India active at Asia TV confab


SINGAPORE -- India took center stage with several high-profile deals during Day 2 of the Asia Television Forum.

Buena Vista International Television?Asia Pacific announced a multiyear programming deal for library content with Indian film channel Filmy, the companies said Thursday.

BVITV-AP said this was the first deal of its kind for a U.S. studio with the Filmy pay TV channel, which is operated by the Sahara One Network.

The new agreement is part of the Walt Disney Co.'s increased India focus. In July, Disney agreed to pay $30.5 million for a controlling stake in Hindi-language children's channel Hungama TV in addition to a $14 million investment in production house UTV.

India also was the hot market for on-demand company Anytime, which announced a joint venture with Bollywood media and entertainment company Eros International Plc.

Anytime and Eros said the "strategic distribution partnership" will deliver Hollywood movies on-demand across digital platforms in India as well as a Bollywood video-on-demand channel for Asia-Pacific distribution.

Eros, which has a library of about 1,300 titles, will own a majority stake in the new venture.

Granada International closed its first deal of the market Thursday, with the sale of Gordon Ramsay's "Hell's Kitchen USA" to Singapore terrestrial broadcaster MediaCorp. Channel 5.

The announcement was made by Granada International's U.K.-based managing director Nadine Nohr. This year's Asia Television Forum is the first market in Asia for Granada's new regional office, opened earlier this year in Hong Kong.

Separately, BVITV-AP said it has licensed a live-action series package to Indonesian terrestrial broadcaster Jak TV.

The deal gives audiences in and around the Indonesian capital of Jakarta first-time access to such shows as "Grey's Anatomy," "What About Brian" and "Ghost Whisperer." The series are expected to launch early next year.