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Viacom18 to launch Comedy Central in India

Viacom18 has announced plans to launch the Comedy Central TV channel in India before the end of the year, and simultaneously stated a delay in the introduction of its Hindi movie channel.

The anticipated movie channel, for which Viacom18 has spent a reported INR 2.5 billion on content acquisition, will now launch in 2012.

"Given the changing dynamics of the television business in this market, we have decided to strategically re-prioritise our growth plans and are now planning to launch Comedy Central and a channel for young audiences within the next three months, while deferring the launch of our Hindi movie channel," said Haresh Chawla, chief executive, Viacom18.

"We are a young organisation and therefore have the agility to tweak our plans as may be required," he added. "Given the direction of growth across our businesses, we intend to launch our Hindi movie channel sometime next year, with a model that will cut the lead time to leadership significantly."

Ravish Kumar, previously of Star India, had recently been appointed head of Viacom 18's Hindi movie channel. He will now reportedly explore regional language opportunities for the broadcaster, drawing on his experience as general manager for Star Jalsha and Star Pravah.

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