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Cutting short the ‘Chase’ for Indian content

The Indian diaspora living in the US, the UK and Canada will soon be able to demand Indian content on the Internet, courtesy serial entrepreneur Chase Weir

Soon, the South Asian population living in the US, the UK and Canada will be able to demand Indian content on the Internet, courtesy serial entrepreneur Chase Weir. Weir’s company, TinselVision, will provide local content to Asians living in Europe and the US. Weir, who has raised funds in the US for software, mobility and entertainment ventures, is currently on a trip to India to tie up with various production houses and channels for different content. In a chat with agencyfaqs!, Weir talks about his plans and how his company is geared up for competition.

Weir has been a senior executive for more than 10 years. As president of Consumer Dynamics in 2001, he led the successful acquisition of ASI Entertainment, a player in film and television research, with clients such as CBS, NBC, FOX, HBO, CNN, MTV, Disney, Discovery, Paramount, and Warner Brothers.

Weir’s latest venture is no walk in the park and he accepts that. He says, “It won’t be easy pacifying Indian consumers living there as we’ll not just be competing with content that’s already reaching them from India via satellite, but also the local content they are getting there.”

Weir is chasing players such as Rajshri, Watchindia.tv and PIOTV in the space of VoD and has prepared a 360-degree strategy to tackle the competition. “We won’t be just about movies or music, we’ll also carry Indian operas produced by different production houses, sports action from the country and other interesting content.” Through his portal (www.tinselvision.com), Weir will broadcast content over the Internet for anyone who’s willing to pay for it. For instance, if someone in the US and the UK wants to watch Zee’s popular soaps, they can demand the video any time for a fee of $1.99.

“To capture this large, growing and currently unfulfilled demand, Tinsel Cinema will deliver under one roof hundreds, and later thousands, of Bollywood film titles, including the latest blockbusters, current Indian television soaps, serials, game and reality shows and exciting sports matches, including cricket, soccer and tennis, from its fast expanding digital content library,” says Weir

For Indian content, Weir has tied up with channels such as Zee and is in the final stages of inking a deal with STAR. “We have a tie-up with Zee and Zoom and are close on a partnership with the biggest broadcaster in the country,” he says.

In the month of June, TinselVision tied up with Zee Telefilms to distribute, via its platform, many thousands of hours of archival and new production content ranging from Bollywood movie titles to contemporary Indian soaps, reality television and game shows.

“This marked the first announcement in a series of similar agreements as TinselVision prepares to launch the world’s largest premium, on-demand content library for television, film, sports and lifestyle entertainment programming,” asserts Weir.

The company will achieve this via IPTV over the Internet to web browsers on laptops, desktops and media centre PCs and, later, to customer televisions through set-top boxes with broadband connections.