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Turner, Warner to offer English-language channel in India on DTH, cable
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NEW DELHI – Hollywood’s Turner and Warner Bros. Entertainment are offering the Indian market a new 24-hour English-language channel across multiple platforms.

The new pay-TV channel, available as of March 15, is branded “WB” and is available on direct-to-home and cable platforms. It will be distributed by Zee-Turner, a distribution joint venture between India’s media and entertainment major Essel Group and Turner International India.

The introduction of the English-language channel comes shortly after Turner launched in early March its first Hindi general entertainment channel, Real.

Turner said WB is targeted at the upscale Indian audience who prefers Hollywood movies and TV series. The WB channel will have different programmes: WB Platinum will be the premiere channel; WB Nitro for action hits; WB Triple Play for movies that viewers would like to watch repeatedly; WB Cinematheque for classic movies; and WB Premieres for comedy and drama series.

Turner considers India as its biggest market in the Asia-Pacific, although it is not expected to contribute much to the company’s bottom line this year.
Stephen Marcopoto, president of Turner International Asia-Pacific Ltd, said that the company is expecting only single-digit growth this year because of slipping advertising revenues.

"[2008] was a record year for us with growth in the high teens," said Marcopoto. "This year, we'll probably do a high single-digit growth."

Turner International India is the arm of Turner Broadcasting System that manages the sales and marketing of Turner's news and entertainment services in India and South Asia.

Programmes showing on WB are licensed from Warner Bros International Television Distribution (WBITD).

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