Viacom18's AAPKA COLORS Launches in the United States
NEW YORK/ MUMBAI/ ENGLEWOOD, CO.: Jan. 27, 2010 - - Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd., an equal joint venture between Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B) and Network18, one of India's leading entertainment conglomerates, today announced the launch of its flagship channel in the United States – AAPKA COLORS. The channel is being distributed through DISH Network, the leader in international programming. AAPKA COLORS aims to entertain the widespread South Asian community residing in the U.S. with its unique blend of entertainment through scripted series, reality shows, game shows and blockbuster Bollywood films.
The announcement was made through a press conference, held today in New York, by Haresh Chawla, Group CEO - Viacom18 & Network18, Chris Kuelling, vice president of International Programming for DISH Network; and Rajesh Kamat, Group COO - Viacom18 & CEO – COLORS. Also present at the conference were child artists from AAPKA COLORS' flagship drama series Balika Vadhu - Avika (Anandi) and Avinash (Jagdish).
AAPKA COLORS (known as COLORS in India) provides ground-breaking shows, unrivaled concepts and revolutionary programming style. The channel is available in DISH Network's Hindi Mega Pack, which currently offers 16 other premium Hindi channels, and the Hindi Super Pack, both of which include all of the top rated general entertainment channels from India. Viewers can watch AAPKA COLORS on DISH Network Ch. 651. And introducing the channel and its key shows and characters to the Hindi speaking diaspora in the US, will be India's hugely popular film and television superstar– Amitabh Bachchan.
Speaking about the launch, Haresh Chawla, Group CEO Viacom18 and Network18, said, "Over the last 18 months, COLORS has risen to become the No. 1 rated general entertainment channel in India. The launch of AAPKA COLORS in the U.S. is part of Viacom18's aggressive growth plans to extend this successful franchise of our flagship brand outside India."
Commenting on the partnership with Viacom18, Chris Kuelling, vice president of International Programming for DISH Network, said, "With the addition of AAPKA COLORS to our platform of high value Hindi channels, our viewers are assured of watching all the top rated TV programs from India. DISH Network has led international programming innovation for the U.S. based South Asian community since 1998. The launch of AAPKA COLORS on DISH Network is another significant step in our evolution of providing market leading programming for the aware and connected Indian consumer in the United States."
Bhavneet Singh, Viacom18 Board Director and Managing Director and Executive Vice President of MTV Networks International's Emerging Markets group, said, "India has always been a significant market for us and our continued investment and development of the Viacom18 portfolio really illustrates our long-term commitment to the Indian market. It's extremely gratifying to see the kind of strides Viacom18 has made in that market over the last two years. As Viacom18 now expands its footprint to other territories, I am confident that the growth trend will continue."
Said Rajesh Kamat, Group COO – Viacom18 and CEO – AAPKA COLORS, "Our unique concepts and fresh approach to programming have made our shows and characters, household names in India. Given that and DISH's robust distribution, I've no doubts that we'll replicate our success in the US market as well." He further added, "One of our key strategies for this market 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."
The weekends on AAPKA COLORS will be dedicated to bringing the biggest and the best of blockbuster Bollywood films and format shows.
Introducing the channel to millions of his fans in the US, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, Brand Ambassador – AAPKA 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 honored 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, AAPKA COLORS, with its myriad hues of entertainment, will spread its magic in the United States as well, as it did in India."
The audiences will be able to watch their favorite shows during the week including Balika Vadhu, Uttaran, Naa Aana Iss Des Laado, National Bingo Night and Jai Shri Krishna. Bollywood blockbusters will air on the channel during weekends.
About 'AAPKA COLORS'
'AAPKA COLORS' is the US version of Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd.'s flagship brand in the entertainment space in India. A combination of 'emotions' and 'variety', it was launched in India on 21st July 2008 and offers an entire spectrum of emotions to its viewers. From Fiction shows to Format shows to Reality shows to Blockbuster Movies – the basket contains all 'Jasbaat Ke Rang'. The Channel is dedicated to promoting wholesome entertainment, through programs like Jai Shri Krishna, Sabki Jodi Wohi Banata...Bhagyavidhata, Maat Pita Ke Charnon Mein...Swarg, Balika Vadhu- Kacchi Umar Ke Pakke Rishtey, Uttaran, Na Aana Is Des Laado, Yeh Pyar Na Hoga Kam, Laagi Tujhse Lagan, Fear Factor – Khatron Ke Khiladi, Sajid Superstars, National Bingo Night & Chhote Miyan amongst others. Visit www.aapkacolors.com for more details.
About Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd.
Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd. is a 50/50 joint venture operation in India between Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), the world's leading entertainment content company, comprising brands like BET, MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures) and the Network18 Group, (one of India's leading full play media conglomerates with interests in television, internet, filmed entertainment, mobile content & allied businesses, comprising brands like CNBC TV18, CNBC Awaaz, Newswire18, moneycontrol.com, CNN-IBN, IBN 7, Homeshop18 and E18 amongst others). The joint venture includes leading brands across television, film and digital media to build one of India's leading multimedia entertainment powerhouses. Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd. includes the vibrant youth brand - MTV, the fastest growing kids channel - Nick, India's only International Music & Lifestyle channel - Vh1 , Studio18, a new-age motion picture brand that produces, acquires and distributes Hindi films and 'COLORS' the number 1 Hindi General Entertainment Channel in India.
Viacom18 brings together the unique strengths of two formidable partners, thus forming an entertainment conglomerate that will have a competitive advantage in serving the needs of both viewers and advertisers.
About DISH Network
DISH Network L.L.C., the nation's leader in international programming, provides more than 185 ethnic channels in 28 languages – more than any other pay-TV provider. DISH Network customers have access to hundreds of video and audio channels, the most HD channels, the most international channels, state-of-the-art interactive TV applications, and award-winning HD and DVR technology including 1080p Video on Demand and the ViP® 722 HD DVR, a CNET and PC Magazine "Editors' Choice." To learn more about DISH Network's international programming or to order AAPKA COLORS, call 1-888-723-0197 or visit www.dishnetwork.com/international.