Channel NewsAsia, a news and current affairs channel, which had a low-key presence in India for almost one year now, is planning for a mega launch in February 2002. The channel is testing the waters with major multi-service operators including SitiCable, InCablenet and Win Cable.
Channel NewsAsia was brought to India in a low-key manner as it wanted to tie up with cable operators and be secure on the distribution front first.
Even as it has secured some of the biggest cable operators already, the industry sources say that it would take a while for some parts of India to receive the channel. Right now, Channel NewsAsia doesn’t figure among the first 40 channels at the cable operators’ end, thereby making it a less-watched channel. However, following the Afghan war, the visibility of the channel has gone up.
While Singapore gets a terrestrial feed of Channel NewsAsia with Singapore-centric news, all the other Asian countries including India receive the international beam. Channel NewsAsia’s USP is that it is a channel about Asia generated from Asia.
The channel is available in 12 million homes all over Asia. It is targeting an Indian market share of 60 per cent by September 2002.
For the India specific news, Channel NewsAsia has a tie-up with ANI. It has a dedicated correspondent based in Delhi. As for India-specific advertising, it is looking for a dedicated airtime salesperson for booking Indian ads on the channel.
Channel NewsAsia is seen in Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, South Korea, Cambodia, Hong Kong and Brunei. A free-to-air channel, Channel NewsAsia has no immediate plans of turning pay.