South Asia World, a 24-hour Asian news channel ceased broadcasting at 00:00 today.
As confirmed on BizAsia.co.uk yesterday, the channel, which was available on Sky Digital EPG 512 (also on Telewest), axed its US feed, which has now resulted in the UK service being dropped.
South Asia World launched initially as a news channel for South Asian viewers in the US and UK. The channel was then revamped with programmmes targeting local audiences being replaced with a live feed from Indian news broadcaster CNN-IBN. South Asia World was managed by the same team that owns CNN-IBN.
South Asia World was distributed by ZEE Network. With South Asia World’s EPG slot being vacant, ZEE Network now has 30 days to launch a new channel in its place. If a decision on the replacement has not been made in this time period, Sky will clinch back the vacant EPG slot.
Speculation is rife that ZEE’s own Hindi news channel ZEE News could launch to replace South Asia World in the UK. This certainly will be a good move to compete directly with STAR News (the only Hindi news channel in the UK). Other Hindi news channels also expected to launch in the UK within the next few months are Al Jazeera International (next week launch), Aaj Tak, DD News (from Doordarshan) and Geo News.
There are also talks of another Hindi movies channel launching complementing its existing ZEE Cinema service. ZEE UK has ruled out the launches of any regional channels at this particular time.
An exclusive announcement on the new channel from the ZEE camp is expected next week on BizAsia.co.uk.