Indie net American Desi, a US diginet for South Asian viewers, anticipates launching the first week of ’06 via EchoStar as an ad-supported premium net, available for $4.99/mo. Desi went down the DBS path 1st because EchoStar "has the most South Asian subs anywhere," chmn/CEO Vimal Verma told CableFAX. "It’s the first platform you want to go." Cable op deals will be pursued post-launch, and a National Show appearance is possible. About 90% of the net’s content will be made up of in-house productions originating from NY or NJ, including news/talk shows, Bollywood coverage and cricket. Desi’s management team includes former FX/ESPN exec producer Rickie Gaffney (svp, programming) and PAX vp Kenneth Gelb (svp, sales). Wachovia contributed funding to the service, which is aimed at some 2.5mln South Asian HHs. — Simon Applebaum — Muslim startup Bridges TV won its 1st carriage deal, launching in Comcast’s 22mln-sub SE MI (Detroit) system. — International Channel signed licensing agreements with Mirovision for 9 Korean films and Central Park Media for 7 anime titles, all of which are to be slotted in the net’s primetime "Asia Street" block. The programs will also be part of IC’s VOD package.

The Daily


Wireless Fights for infrastructure Dollars

It was a battle of the technologies at a Senate Commerce hearing on building resilient networks Tuesday. Wireless Infrastructure Association president/CEO Jonathan Adelstein told lawmakers that the

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