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Viacom18 Spins Colors Success Into English Entertainment Channels

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Launch of Colors Infinity, Colors Infinity HD on DTH, Digital Cable to grow the genre: Experts

Entertainment network Viacom18 has entered the English entertainment sector with the channels Colors Infinity and Colors Infinity HD. Both these channels will be made available on the direct to home (DTH) and digital cable platforms. The channels are expected to be on air in less than a month's time. Media planners and advertisers expect the launch will help expansion of the English GEC space both in terms of volume and value of advertising.

In order to present a unique blend of content mix, Viacom 18 has signed multi-year deals with leading US and Europe based content creators including Warner Bros. NBC Universal, Twentieth Century Fox, BBC and Endemol Shine among others.

According to Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18 India has the second largest English speaking population. “English is seen as a ladder to personal progress. Colors Infinity aims to speak to this larger audience which goes beyond the metros and has never been addressed by the category. English is an extremely important space for us and with this move we will further strengthen our share in the category,” said Vats.

Viacom 18, a joint venture between U.S. media conglomerate Viacom and India’s Network 18 Group, operates several channels in India including Colors in various Indian languages, Rishtey, Nickelodeon, Sonic, MTV, MTV Indies, Nick jr, VH1, and Comedy Central.

The network has not announced any shows yet, but it will offer a gamut of genres including reality, drama, superheroes, comedy, fantasy, crime, and thrillers, the network said during its launch event two days ago. The channels will be co-curated by film director, producer, TV host and actor Karan Johar and actress Alia Bhatt.

Experts said since the English language television market has developed over the years due to the long presence of channels like Star World, Zee Cafe, Zee MGM, Star Premiere, AXN and others. Industry estimates suggest that the English general entertainment channels have a market worth around Rs 350-400 crore in terms of advertising revenue built over past 10-12 years.

“With more channels like Colors Infinity and its HD avatar, the genre may just take off in the next couple of years. Premium advertisers will get attracted to the viewer-demographics who will ultimately consume the English content on these channels. But much will depend on the content mix Colors offers,” said a senior media planner representing some major automobile and aviation clients.


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