Colors, the popular Indian entertainment channel has forayed into the United States dubbed as ‘Aapka Colors’. colors is Viacom18’s flagship channel and will be distributed in the US through the Dish Network. It targets the South Asian Hindi-speaking diaspora in the US and will have an assortment of soaps, reality shows, game shows and Bollywood.
Aapka Colors has roped in Amitabh Bachchan as its brand ambassador, who just completed a successful stint as the host in the reality show, ‘Bigg Boss 3’, with Colors. Viacom18, a JV between Viacom Inc and Network 18, launched the channel in the US and is a part of its aggressive growth plans to extend its brand outside India, said Haresh Chawla, group CEO of Viacom18. “Over the last 18 months, Colors has risen to become the no. 1 rated general entertainment channel in India,” he added.
The announcement was made in a press conference, held in New York, by Viacom18 and Network18 Group CEO Haresh Chawla, Kamat and Dish Network VP of International Programming Chris Kuelling.
People will be able to watch popular shows like Balika Vadhu, Uttaran, Naa Aana Iss Des Laado, National Bingo Night and Jai Shri Krishna during the week. Aapka Colors will broadcast format shows and blockbuster Bollywood movies on weekends.
Aapka Colors TV channel is available in Dish Network’s Hindi Mega Pack and the Hindi Super Pack, both of which include the leading general entertainment channels from India. Aapka colors will be available on Dish Network channel no 651.
This is the second international release of the channel, the first being in UK. Viacom18 launched the channel in UK on 25 January 2010. In UK market, the channel has been introduced as ‘Colors’ itself. It will be broadcast free-to-air initially for a couple of months.
Rajesh Kamat, chief executive officer of colors believes that, with Amitabh as their brand ambassador, the channel could scale heights. “Mr. Bachchan is one of the biggest global icons from India. His effortless charm and ability to connect with a wide range of people across demographics as ‘Pop Philosopher’ in ‘Bigg Boss’ has been a testimony for all to witness.”
Kamat further added that there would not be any lag in the telecast of episodes compared to India. “One of our key strategies for this market is that there will be no lag in the telecast of episodes versus India thus ensuring that the viewers in this market are always up to speed with all of our key shows.”
“Given the uniqueness of our shows and Dish’s robust distribution, I’ve no doubts that we’ll replicate our success in the US market as well,” added he.
The vice president of international programming for Dish Network, Chris Kelling said, “Dish Network has led international programming innovation for the US based South Asian community since 1998. The launch of Aapka Colors on Dish Network is another significant step in our evolution of providing market leading programming for the aware and connected Indian consumer in the United States.”
It has just been a year since Colors channel was launched in India . The channel took over Star Plus’ long leadership of nine years by grabbing the leading general entertainment channel spot.
The company is now in process of expanding its offerings to other international markets including the Middle East, Canada and South Africa in a phased manner.