Viacom 18 tunes in Hindi-language channel

Colors to feature 'Fear Factor,' hosted by Akshay Kumar

NEW DELHI -- Viacom Indian joint venture said Wednesday that its Hindi-language entertainment channel, Colors, will premiere July 21.

"The channel has a programming mix appealing to both urban and non-urban markets given the wide diversity of audiences here," said Rajesh Kamat, CEO of the Mumbai-based channel formed by Viacom 18 Media, the year-old joint venture with broadcasting group Network18.

Colors is the latest addition to the Hindi general entertainment space, in which Turner International recently announced a pact with New Delhi-based Miditech and its parent firm Alva Brothers.

In May, Colors said it would air an Indian version of "Fear Factor" hosted by Bollywood star Akshay Kumar.

Other shows include drama series "Baalika Vadhu" (Child Bride), which tackles a sensitive issue in India, and the chat show "Sajid Superstar," hosted by Bollywood comic and filmmaker Sajid Khan.

Colors is promoted with the tagline "Jasbaat Ke Rang" (Colors of Emotions) and also will broadcast Bollywood films such as blockbuster hits "Welcome" and the upcoming "Singh Is King" produced by group affiliate Studio18.

Network18 has other broadcasting joint ventures such as CNN-IBN for news and CNBC-TV18 for business news.