Watch India is an internet video service that is partnering with networks in India to offer news, entertainment, documentaries, sports and movies to expatriate viewers. In its first month of operation the service is claiming success with over 100,000 unique viewers.
“We have amassed a truly outstanding collection of programming representing the best of Indian TV and we continue to add even more premium channels, expanding our already phenomenal selection of content,” said Tripti Singh of Watch India. “This is the first time Indian TV channels are available live over the internet to the Indian diaspora in the UK.”
The Watch India web video service is delivered by Narrowstep. “Internet TV offers the ideal platform for ethnic programming like Watch India. By removing the geographic limitations of traditional broadcasting, Watch India can offer content to large audiences, around the world,” said Todd Narwid of Narrowstep. “Furthermore, the tremendous demand for culture specific programming, provides advertisers with a cost effective medium to reach very specific, targeted audiences.”
Premium programming is available from leading providers including Zee Telefilms, the largest television network in India. They provide Watch India with Zee TV, featuring top Indian entertainment and culture, and Zee Sports, the leading sports channel, offering the latest Indian cricket, football and more. Other channels include Times Now News, as well as Zoom, the number one music and entertainment channel in India, and Aastha TV, a spiritual and religious channel.
The Watch India library also provides video-on-demand services, allowing viewers to watch past programming on-demand for up to two weeks, on all six channels, at no additional cost.
“For the millions of people in the Indian community living in the UK, Watch India offers a way to not only get the latest news, but also stay up to date with culture, entertainment, music and sports — keeping them involved with life back home,” added Tripti Singh.
While Watch India is claiming 100,000 viewers in its first month of operation, a third of them from the United Kingdom, it is important to realise that this is a cumulative figure, rather than the size of the audience watching at any one time. As such it is relatively modest by broadcast standards. However, the economics of broadband video are such that it enables cost-effective delivery to niche audiences. The real question remains as to whether this can scale to the point at which they are really profitable.
The service costs $25 per month, which seems expensive compared to most cable and satellite packages, although there is a free trial period available.
Interestingly, according to its terms and conditions, the service appears provided by a company called Kumarina Investment Ltd based in Nicosia, Cyprus.