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Sunday, September 02, 2007

King of good times enters TV

First: UB Group Chairman Vijay Mallya.
Second :
Group Chairman Vijay Mallya shakes hands with NDTV Chairman Prannoy Roy at the launch of NDTV's lifestyle channel NDTV Good Times at Mumbai's Taj President hotel on August 30.

The 'king of good times' has finally made his foray into television with another doyen of the industry. NDTV announced the launch of a lifestyle channel -- NDTV Good Times -- on Thursday amid the usual pomp and glitz one would expect in any Mallya event. The channel, according to NDTV sources, will target a largely cosmopolitan, socially upbeat audience who does not mind spending a fortune for a better living.

The free-to-air channel, to go on air from September 7, will be available to viewers across India, West Asia, South Africa, England and USA. The channel is led by a '16-year-old' team as Roy put in jokingly while speaking about the tremendous enthusiasm and vibrancy of its members. "NDTV is proud to pioneer yet another step in Indian television industry. Our new offering will leverage the NDTV Group's proven programming and broadcasting skills in partnership with the lifestyle appeal of the Kingfisher brand," Roy added. The NDTV chief was optimistic that the strength of Kingfisher brand combined with NDTV's depth will give the new channel a distinct edge.

Mallya was at his usual flamboyant best as he spoke about how he was once thrown out of his father's office for having asked for a princely sum of Rs 10 lakhs (Rs 1 million) to launch a brand that 'would make the youth rock'. But now that his dream has come true, Mallya said, "The Kingfisher brand has come to epitomise a lifestyle that encompasses some of the finest things in life." The shared values of Kingfisher brand and NDTV Good Times will definitely have on offer a world-class television show, he added.

NDTV Lifestyle CEO Smeeta Chakrabarti said, "NDTV Good Times will target the global, urban Indian who lives in style and svaours every moment of life. ... Now NDTV presents a channel that answers all your questions on food to fitness, travel to leisure, fashion to gadgets and from marriage to parenthood." The programmes (about 50 to 60 per week; more than 6 hours per day) will be presented by experienced hosts like actor Rajat Kapoor, Manju Malhi, said to be Britain's next Madhur Jaffrey, tech guru Rajiv Makhni, cocktail queen Shatbhi Basu, Arun Thapar of Chuppa Rustam fame and spa queen Devika Anand, among others.

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