MIPTV 2011 – CANNES. The launch of History in India within the next two months makes it the second largest History channel in the world – after the US version, said Sean Cohan, SVP, International, AETN. ”And in the US History is now a top five channel, not just in one category, but in the top five of all channels. “
The launch of History India was originally announced last August, and is a joint venture with India’s Network 18, which holds 51% with AETN holding 49%. The JV, called AETN-18 India, will first launch History India, with other AETN channels to follow.
Ratings wise, the various AETN channels are doing well in a lot of territories. “In South-East Asia, for example, where we have a large age gap with Discovery and National Geographic, who have been there for a long time. We have been there just three or four years and are doing very well.”
One of the reasons for the ratings’ success is local production, “We don’t just make a local language version, local production on our channels is really substantial.” From the outset, AETN has a ‘double digit’ percentage of local production and it shows in the ratings, said Cohan.
Almost all of AETN’s channels have an HD version and the policy is now to make them all simulcasts of the SD version, “all of our programming is now in HD, so we offer it to whoever wants to take it.” Cohan believes HD will be the de facto standard within a couple of years.
AETN has also committed to a number of 3D productions, such as The Universe, but Cohan doesn’t see a full 3D channel in the near future, “there simply isn’t enough 3D content for a linear channel. But we have projects with our key partners, such as Sky in the UK, to produce 3D programmes.”