ATN has signed licensing agreements with the state-owned television broadcaster, Doordarshan (popularly known as DD), under which it has been granted exclusive rights to the five television services - DD India, DD News, DD Bharati, DD Urdu and DD Sports. The South Asian broadcaster (ATN) will distribute these channels in Canada.
The channels will be renamed as ATN-DD India (featuring general entertainment content like dramas, comedy-series, talk shows, documentaries, and re-runs of popular TV shows from other Indian television channels), ATN-DD News (24-hour terrestrial news channels with more than 16 hours of live news bulletins daily in Hindi and English), ATN-DD Bharati (programmes on adventure, quiz contests, fine arts/paintings, crafts and designs, cartoons, talent hunts, along with a live talk show with young people, Meri Baat), ATN-DD Urdu (general entertainment channel in Urdu featuring genres such as heritage, culture, literature, information, education and societal issues) and ATN-DD Sports (sports channel).
DD enjoys the widest reach with 48 million TV households and also enjoys 62 per cent penetration in A, B and C category cable and satellite homes in India, mentions an official communiqué.
"In Canada, Indians form one of the most respected and professionally accomplished communities who have kept their cultural roots intact while adapting to Canada and we have been striving to connect with the international audience rapidly. Both ATN and DD have walked the extra mile in making this happen and I hope that this effort will help strengthen the feeling of togetherness through Doordarshan channels which are rich in cultural values, art, music, dance, entertainment and depict the crucible of culture India has been for millennia," says Tripurari Sharan, director general, Doordarshan.
In addition to the existing subscriber base, with the launch of these new channels, ATN expects to gain new subscribers through cable, satellite and IPTV platforms across Canada. ATN will distribute the content to all authenticated subscribers through VOD, SVOD, tablets and mobile platforms across Canada.
"India is the world's largest democracy and has a population of over a billion people," says Shan Chandrasekar, president and CEO of ATN. "We have aggressive plans to add substantial value to our diaspora and enhance our strong customer base on cable, satellite and credible distributors across Canada" he adds.
For the record, ATN currently has programming alliances with broadcasters such as STAR Network (News Corp), Sony Entertainment Television, Viacom, Times Television Network, B4U Network and NDTV, amongst others. ATN channels are available on various cable, satellite and IPTV platforms across Canada like Shaw Cable, Bell TV, Rogers Cable, Bell Fibe TV, TELUS Optic TV, Cogeco Cable, and others.
Recently, it was reported that Zee TV, one of the leading broadcasters of India, broke ties with ATN and moved on to join hands with the Ethnic Channels Group in Canada for distribution of its channels.