Indian family TV channel launches in U.S.

International Media Distribution (IMD) announced February 27 that the youth-oriented STAR One Channel has been replaced by Life OK, which will focus on “fun, family-oriented entertainment” from India. The new channel launched internationally in December 2011, but will arrive in the U.S. on March 1.

"Meri Maa" is a heartwarming tale about a street kid searching for her lost mother.

The rebranded channel and logo play off the popular mantra: “Life is Good.” According to IMD, Life OK strives to remind viewers to value family ties, relationships, traditions and peace of mind, while on their quest for success.

The Hindi-language channel remains part of the vast STAR India family of networks. STAR India is is an Asian TV service owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation (NWS, quote). Headquartered in Mumbai, STAR India has the widest reach among the country’s broadcasters, beaming to over 168 million people every week across India and over 65 countries across the globe.

The Indian direct-broadcast satellite market has been growing quickly, and is expected to overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest such market this year.

Highlights from Life OK include Meri Maa, “the story of the bond between a mother and child being eternal and precious,” and Smile Please, a role reversal story about a rich family and its servants which “will focus on the power of inherited values, and how they are the glue that binds families together,” not wealth and material items.

Life OK has proven moderately popular in India, reaching 100 gross ratings points and a 7.8% market share within two weeks of launch. The channel will be available on cable systems in 13 U.S. states, but IMD has not predicted how many viewers it expects.

Regardless of the channel’s success, it’s part of a rising wave of international programming in the United States. IMD is owned by Comcast (CMCSA, quote) through NBCUniversal, and represents over 30 channels from at least 14 countries.

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