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UTV to launch business channel UTVi

BS Reporter  |  Mumbai 

Ronnie Screwvala-promoted media and entertainment company UTV Software Communications today announced the launch of its English business channel UTVi.

The company has also concluded a strategic content tie-up with Disney-ABC International Television (Asia Pacific), the international TV distribution arm of The Walt Disney Company, for programming and services.

"The English business segment reflects a huge opportunity. Till date, the first mover in the business television space occupies 80% market share, which to us reflects a tremendous untapped opportunity. With UTV's experience in content, business and broadcasting and with one of the best teams assembled, we feel extremely excited to enter this space," said Ronnie Screwvala, CEO, UTV Software Communications.

"The tie-up with ABC will bring in an international perspective,and also add that cutting-edge that our viewers will want from a well rounded business channel," he added.

According to UTVi executives, the programming of the channel will de-jargonise the financial markets.

ABC News president David Westin said: "We are pleased to be collaborating with UTVi in their new enterprise. This gives us an excellent opportunity to provide our reporting to the people of South Asia as well as to enhance our coverage of news in the region. We also plan to work with our new colleagues at UTVi to co-produce news programs and bulletins combining the expertise of both organisations for the benefit of the growing UTV audience."

Arun Anant has been appointed CEO, Govindraj Ethiraj will be the Editor-in-Chief, and Sumit Gupta will be the Chief Operating Officer of UTVi.

Walt Disney increased its stake in UTV Software Communications in February to 32% from its previous 14.85%. In addition, it also bought 15% stake in UTV's broadcasting subsidiary. The deal is estimated at around Rs 1,300 crore.

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First Published: Wed, April 02 2008. 18:09 IST