MUMBAI: Hungry for expansion outside of India, one of India’s leading English news channels has grabbed a space on the coveted Time Warner Cable (TWC) in the US. NDTV 24X7 will now be available to subscribers in New York City as well as boroughs of Brooklyn, Manhattan, LA, Dallas, Austin and Rio Grande Valley region in Texas in the ‘Hindi Pass Plus’ or the ‘Passport Pack.’
With this the channel aims to reach about 20,000 households through the partnership. The ‘Hindi Passport Pack’ costs about $70 while the ‘Hindi Pass Plus Pack’ costs about $40. The former has channels such as Star Plus, Sony, Zee TV, Life OK, Willow, TV Asia, Star Gold, NDTV 24x7, ITV Gold, Filmy, UTV Movies and Bollywood On Demand while the latter provides Star Plus, Sony, Zee TV, Life OK, Willow, TV Asia, NDTV 24x7 and ITV Gold.
The subscription range for channels on this platform range from $1 million to $1.5 million. NDTV is also available on the DTH platform Dish Network. The average ARPU in the US is around $40 and packs such as Indian, Chinese, Arabic have high prices. Unlike India, NDTV 24X7 does not have to pay any carriage fee to the distribution platforms in the US.
“Asian Indians in the US are among the affluent communities,” says NDTV AVP for network distribution and affiliate sales Rohit Jaiswal speaking to indiantelevision.com. “We will be looking at deals with more cable operators in the US going forward in the next two years,” he adds. Europe is also a part of the expansion plan since the channel says it is already well distributed in other parts of the world.
NDTV Group CEO Vikram Chandra said in a press statement, “NDTV is delighted to partner with Time Warner Cable to bring its content and the election to an even wider audience in the US. The US is a very crucial market for us and the launch of the channel on TWC is a testimony to the trust that our affiliates and viewers from all over the world have shown in our brand and our quality over these years. NDTV, today, is available in 17 million households across 75 countries outside India and now looks forward to serving the TWC households with the same award-winning programmes and keeping them abreast with the constantly evolving events in India.”
Earlier this year the US’s largest cable company Comcast announced that it intended to buy the second largest cable company TWC for $45 billion. This deal is under federal consideration for approval. If the proposed acquisition does get through, it could well be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for Indian channels.