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SAB TV in $3 m programming agreement

12-January-2004
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SAB TV in $3 m programming agreement

Sri Adhikari Brothers Television Network (SABTNL) has signed a $3 million deal with two international platforms — the US-based TV Asia and the Gulf-based Pehla network— for prime time programming.

While 70 per cent of TV Asia’s programming will now be done by SABTNL, it will provide Pehla with three hours of prime time programming.

As part of the company’s global push, SABTNL had acquired a 50 per cent stake in MATV Channel-6 for $1 million to gain a toe-hold in the UK market.

Markand Adhikari, vice chairman & managing director of SABTNL, said: “We did not take the acquisition route for establishing our presence in the US market because the cost of running a channel in the US is high and the break-even period is long.”

TV Asia, owned by Asia Star Broadcasting Inc, is North America’s first coast-to-coast entertainment channel specially catering to the Indian Diaspora. The Pehla bouquet has around 27 channels.

SAB TV is the only Indian channel in the UK that is available on the terrestrial as well as satellite platform.

In fact, it is the only Indian language channel which has terrestrial broadcasting rights in the UK. It is on Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB platform for satellite telecast. The company is a major content provider for Doordarshan.

SABTNL has recently completed the merger of its Mauritius-based subsidiary with itself. According to Adhikari, its strategy to be a niche humour channel has seen revenues jump up by 33 per cent. The company is also planning to introduce new channels.

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