picked up by BskyB hub to BSkyB's main broadcast center in London.

SAW is operated through a company named India World Network USA Inc, which is promoted by Bahl.

In a related development, SAW would foray into the Middle-East market where a sizable South Asian population exists. SAWs' roll out in the Middle-East market is likely to be in tandem with its debut in UK market. Barring last moment hitches the channel would beam after a couple of months.

The channel primarily aims at targeting the Asian community. SAW will deliver news and views from India and the subcontinent. Its programming also includes local coverage of the South Asian community within the United States and the UK.

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