CNBC Asia appoints new partner for India

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HONG KONG -- Dow Jones & Co and NBC's newly merged Asian business news television channel, CNBC Asia, plans to run two services into India initially until it consolidates its base of corporate advertisers.

The new channel, which is scheduled for a February 2 launch, will have dual carriage into India via two satellites: PanAmSat-4, which used to carry Dow Jones & Co's Asia Business News (ABN), and AsiaSat-2, which was CNBC's vehicle into India.

Leading advertisers on the two services include IDV (Heritage Whisky), Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Colgate, Maruti, Liberty, Novartis, IBM, Nagarjuna Fertilisers and Nokia.

The new service has also chosen leading local production house TV18 as its production, marketing and ad sales partner for India, ABN announced January 20.

This leaves NBC's previous CNBC ad-sales and production partner, General Electric's IGE (India) subsidiary, as the latest victim of the merger between the two organizations.

TV18 was ABN's joint venture partner in a dedicated Indian business news channel, ABNi. The two-year-old joint-venture service, which claimed distribution in four million households, will be dissolved as part of the merger, according to ABN.

A dedicated India feed of the new business channel, which will be branded CNBC Asia Business News for a transition period, will continue to be distributed in India by Star TV.

The merged CNBC Asia expects distribution in five million of India's 15 million cable and satellite households. Penetration rates of about 70% are expected in major cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Madras, Hyderabad and Calcutta.

Copyright January 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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