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Filmy plans to launch in US and Middle East by mid 2006

MUMBAI: Sahara One Media and Entertainment plans to take Filmy, its Hindi movie channel, overseas three months after its launch in India. The first stop will be US and the Middle East.

"We will launch Filmy first in the US and the Middle East. We aim to take it to these markets three months after we launch it on 12 February in India," said Sahara One Media and Entertainment chief executive officer Shantonu Aditya.

Sahara is also planning launch of its Hindi general entertainment channel, Sahara One, in the UK on the BSkyB direct-to-home (DTH) platform and the rest of Europe towards the middle of this year.

The channel is already available in the US on Echostar and in the Middle East on Pehla. "We have over 90,000 homes in the US since our launch in the third quarter of last year. We aim to launch in UK and the rest of Europe by the middle of this year," said Aditya.

Speaking on movie acquisitions, Aditya said Sahara had acquired 88 films from the library of Eros. This was part of a barter deal which the two companies had struck when Eros took the overseas theatrical and home video rights of some Sahara movies.

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