Jan 30, 2009

Entertainment - NDTV to launch and distribute Trace in India

will launch and distribute the high-end urban music and lifestyle channel, Trace, in India. The channel, which is active in as many as 130 countries, is owned by the Trace Group.

In an email interview with afaqs!, Rahul Sood, head, network distribution, NDTV Group, says, "Trace is a channel that we have seen grow exponentially in the last couple of years in countries all over the world. It is a thematic channel and the digital growth in India is something they want to be a part of. As we are in the space of aggregating quality channels for distribution, it proves to be a good fit for us."

NDTV already has an agreement with the UK’s commercial broadcaster, ITV Global Entertainment, to distribute Granada TV in India and South Asia. The new deal for distributing Trace adds to the channel's international offerings that are in the pipeline.

The association between NDTV and the Trace Group is a pure distribution deal. However, Sood is hopeful that as the channel gets more traction, both parties will work together in other areas as well.

NDTV and Trace will also launch the channel in countries such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Bangladesh and Bhutan.

The channel is targeted at urban audiences in the age group of 15-39 years. Trace is perceived as a media brand that unites the urban youth, regardless of race, class or origin.

Sharing details of the content on the channel, Sood says, "The channel defines urban music and culture very broadly. It includes reggae, hip-hop, reggaeton, salsa, world music, techno, Bhangra pop, electro, urban fashion, clothing, games, movies and other content. Around 80-85 per cent of the channel's time and content will be devoted to an exclusive mix of urban music, encompassing playlists, countdowns, concerts and other shows. The remaining 15 per cent will comprise features, interviews, news and documentaries related to urban culture."

In an official communiqu̩, Olivier Laouchez, chairman and chief executive officer, Trace, Asia, reiterates, "The association combines NDTV's strength in India with Trace's brand and expertise in urban content and culture. The association will expand Trace's digital distribution to a growing number of viewers in India. The country shows a huge appetite from Trace's core target group Рthe young, urban generation Рto get the best urban entertainment from India and the rest of the world."

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