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New Channel " Comedy Central " being launch on 23 January by Viacom18 Network

New Channel Comedy Central being launch on 23 January by Viacom18 Network

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MUMBAI: Viacom18 will launch Comedy Central, the sixth channel from the stable, on 23 January.

With the launch of the channel, Viacom18 will mark its presence in another under-served genre –English comedy. "Given its rich library of world class shows and distinct positioning, we are confident of Comedy Central establishing itself as one of the dominant players in the English entertainment space in Indian television," said Viacom18 group CEO Haresh Chawla.

The channel’s brand philosophy, developed internally, is ‘Laugh It Off’. The TG is 15+ SEC, A,B Metros.

Comedy Central expects to be available in 20 million homes, across analogue and digital cable and DTH platforms. On DTH, it will be available on Dish TV and Airtel Digital TV initially, but within two months the aim is to be on all the direct-to-home (DTH) platforms.

Viacom International Media Networks president, CEO Bob Bakish said, “Comedy Central is one of Viacom’s most distinct and successful franchises globally. We feel that the time is now right for Viacom18 to introduce Comedy Central in India, given the growth curve in the Indian television entertainment market.”

Viacom was planning to get Comedy Central to India for quite a while now. Said Viacom18 Media senior VP, GM English entertainment Ferzad Palia, “The time is right partly due to the spread of digitisation and also because people at this time are stressed. They are open to comedy and to laughing at themselves. Exposure to international content is growing as people increasingly travel.”

The programming will be a mix of sitcoms, sketch comedy, British comedy, stand ups and gags. Some of the shows the channel will air include Daily Show with John Stewart, South Park, Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, The Office and Seinfeld. Movies will eventually air during the weekends.

Local shows will form part of the content strategy. “There will be something for everyone. Among other things, we will develop our own talent which we would take overseas to give them a wider platform.”

For the youth, South Park will air a block called Cinderella Hour at midnight. Shows like Fawlty Towers, Allo Allo will air on the weekend where people have more time on their hands. “Unlike other channels that mainly run marathons to allow viewers to catch up on the weekend, Comedy Central will also have premieres. In terms of the channel’s overall content, around half of it will be fresh,” said Palia.

Comedy Central has no plans to introduce a dubbed language feed as the nuances of comedy are difficult to translate. “The channel will, however, have subtitles,” said Palia.

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