After BizAsia‘s exclusive scoop earlier this month, Viacom18 has today confirmed that its general entertainment channel, Colors will be going free-to-air from Monday 2nd September permanently.
The broadcaster said that Colors will no longer be a pay service, giving audiences the chance to enjoy premium South Asian content at no cost. With this move, the channel will not be available as a part of the VIEWASIA bouquet, and will be available to all Sky Digital Viewers.
Colors’ programming line-up consists of popular soaps like ‘Balika Vadhu’ and ‘Madhubala’, to reality programming and international formats such as ‘Jhalak Dikhla Ja’ and ‘Bigg Boss’, and the latest Bollywood blockbusters keeping the entire family entertained. The success of the channel in India has been replicated globally with Colors now being available in close to 75 countries and its content being distributed in over 100 countries.
An elated Raj Nayak CEO, Colors stated, ���UK has a captive fan base for Hindi General Entertainment, and we are elated to offer two of our leading brands, Colors & Rishtey, to our viewers here. With this move, we will be reaching out to a much wider audience base giving them an enriching viewing experience of our top class fiction and non-fiction programming�.
Anuj Gandhi, Group CEO, IndiaCast said, ���At India Cast it is our constant endeavour to make our brands & content reach out to the South Asian Diaspora around the world. UK continues to be one of our most important markets – where in the past we have challenged the status quo with the launch & success of Rishtey and now with Colors going free to air, we are making our next big move towards leadership
Gaurav Gandhi, Group COO, IndiaCast, said ���Our business in UK has grown tremendously and we have launched three brands (Rishtey, Colors and News18 India) in three years in the region. Over the last 12 months, we have had phenomenal success with Rishtey that has made us the strongest challenger in the market. With Colors going free to air, we will neutralize the undue distribution advantage that��some of the other south Asian channels have enjoyed in the market, making it a level playing field and we are confident of��being the leading south Asian network in the UK in the near future�.
Said Govind Shahi, Business Head, IndiaCast UK, ���As a growing network, we are��thrilled��to independently deliver a broader spectrum of high quality��entertainment��to the consumer – with��path breaking dramas, round-the-clock news, movie��premieres��and all-time favourite international formats like Bigg Boss, India�۪s Got Talent and Jhalak��Dikhhla Jaa. Now with our channels reaching DTH��homes in the UK, we are going to be the most potent and effective platform for the advertisers targeting South Asian homes.���
Colors will also become a BARB rated channel from Monday 2nd September, which means it will have its viewership measured officially alongside its sister channel, Rishtey and rivals such as Star Plus, Zing and Sony SAB TV.
VIEWASIA is currently priced at �17.99 for its bundle consisting of Sony Entertainment Television Asia, Sony MAX, ARY Digital, B4U Movies and Colors. VIEWASIA’s parent company Multi Screen Media Asia is yet to announce if it will be changing the pricing structure for VIEWASIA and how it will be impact the bouquet as a whole.