E! Networks looks to launch two channels in India

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MUMBAI: With the digital transition underway in India courtesy Cas and DTH, foreign media players are looking to launch channels in India. A case in point is E! Networks.

The firm has over the past three years examined the Indian environment. However the absence of addressability stalled its entry. Now though, E! Entertainment MD Asia Pacific Christine Fellowes feels that the time is ripe for launch.
The broadcaster is talking to distribution platforms for carriage. The aim is to bring both the flagship E! channel and also Style which will launch internationally in September. Once a distribution partner has been decided upon the channel will ask for
permission from the authorities.

The plan for E! is to have local content as time goes by. Fellowes says that there is scope for a Bollywood Hollywood E! as the channel deals with celebrity news with shows like E! News. It also has a show called true Hollywood Story. The channel Fellowes says could look doing E! True Bollywood Story. It could profile stars like Aishwarya Rai.

Fellowes says that while Hollywood is not mainstream in India like Bollywood, there is enough of an upmarket audience that is interested in things like celebrity gossip and happenings in the entertainment world. E! Also covers premiers with its Red Carpet show and it will look to cover Indian events as well.

So far E! has in the past licensed shows to Indian broadcasters like Zoom, Zee Café and AXN. Zee Café had aired E!s Red Carpet coverage of the Oscar Awards earlier this year.

The other channel that E! Networks will launch is Style. This is a woman’s oriented channel. The show offers the latest style trends and offers the viewers ideas. Style the broadcaster says attracts a lot of affluent women viewers in the US. The Style viewer is women 18-49. They are educated, affluent, live in the Metro areas. Its programming philosophy is to combine storytelling with inspiring and relatable characters and hosts. Its shows cover topics like fashion, beauty, home and weddings. One of its shows Fashion Police looks at the hottest looks in film, television, Red Carpet and the runaway. This is a weekly show. It also looks at the coolest workouts and hangouts. Style Star looks at how a celebrities fashion sensibility has evolved over the years. Their style secrets are revealed. How Do I look? offers someone a fashion makeover. Two close friends and a professional stylist help with the process.

Fellowes adds that new media is a growing area for the network across the region. E! has a production unitfor mobile that makes short films. E! then licenses the content to operators in countries like Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong. It is working with firms like Vodafone, Orange and Hutch. The good news for E! is that the genres popular for mobile consumption are
news and sports. E! deals with celebrity news that can be consumed like a snack meal.
 
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