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Wed 31 Oct 2007 10:50 AM

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NDTV to push boundaries with Arab channel

Chairman Prannoy Roy says Indian network will remain true to itself, respect local culture.

India-based TV network New Delhi Television (NDTV) will continue to push the boundaries of journalism with its new channel being broadcast across the Arab world, the company's chairman has told Digital Studio.

NDTV on Tuesday launched 24-hour free-to-air channel NDTV Arabia as it looks to tap the huge number of expatriates from South Asia living in the Middle East and North Africa.

Prannoy Roy promised the network - renowned in India for its daring style of reporting, political exposés, and analysis - will remain true to itself, while also showing respect for the Arab culture.

"We will keep pushing the boundaries as we have always done and we will remain true to ourselves," Roy said.

"However, we will show all due respect to the local culture and the laws of the land."

NDTV Arabia is based out of Dubai and can be accessed on NileSat. The channel will carry a mix of English and Hindi programmes, focusing on business, news and local issues.

The channel will target South Asian expatriates living in the Arab world, as well as South Asian countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Roy said the channel will bring expatriates news from the Subcontinent as well as localised content specifically tailored for the Arab world.

"We will bring live reports on the stock market in India as there is a lot of interest here in Dubai for it," Roy said.

"At the same time, we also hope to localise some of our programmes like The Big Fight and Night Out, which have been well received in India."

The channel will begin to roll out locally produced shows by the end of November.

Roy called this initiative NDTV's "first commitment to the region, and the beginning of a relationship between the channel and Dubai", and said the network had plans to broaden the channel's appeal beyond the region's South Asian population.

"The second step would be to look beyond the Asian population," he said.

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