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Friday, Apr 30, 2004

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NumTV to offer S. Indian channels online to NRIs

Sriram Srinivasan

Chennai , April 29

PENTAMEDIA'S NumTV has tied up with, a portal of Sify, to target the NRI community with a string of South Indian channels that will be made available online.

The alliance, worked out on the basis of a revenue-sharing agreement, is expected to substantially increase the `traffic' for NumTV, which had until now offered such a service on its own.

NumTV's Mr Udeep Bogollu, who sees a spurt in subscription-based revenues, said the arrangement would help the organisation "to reach out to new databases."

Mr V.V. Kannan, President-Interactive Services, Sify, claimed that Samachar's popularity among the NRIs would help sell NumTV's content to a wider market.

The channels, which will be available under various plans costing anywhere between $10 and $99, include Jaya TV, Raj TV, Vissa, Telugu, Raj Musix, SS Music, Splash and CMM. The archives can be accessed for 15 days.

Mr Kannan said there were plans to include value-adds such as news clips, entertainments clips and movie trailers during the streaming.

The streamed content will, however, contain only original advertisements, and until the medium is sufficiently large there will be no attempt to bring in separate advertisers.

Mr Bogollu said as the "industry begins to understand the idea of broadband content" there would be an increase in the fee that channels pay to content streaming companies such as his.

Further, there could also be scope for revenues from advertisements.

NumTV, which also streams the India Today group's Aaj Tak and Headlines Today, plans to rope in some Hindi channels to boost its bouquet.

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