Viacom18’s popular channel, Rishtey, which has thus far been exclusive to the UK market, will launch in India in March next year, BizAsia can confirm.
The channel has begun testing on the Free Dish platform (formerly DD Direct Plus), which is a free-to-air digital platform owned by Prasar Bharati.
According to the platform’s official website, “DD Direct Plus added a New General Entertainment channel “Rishtey” to its channel line-up by replacing Test 308 channel. Rishtey is a new entertainment channel from Viacom18 Group. The channel is a test feed and it is going to be officially launched soon.”
Rishtey is the UK’s second most watched entertainment channel (behind Star Plus), with a weekly reach of around 800,000 viewers. It launched here in September 2012 and re-runs shows from sister channel, Colors. In February, it announced a deal to broadcast programmes from Pakistani channel, Hum TV.
Rishtey’s India launch has not officially been announced yet by the company. It will carry a similar programme line-up to Rishtey UK. It will compete with Star Utsav and ZEE Anmol, both of which broadcast re-run shows from their respective networks.