Canada's ATN seeks five Asian channels

Wants Hindi- and Mandarin-language channels

TORONTO -- Canadian broadcaster Asian Television Network International has asked the country's TV regulator to license five Hindi- and Mandarin-language channels for the Canadian market.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission on Thursday confirmed the application to allow the Hindi-language entertainment channel Star India Plus and the Bollywood film channel Star India Gold into the domestic market as digital offerings.

The CRTC also will consider whether to allow three Mandarin-language channels -- the general entertainment Star Chinese Channel, Channel 5 Taiwan and the classic movie channel Star Chinese Movies -- into Canada.

CRTC permission would enable first-time Canadian penetration for the Star-branded channels. A successful bid also will allow Asian Television Network, which has a supply deal with Star Plus, to extend its Hindi and Mandarin program offerings.

The CRTC will receive industry input before it decides on possible entry for the Asian channels.