Music and lifestyle programming. That too primarily in English. UF Media, part of the UF Group, is hoping that this combination will strike a chord with youth as it gears up to launch its multilingual English-based lifestyle and music entertainment TV channel, UFX. Targeted at young people in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, UFX was soft launched on 28 May by minister of state for information & broadcasting S Jagathrakshkan.
The south India based UF Group, which has varied interests ranging from investment fund (Clement Ventures) to media and entertainment (Southern Digital Screens the southern franchisee for UFO Moviez) will be investing Rs 100-150 million in the channel.
UF Group MD Usman Faheed gives his rational for launching UFX. “Since we have a relationship with movie producers on account of our cinema digital distribution business, we thought it would be a good fit to also start a music channel where we could promote the movies along with their songs,” he says. “We are targeting audiences across the 14-45 year age-group, with a core target group of 15-35 years. We are hoping to breakeven within three to four years.”
UFX will air music in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada; however, the shows will have anchors speaking only in English.
“Ours is the first channel which will cater to the needs of youth in this region (the south). There is huge scope, and UFX will fill the gap,” Faheed told Indiantelevision.com.
UF group chairman Usman Fayaz had earlier co-promoted SS Music along with Santiago Martin, but then the two decided to part ways.
The channel is being beamed off Insat 4B and uses MPEG 4 technology. “We are probably the first southern channel to use MPEG 4,” says Faheed.
Currently UFX is working on its distribution in the four states and is in talks with major multi-system-operators (MSOs) for carriage. “We are finalising deals with SCV, Hathway and Asianet for our distribution. We will reach every single home in these states. After establishing ourselves here, we will sign deals with DTH players for an all-India presence,” Faheed added.
UFX’s content will range from music to films to food to fashion to internet to travel and interviews with celebrities and film stars.