CineMaya Media Group, Inc. has announced the launch of its television channel India Plus. The channel is powered by programming from Doordarshan India, which is currently available free to all subscribers on DirecTV, the leading satellite provider in North America serving over 16 million homes. India Plus will take over the current Doordarshan India broadcast on DirecTV as a new channel and seek additional distribution on cable platforms.
With heightened interest in India and everything Indian due to liberalisation of the Indian economy, the IT revolution, increased tourism and extraordinary success of Indians in the US during the last three decades, India Plus would serve as a bridge between two of the world’s largest democracies.
India Plus would be the first Indian TV network in the US to broadcast news in Urdu and other Indian languages like Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati and Malayalam. A mix of top programming selected for international audiences from Doordarshan’s 25-plus channels, including regional language channels, would air on India Plus, with content ranging from soap-operas, sitcoms, Bollywood films, music, current affairs, spiritual, and cultural. The channel would also air content produced in the US such as interactive interviews involving live audiences with leading personalities from various fields, success stories of prominent Indians, and community related current affairs.
The channel targets to serve the rising population of Indian Americans in the US, estimated to exceed over 3 million by 2010, making it the second largest Asian population in the country. The channel will also serve other South Asian groups such as the Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Nepali communities, which are all tied through the common bond of entertainment from the region. The channel will also serve millions of viewers on DirecTV who have subscribed to any WorldDirect package, making it available to more homes than any other South Asian television network in North America.
Sunil Hali, Chairman, CineMaya Media Group, said, “The launch of India Plus is a key element of our comprehensive and integrated media strategy of building delivery platforms for content about India and Indians across the world. Inspired by Rupert Murdoch, we aim to build a media conglomerate that serves Indians around the world through multi-platform properties in print, radio, television, and online. Our media platforms will be the voice of the Indian community, especially outside India. We have produced hundreds of hours of international television content in the past decade, and now with India Plus, we expect to build on our production expertise through our television channel, and promote the channel through our array of media and marketing properties in the North American market.”
Nayan Padrai, Founding Partner and President, CineMaya Media Group, said, “We couldn’t be prouder to launch India Plus. The CineMaya Media Group has a rich history of bringing some of India’s best media properties to North America, and this addition to our portfolio of properties further illustrates our Group’s commitment to be the leader in media for South Asians in North America. India Plus offers our Group the opportunity to engage audiences at a higher level through the television medium, and build multi-platform programming that can be syndicated through our newspapers, radio station, television channel, and our upcoming online property. The channel also provides a great opportunity for our new film and television division in India to create unique programming for audiences across the world.”