India's Zee TV to launch in U.S.

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BOMBAY -- U.S.-based EchoStar Communications Corp. and Bombay-based Zee Network, Asia's most popular Hindustani-language satellite broadcaster, half owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., have signed a deal to broadcast the Zee TV channel in the U.S.

Zee TV, Zee Network's flagship entertainment service, will form part of a clutch channels to be broadcast direct-to-home by EchoStar, the No. 2 DTH provider in the U.S. home market.

Slated for August 15, the Zee debut in the U.S. will target the 1.2 million Americans of Indian origin in North America with programs identical to its Asian service. The channel will later incorporate U.S. programming to rope in secondgeneration Indians living in the U.S.

Zee TV already is broadcasting via satellite to the U.K. and parts of Asia and Africa to reach Indian expatriates in those regions.

Copyright April 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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