Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd., a joint venture between Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B and Network 18 Group) one of India’s leading entertainment conglomerates, today announced the launch of its flagship, general entertainment, Hindi language service on the sky platform.
UK audiences can now watch a unique blend of entertainment programmes, from reality and drama series through to comedy, game shows, blockbuster Bollywood films and Indian versions of international formats such as Got Talent, Bingo and Fear Factor. The 24 hour channel will be available free-to-air at launch and then subsequently will be added to the VIEW ASIA package. Bollywood legend, Amitabh Bachchan, will front the channel in the UK in his role as brand ambassador.
Speaking about the launch, Bhavneet Singh, Viacom18 Board Director and Managing Director and Executive Vice President of MTV Network’s International’s Emerging Markets group said: “Since its launch in 2008, COLORS has changed the landscape of Indian entertainment and our continued investment and development of the Viacom18 portfolio really illustrates our long-term commitment to the Indian market. Our aim is to bring compelling and innovative programming to all Hindi audiences outside the Indian sub-continent, across all generations. There is a huge appetite for Hindi language entertainment and we’re confident that COLORS will quickly become the ultimate family entertainment destination for Asian communities across the UK.”
Haresh Chawla, Group CEO, Viacom18 and Network18, added: “Over the last 18 months, COLORS has risen to become the No. 1 rated general entertainment channel in India. The launch of COLORS in the UK is part of Viacom18’s aggressive growth plans to extend this successful franchise of our flagship brand outside India.”
Rajesh Kamat, Group COO, Viacom18 and CEO COLORS, added “Our unique concepts and fresh approach to programming has made our shows and characters, household names in India. After having successfully consolidated our leadership position in India, I have no doubt that we will be able to replicate our success in key international markets like US and UK as well. One of our key strategies for UK is that there will be no lag in the telecast of episodes versus India thus ensuring that the viewers in this market are always up to speed with all of our key shows.”
Introducing the channel to millions of his fans in the United Kingdom, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, Brand Ambassador, COLORS, said, “Though my association with the Indian channel began recently with one of its most successful shows in recent times – Bigg Boss Season 3, I’ve been watching it for over a year. Now, by taking on the responsibility of being its brand ambassador, I feel honoured in being able to partner with a media channel that has been a conduit of social change while churning out excellent quality entertainment. I am sure, COLORS, with its myriad hues of entertainment, will spread its magic in the U.K. as well, as it did in India.”
COLORS launched in India on 21 July 2008 and is the country’s no 1 Hindi language general entertainment channel. The service is distributed to 45 million households in India through cable, DTH and IPTV.