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Comedy Central to launch in India next week

The US channel Comedy Central is to premiere on India's Viacom18 television network on 23 January.

The Daily Show with John Stewart, South Park, Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, The Office and Seinfeld will be among the shows on Comedy Central, which should be available at launch in about 20 million homes across India via cable and direct to home satellite TV platforms.

"Comedy is the broadest of all genres and I don't think it can be called 'niche' in any form. The genre is male dominated with a 60:40 male-female TG divide. Comedy resonates across age groups," Ferzad Palia, senior vice president and general manager, English Entertainment, Viacom 18 is quoted as saying in Exchange 4 Media.

Comedy Central launched in the US in 1991, and now has localised versions in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, Netherlands, Hungary, Sweden, New Zealand, and Israel.

It is the second channel launch in as many months for Viacom 18. In December it introduced Sonic, a 24 hour science fiction channel, to its existing Hindi entertainment offering Colors, youth channel MTV, children's channel Nick, and VH1 music channel.

Viacom 18 is a 50:50 joint venture between the US entertainment content company Viacom Inc and India's Network 18, a media conglomerate with interests in television, internet, filmed entertainment, mobile content and allied businesses.

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