'American Desi' to Launch First English-Language American Television Network for South Asians Living in America
NEW YORK, and ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Dec 14, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via Comtex/ -- American Desi, the first 24-hour, English-language American television network for South Asians living in America, today officially was unveiled. EchoStar Communications Corporation's (Nasdaq: DISH) DISH Network satellite TV service is scheduled to begin carrying the new network in January 2005.
The network, which is headquartered in studios in New Jersey and New York, will offer a full schedule of unique programming geared to the Desi experience and lifestyle, targeting all key Desi demographics and age groups.
American Desi today also announced key senior management and advisory appointments representing over 125 years of relevant experience at such stalwart media and financial concerns as ABC, NBC, ESPN and American Express (See Related Release: "American Desi Appoints Senior Management and Advisory Teams," 12/14/04).
Additionally, American Desi is benefited by state-of-the-art technologies and alliances with the likes of Associated Press Television (APTV) News, Sports News Television (SNTV), American Pro Cricket and others.
"Desi" is South Asian terminology that identifies those "from the homeland." Today in the United States there are over 3.4 million Desi family members, many of them in the upper income bracket, with over 20% of Desis of Indian descent having achieved millionaire status. Originally from India, Pakistan and other culturally similar South Asian backgrounds, this group is distinguished as one of the fastest-growing population segments in the U.S., estimated to exceed 6 million by 2010.
Moreover, Desi executives hold an extraordinary number of key positions in U.S. corporate boardrooms and control over $200 billion in personal and corporate spending. Indeed, if the community of Desis in America were a freestanding nation, it would represent a top 25 global economy.
"It is a perfect time for this important segment of the population to have its own television network that will stand as a virtual meeting place in which to keep touch with Desi culture and share it with others. We are extremely proud to be the first to create a television marketplace to unite the Desi community and to have partnered with DISH Network, which has established clear leadership in multicultural programming services," said Vimal Verma, Chairman and CEO of American Desi. "As Desi people we are well aware of our roots, but we are also aware that our lives are intertwined with the American culture that we have adopted, making it vitally important for our programming to be English-language based."
Catering to all aspects of the Desi lifestyle and to all key demographics, American Desi's programming schedule exhibits the highest production and editorial values, and ranges from the inspirational to the informative to the exciting.
The new network offers a series of "firsts" for the Desi community -- Desi-themed daily morning newscasts; daily animated children's fare; a multi- generational lifestyle talk show for women; cutting-edge afternoon teen shows; a sports news and magazine show showcasing international and American sports; nightly interview programs; a late-night Desi comedy block; with Bollywood movies rounding out the mix. Additionally, American Desi is the exclusive television network home for American Pro Cricket, the first professional cricket league in the United States.
"In keeping with our commitment to offer programming services that meet the needs of all of our subscribers, DISH Network is very proud to become the new home of American Desi," said Tracy Thompson, vice president of International Programming for DISH Network. "It is a natural fit for DISH Network to add American Desi to our line-up, serving the English-language South Asians in America who come from many different countries."
The ad-supported American Desi network promises to be very attractive to marketers, as the Desi market is generally young and affluent according to the latest U.S. Census data, which states that Desi households in the United States have median income of $63,000, compared with $42,000 for all U.S. households.
Beginning immediately, American Desi is available through DISH Network for $4.99 per month. Additional programming may be required -- for additional channel information or to learn more about DISH Network's international programming offers, please visit http://www.dishnetwork.com or contact your local DISH Network retailer.
AMERICAN DESI PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHTS
Start your day with a lively, fast-paced morning program designed to meet the needs of the busy American Desi community. G'Morning's award winning team is working around the clock to give American Desis compelling information and insight they need to give them an edge, live, everyday.
Points of View
One thing is clear; American Desi women have a lot on their mind. POV welcomes different generations of Desi women to share a cup of Chai and lively conversation about arranged marriages, romance in the workplace to anything and everything that's on your mind.
It's My Life
Wait 'til I am 18! It's a common phrase heard by Desi teens trying to navigate their own paths. Every afternoon, It's My Life is the only television destination where Desi teens get to take over the airwaves to explore life on their terms.
Bollywood Fix brings you the best in movies, songs and entertainment news ... from box office blockbusters to timeless classics, we've got the movies, the DVD features and the latest to give you your daily Bollywood Fix.
Live Wire; Pulse; The Voice
Host Sree sits down with guests from the social, economic and political arenas for an in-depth one-on-one on topics relevant to the Desi community that the mainstream media completely misses.
Primetime is your time to take over the airwaves for our nightly celebration of the American Desi experience. From live interviews with the biggest stars, candid conversations with the movers and shakers, to great debates on the topics important to American Desis, it's on PrimeTime. What's on your mind is what's on our air!
American Desi is the exclusive broadcast home of Pro Cricket. Under the bright lights, the World's Best joins the Top U.S. players in heart stopping action. Games are played in less than 3 hours. Pro Cricket ... Fast and Furious ... Global action! Blink and you're gonna miss it!
No more waiting for a weekly update on cricket. We bring you the best in cricket and the American pro sports, be they hardball, hoops or the gridiron. Sports are a passionate part of the American Desi experience!
Late Night Comedy
An irreverent end to the day ... from the freshest Desi Comics, hottest social scenes to conversations about the subjects that might make you blush, Late Night Raw will tackle the subjects Desis are whispering about. From Sex and Drugs to all Lifestyles, nothing is out of bounds.
EchoStar Communications Corporation (Nasdaq: DISH) serves more than 10.4 million satellite TV customers through its DISH Network™, the fastest growing U.S. provider of advanced digital television services in the last four years. DISH Network offers hundreds of video and audio channels, Interactive TV, HDTV, sports and international programming, together with professional installation and 24-hour customer service. J.D. Power and Associates ranks DISH Network No. 1 in Customer Satisfaction among Cable/Satellite TV Subscribers. Visit EchoStar's DISH Network at http://www.dishnetwork.com or call 1-800-333-DISH (3474).
About American Desi
American Desi is a privately-held, New Jersey-based company that owns and operates the first and only 24-hour, English language American television network for South Asians in America. The American Desi network is available to more than ten million households through an agreement with EchoStar's DISH Network™ satellite television service. The new TV network, which launched in 2004, uniquely targets the previously under-served audience of Americans of Indian, Pakistani and similar South Asian descent. American Desi's audience of South-Asian Americans represents the most affluent and one of the fastest- growing ethnic groups in the United States. The network offers round-the-clock programming for Desi families, women, men, teens and children. The network's programming slate includes morning and evening news, movies, sports, magazine shows, late night comedy blocks and issues-based, interactive audience participation programs that make use of in-person, telephone and computer technologies. For more information on American Desi, please visit http://www.AmericanDesi.tv.
SOURCE American Desi LLC; EchoStar Communications Corporation
Robert Silverman, +1-212-779-1900, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Stu Ginsburg, +1-917-554-0724, or email@example.com, both of Gramercy Strategies, for American Desi; or Julie Popp of EchoStar's DISH Network, +1-303-723-2023, or firstname.lastname@example.org