UTV India is all set to launch two kids' channels in
Malaysia and Indonesia in association with ASTRO Malaysia, a DTH service provider in Malaysia and Brunei.
The two channels, which will cater to the four-14 years age group, will have the same content, but will have a separate feed for the two countries, in Indonesian Bahasa and Malaysian Bahasa.
These channels, which will include a mixture of animation and live action content, incorporating Asian cultural values and edutainment elements, will be distributed on the ASTRO pay-TV service in Malaysia and Indonesia from early 2006, and in other regional markets such as Brunei and Singapore as well.
While UTV will be responsible for designing the content, the format, marketing plans, business strategies and brand building, ASTRO will make the entire capital investment needed for the launch as well as for the production of new shows for both channels.
Ronnie Screwvala, CEO, UTV India, says, "To begin with, the channel will have locally produced format shows inspired from UTV's Hungama TV."
When asked whether Indian-format shows will work for South East Asian viewers, Screwvala says, "Had it been the US market, I would have had my doubts on this. But as far as the South East Asian countries are concerned, their culture is very similar to that of India."
He adds, "We are quite familiar with the South East Asian markets."
Talking about the partnership deal, Ralph Marshal, group chief executive officer, ASTRO, says, "Firstly, we wanted to develop and distribute exciting new content tailor-made for Malaysian subscribers. Secondly, we have a long-standing relationship with UTV and we believe their concepts will be successful in Malaysia and other markets in the region."
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