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Viacom18 selects BT to launch its HD channel in the UK

Press Release   •   Feb 17, 2017 16:08 GMT

BT Media & Broadcast, the global media services business of BT today announced its association with Viacom18, one of India’s fastest growing entertainment network, to bring its flagship Hindi general entertainment channel, COLORS, to SKY TV subscribers in UK in High Definition (HD) format starting 14th February 2017. BT will manage the channel’s distribution into London’s BT Tower via its dedicated, high capacity Global Media Network (GMN), and fully manage the uplink and downlink of the signal to and from the satellite which will beam the channel into people’s homes.

COLORS is renowned in India and other markets around the globe for its Indian adaptations of popular UK entertainment formats like Big Brother and Dancing with the Stars. Its availability in HD starting this week, marks the first time that Viacom18 has brought HD content to the UK market. This move is expected to not only attract new viewers but also enhance the overall viewing experience for its existing UK audience. Viacom18 broadcasts more than 36 channels in India, including some of the top performing channels such as COLORS, MTV, Rishtey, etc.

Commenting on the HD feed, Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18 said, “Over the past few quarters we have been focused on accelerating the expansion of our global footprint. Our maiden association with British Telecom will take our flagship channel COLORS HD into the homes of SKY TV subscribers, providing them with access to not only the best of Indian content but also an enhanced viewing experience."

Adding further, Raj Nayak, CEO – Hindi Mass Entertainment, Viacom18 said, “The quality of the viewing experience is so much better in HD, offering customers a more compelling and higher quality viewing experience. With COLORS introducing HD feed in the UK market, we are looking forward to a deeper connect with not only the viewers in the region but also the advertisers.”

Commenting on the launch of the HD feed, Anuj Gandhi, Group CEO - IndiaCast, said, “COLORS UK has been providing quality content options to audiences in the UK for over 7 years. Our partnership with SKY and BT for the launch of the HD feed is testimony to our commitment towards showcasing top-notch video quality to viewers, making COLORS UK HD the top-of-mind entertainment destination for viewers.”

Mark Wilson-Dunn, VP of BT Media and Broadcast said, “Today’s deal with Viacom18 is a significant one for our growing Asian business. Viacom18 is one of India’s biggest and most recognized entertainment brands and we’re really excited to be helping it to capture larger UK viewing audiences by supporting its new HD offering. Culturally, TV plays a major part in keeping people of Asian origin living in Europe and other parts of the world connected with their families and heritage. Our role in helping to do that is something we are very proud of.”

“Our Global Media Network helps broadcasters and entertainment companies from all over the world to expand and succeed in new markets. Any by providing a future-proof path to upgrade to HD and UHD content distribution services, industry leading levels of reliability and 24/7 performance monitoring, there’s no better choice of partner than BT.”

BT Media and Broadcast is very active in the Asia-Pac region, where the bulk of its business involves carrying local TV channels across it GMN for distribution to people of Asian origin in UK, Europe, USA and Canada, where they are broadcast to air by companies such as SKY, Comcast, DirecTV, Dish and Rogers Cable. Currently, BT Media and Broadcast carries more than 100 TV channels from India for this purpose alone.

BT’s GMN is a purpose built network designed to meet the needs of media and broadcast companies and is capable of delivering fast, reliable and secure LIVE TV and media files to major locations across the globe. It is a proven, high-capacity IP based network that has already successfully delivered live international transmissions of 4k UHD events. Using the latest MPLS and IP technologies, it delivers LIVE, high quality, uninterrupted video content to over 40 major media gateways worldwide.

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About BT Media & Broadcast

BT Media & Broadcast (M&B) is the digital media and broadcast services arm of BT Wholesale. All of the UK’s digital terrestrial TV is underpinned by M&B’s specialist media network, whilst it is also responsible for delivering outside broadcast services from over 150 sports and news locations around the UK.

M&B’s global media network links every major location around the world where broadcast or film content is created or distributed.

About ‘COLORS’:

‘COLORS’ is Viacom18’s flagship brand in the entertainment space in India. A combination of ‘emotions’ and ‘variety’, COLORS, launched on 21st July 2008, 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 ‘Jazbaat Ke Rang’. ‘COLORS’ is dedicated to promoting ‘Cohesive viewing’, through programmes like Thapki…Pyaar Ki, Devanshi, Sasural Simar Ka, Shakti…Astitva Ke Ehsaas Kii, Udann, Karmphal Data SHANI, Ek Shringaar…Swabhimaan, Kasam…Tere Pyaar Ki, Bigg Boss, Naagin 2, Dil Se Dil Tak, Chhote Miyan Dhaakad, Chandrakanta and Rising Star amongst others.

About IndiaCast

'IndiaCast’ is India’s First multi-platform ‘Content Asset Monetization’ entity, jointly owned by TV18 & Viacom18. The company’s mandate includes Domestic Distribution, Placement Services, International Channel Distribution & Advertising Sales, New Media (digital) distribution and Content Syndication for all the group company (TV18, Viacom18, A+E Networks|TV18 & ETV network) channels & content. For Domestic Distribution, IndiaCast manages subscription & placement services for TV18, Viacom18, A+E Networks | TV18 & ETV channel. IndiaCast aggregates and distributes over 49 channels spanning genres including General Entertainment (Hindi & Regional), Kids, News (Hindi, English, Business and Regional), Music (Hindi & International), Infotainment, Movies (Hindi & English) etc. Internationally, IndiaCast has a portfolio of over 10 channels (including Colors, MTV India International, Rishtey, News 18 India, 5 Colors regional Services and ETV Telegu) that are viewed in over 80 countries as linear services. With a rich content library of over 30000 hours across genres, IndiaCast also syndicates content in over 135 countries in 30+ languages (including Hebrew, Russian, Serbian, Bosnian, Albanian, Macedonian, Croatian, Azeri, Kazakh, Swahili, Vietnamese, Romanian, Bulgarian, Swahili, Kurdish and English among others). IndiaCast also delivers a wide range of content to various new media platforms including content from over 20 channels from the group across News, Music, Youth & Lifestyle, General Entertainment & Infotainment genre in multiple languages. Apart from Television shows & series, IndiaCast also offers Indian feature films (both Bollywood & Regional) on digital platforms in India and overseas markets. For more information on IndiaCast, log on to www.indiacast.com

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services. BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2016, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,042m with reported profit before taxation of £3,029m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit www.btplc.com