Television

Sahara One to spread global footprint; Filmy's US launch on 28 August

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MUMBAI: Sahara One Media and Entertainment Ltd. has charted out plans to spread overseas the footprint of its two entertainment channels.

The first target is the US where Sahara One, the general entertainment channel, is already available on EchoStar. Hindi movie channel Filmy will be launched on the DirecTV platform later this month. While EchStar offers a range of Indian channels including Sony, Max, Zee TV and Zee Cinema, the News Corp-controlled DirecTV has the Star, ETV and Aastha channels on its platform.

"Our focus this year will be on the international distribution of these two channels. We will be launching Filmy in the US on 28 August and progressively extending our channels to new territories," says Sahara One Media and Entertainment CEO Shantonu Aditya.

Australia and New Zealand will be the next destination and plans are on to launch both the channels on 1 September. Following up on the launch of Sahara One in the Middle East, Filmy will be taken to the region in a month's time. The two channels will also soon start beaming in Nepal and Maldives, adds Aditya.

By having a global presence, Sahara hopes to hook on audiences from the South Asian community and rake in subscription revenues. "Our target is to make Sahara One and Filmy also available in the UK and South Africa by the end of this year," says Aditya.

Indian channels are increasingly eyeing the global market, particularly to boost their subscription revenues. Zee Telefilms Ltd, for instance, garners one-fourth of its total revenues from international operations.

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