MTV India finds sponsors for film industry spoof

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BOMBAY -- A newly resurgent MTV India, whose diet of localization has doubled its viewership in little over a year, has announced a fresh line-up of program spoofs on Bollywood, the name by which India's movie industry is popularly known.

Starting this month, MTV will air MTV Hipshakers, a half-hour weekly dance program sponsored by cosmetics maker Elle 18; MTV Filmi Fundas, three-minute capsules that reveal the A to Z of Bollywood flicks with Pepsi as the sponsor; and MTV Question Se Answer Tak, a Liberty footwear marketersponsored show that informs viewers in depth about Indian actors and movies.

"Bollywood forms an important part of the youth's entertainment and thus MTV, through these new programs, aims at taking up film concepts and ideas and presenting them in a way that the youth enjoy," says Natasha Malhotra, an executive producer at Bombay-based MTV India.

MTV's new regime of 70% local music and 30% international repertoire has paid rich dividends. The free-to-air satellite channel has seen its reach double from 4.2 million Indian cable homes in January 1997 to the current 8.34 million it claims.

Advertisers, at first doubtful of MTV India's ability to survive tough competition from rival Channel [V], now number 75, excluding 22 title sponsors.

Copyright April 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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