Nithya Subramanian

New Delhi, Oct 14

COME Sunday and it's Indian week on BBC World. The news channel is launching a series of special programming focusing on Indian subcontinent.

HARDTalk will feature Stephen Sackur interviewing the Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, the Chief Mentor of Infosys, Mr N.R. Narayana Murthy, and environmentalist Ms Sunita Narain, among others.

Talking Movies, a show on the entertainment industry, will interview Shah Rukh Khan, Vishal Bharadwaj, and Mira Nair. Stephen Cole from Click Online follows two workers in the IT industry to understand the key issues facing them, while FASTTRACK travels to Goa to look at the problems faced by tourist destinations.

Speaking to Business Line, Mr Richard Porter, Editorial Director, BBC World, said: "India Week will focus on the country and bring a new dimension to the viewers. India is an incredible story and we want to make a statement on which way the channel is heading."

This series is similar to ones aired on China and Africa and will be aired on BBC World globally and will not be confined just to the South Asia region.

The channel has, in recent times, been positioning itself as a news channel. It had launched a promotional campaign, Put News First, which is entering the second phase.

According to Mr Jonathan Howlett, Director of Airtime Sales, the channel has about 50 advertisers, including automobiles and financial services among others.

Mr Howlett said that the channel is available in over 15 million households and ratings are not the only parameter to measure viewership.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 15, 2005)
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