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Comedy Central to Launch in India

Comedy Central 2011 Logo
Comedy Central

Viacom18 will bow its sixth U.S. partner company network on January 23.

NEW DELHI – Saturday nights are about to change in India. Saturday Night Live and other shows such as South Park, 30 Rock, The Office and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, will be featured on the upcoming Comedy Central channel set to bow here on Jan. 23. 

Comedy Central will be the sixth channel from joint venture Viacom18 that already runs a bouquet here including MTV India, Vh1 India, Nick India and Hindi entertainment outlet Colors.

“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.

Viacom18 expects Comedy Central be available in 20 million homes, across analog and digital cable and direct-to-home platforms, the company 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,” said Viacom International Media Networks president CEO Bob Bakish.

“The time is right partly due to the spread of digitization 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,” added Viacom18 Media senior VP, GM English entertainment Ferzad Palia, who also said that the channel will promote local programming as well. 

“Among other things, we will develop our own talent which we would take overseas to give them a wider platform," he said.

Comedy Central will only be offered in English and will also include movies on weekends.