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INDIA

French satellite channel TV5 has announced plans to expand operations in India. The scheme includes a direct tie-up with Indian cable operators and one-to-one marketing to viewers through personalized e-mail interaction.

The channel plans to introduce 21 daily news bulletins and 45 hours of new fiction with subtitling in French and English. TV5 intends to establish a viewership of at least 9 million by January in India. It also will offer points like frequent flier mile programs of international airlines to Indian cable operators as an added incentive.

TV5 first started beaming into India in early 1998.

Television France Intl. (TVFI) is reported to be in discussion with Doordarshan, Star TV India and Sahara TV (a new channel to be launched in 2000), for beaming French programming into India.

TVFI general secretary Oliver Rene Veillon told Daily Variety, “India is emerging as an area of interest for our members and we have had some fruitful discussions with Indian broadcasters, including Doordarshan.”

French fare including animation, documentaries and made-for-TV movies are likely to be sold to Indian networks.

A 20-member French TV and film delegation headed by Daniel Toscan du Plantier, president of Unifrance Intl., visited India between last week to promote programs and films in the Indian market.

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