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Cellcast Plans 24×7 Interactive TV Channel; Cellcast Asia FY10 Profit $2 Million

(By Anupam Saxena and Nikhil Pahwa)

Canaan Partners funded Cellcast Interactive is planning to  launch a 24 hour television channel with only interactive, mobile-enabled TV  shows, reports Business Standard. The channel will see a roll out in Q2 2011. Cellcast is finalizing show formats, time slots, the name of the channel and partners, including broadcast partners. We’ve requested Cellcast for a detailed interaction on their plans for the channel.

Cellcast has an eye on 3G which might help with integration of video calling. Its last attempt with rich media interactions and user generated content (rather than game shows) – Sumo.in launched in 2007 – had been shelved due to lack of broadband and 3G infrastructure, according to an interview that Cellcast CEO Pankaj Thakar gave to IIFL earlier last year.

Although Cellcast claims on its website that its show, Bid2Win received 30 million responses from 2.5 million individuals in an year’s time, the success of a full fledged channel with just game shows has to be taken with a pinch of salt, considering the example of the Essel Group owned Play TV which went off the air last year.

Cellcast currently runs 11 game shows on Hindi channels like Zoom, Zee TV, Imagine TV and  India TV as well as regional channels like Raj TV, SS Music, Maa TV and Maa Music. It also has IVR based shows and subscription based Astrology content.

Cellcast Asia Turned Profitable In FY10

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According to financial results published by Cellcast in the UK, Cellcast India is profitable, and accounts for most of the revenue for Cellcast Asia Holdings, in which Cellcast PLC has 37.5% stake, and Canaan Partners is a majority shareholder.

– During the year 2009, Cellcast Asia Holdings reported an unaudited profit of £1.2 million, compared to a loss of approximately £1 million in 2008.
– During the financial year 2009-10, Cellcast Asia Holdings reported revenue of $8.4 million, up from $2 million in the previous financial year, and an unaudited profit of $2 million from a loss in 2008-09.

Cellcast Asia Holdings owns 100% of the share capital of Cellcast Interactive India Private Limited a company incorporated in India and whose principal activity is television and broadcasting. CAH also own 50% of the share capital of Cellcast SEA Limited a dormant company incorporated in Hong Kong.

– Cellcast PLC 2009 Annual report
– Cellcast PLC 2010 Half Yearly Interim report)

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