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CBS' India Venture To Launch Punjabi Television Channel

MUMBAI -(Dow Jones)- BIG CBS, an equal joint venture between India's Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd. (533143.BY) and CBS Corp. (CBS), said Tuesday it will launch a Punjabi-language television channel to cater to demand for international content dubbed in local languages. The new channel, featuring CBS content dubbed in the Punjabi language, is likely to tap into a burgeoning niche market for regional content in India whose television industry is expected to be worth $8 billion by the end of 2012, according to a study by consultancy firm Deloitte and industry body Assocham. Reliance Broadcast said the new channel will have a potential reach of about 6 million cable and satellite households, and will air CBS prime-time shows like Jerry Springer, Hawaii Five-O, America's Next Top Model, Masked Warriors--an international wrestling format--and other shows dubbed in Punjabi. BIG CBS hopes to gain a share of the INR12 billion regional advertising pie, a press release said, without elaborating. The joint venture already airs three English-language channels in India, home to the world's largest English-speaking population. BIG CBS competes with News Corp., Time Warner Inc., Walt Disney Co. and Viacom Inc., which air English and Hindi-language channels in India. News Corp. owns Dow Jones & Co., publisher of this newswire and The Wall Street Journal. -By Kenan Machado, Dow Jones Newswires; +91 22 6145 6107; kenan.machado@dowjones.com

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