targets expats in Canada

Indian expatriates living in Canada have a new online option for keeping up with Bollywood and top-rated channels from home., owned by Live Asia TV, is targeting 3.5 million Indian expatriates in the US and Canada with content on three new Indian online TV channels: Zee Cinema, Zee Punjabi and Zee Gujarati.

Zee Cinema airs Hindi films – both classic and new Bollywood releases. Zee Punjabi features musicals, soaps, magazine shows and comedies such as Jugnu Mast Mast. Zee Gujarati offers variety entertainment programming. The site also offers India’s six top-rated channels: Times Now, Zee TV, Zoom, Zee Sports, IOL and Aastha.

The site is subscriber-based and does not offer ads, but will be seeking co-branding initiatives and sponsoring local events, such as the upcoming Festival of India in Toronto. The company is aiming for co-branding partnerships with grocery chains and other Indian businesses – including publications targeting Indians living in Canada, for which the channel may offer month-long free access to subscribers. launched this summer with a free trial that attracted about 100,000 unique visitors and about 500 new subscribers daily. Currently, the company’s subscribers come from 43 countries.

According to the PMB’s 2007 numbers, there are about 847,000 A18+ South Asians (East Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, etc.) living in Canada. Statistics Canada predicts that this group will be one of the largest in the country by 2017. PMB 2007 reports that 64% of this group accessed the Internet in the past month, and the average time spent per week was nine hours and 36 minutes. Of the group’s reported websites visited in the past month, newspaper sites accounted for 21%, TV sites for 16% and magazine sites for 12%.