Paul G Allen-promoted TechTV and A&E Television Networks-run History Channel have shelved plans to launch their channels in India. They have decided, instead, to make an entry first through programming blocks in different local channels across the country.
TechTV, which planned to debut in India as a pay channel, will take a decision only after the Conditional Access Systems Bill is passed. Besides, the channel felt that it had to customise some of its content to make it relevant to the Indian market.
In US where consumer technology is big phenomenon, it has two popular shows: a programme related to the Wall Street on technology companies and a game show on videos. These programmes, however, would not be acceptable in India.
The History Channel is not available in the Asian region except Japan. In Malaysia, it is available as a programming block, a model which it believes is feasible in the Indian market too. But it is considering various options on how to launch its channel in India.
TechTV and History Channel have signed contracts with Cutting Edge Media to market their content as programming blocks in India. While TechTV has agreed for some customisation of content, the History Channel has not given any such liberty.
The common target will be DD Metro and south-based channels. For History Channel, Kolkata would also be an important market.
History Channel plan is to take two-hour blocks and have content on Mughal era and Middle East history.
Vulcan, the investment and project management organisation founded by Mr Allen, has invested in TechTV. It is the lifestyle network that showcases how the latest trends enhance lifestyle.