MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Aug. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Verismo Networks, a provider of end-to-end solution for broadband entertainment services, today announced the launch of Mela, a global multi-platform consumer entertainment service with one of the largest aggregations of premium South Asian video content. The Mela service will provide consumers with an unparalleled television viewing experience over broadband, combining dozens of live television channels covering news and entertainment, hundreds of Bollywood and regional movies, with an increasing selection in high-definition, and selected premium videos from the Internet categorized for easy access.
Mela plans to become the largest licensor of premium South Asian video content anywhere in the world. In addition to around a dozen launch content partners already signed-up, Mela is in active discussions with several other premium content owners who will be announced shortly. In order to represent the diversity of genres, tastes, languages, and regional flavors present in the rich cultural heritage of South Asia, Mela will be adding new content on an ongoing basis. For example, Mela's movie offering will grow to over 500 hit titles within a few months after launch through content deals already secured.
Mela is a multi-platform service designed to serve the connected digital lifestyle of today's consumers who want to find and watch the world's premium content when, how, and where they want. The service will be distributed exclusively via the Internet for consumers to enjoy directly on their television, which continues to be the most popular platform for watching premium, long-form video content. Mela has, therefore, focused on television distribution at launch. Mela will provide consumers a branded, award-winning, high-definition set-top-box developed by its parent company, Verismo Networks.
Mela plans to later roll out its service on all major platforms including PC, mobile phones and devices, video gaming consoles, Internet connected televisions, Internet connected Blu-ray players, and other popular over-the-top devices and set-top boxes.
Verismo Networks' Chairman and CEO Prakash Bhalerao said, "The Mela service marks a key milestone for the company as we enter into the consumer entertainment space by leveraging our expertise in enabling broadband entertainment through our globally deployed platform. We are extremely pleased to launch this service for the benefit of the expatriate South Asian community worldwide who miss enjoying quality entertainment from their native countries in the comfort of their living room."
Sab Kanaujia, the General Manager of Mela and President of Entertainment Services at Verismo Networks, said, "Mela aims to solve the global distribution problem for highly popular and widely followed South Asian entertainment content. This breakdown in global distribution has resulted in rampant piracy that costs the industry billions of dollars in lost revenue every year. Mela, for the first time, brings together key content partners, distribution platforms, and a quality user experience to provide ardent fans of South Asian entertainment an extremely convenient and compelling legal offering at an attractive price."
Some of Mela's over a dozen content partners at launch include: Yash Raj Films, Eros International, ETV Network, Shemaroo Entertainment, Times Global Broadcasting, Raj Television Network, Maa Television Network and Jaya TV.
Mr. Anand Gurnani, General Manager – Digital & New Media, Yash Raj Films said, "Our primary objective is to deliver entertainment through all legitimate touch-points. We are supportive of a digital distribution endeavor like Mela that enables us to reach out to audiences, who perhaps have limited access to quality Indian films."
"We are happy to associate with Verismo Networks that is expected to provide a quality and distinct live television viewing experience to viewers anywhere in the world and constantly keeping in touch with infotainment in the language of their choice. The presence of ETV channels on Mela service is sure to enthrall our viewers," said Mr. K Bapineedu, Vice president of Operations of the Hyderabad-based ETV Network. "Verismo Networks is one of the popular and respected broadband entertainment service providers and this tie would work well for both the companies," he added. Mr. K. Bapineedu was confident that ETV Network's belief in quality and delivering content relevant to various Indian languages, coupled with Verismo's popularity would ensure a new dimension to television viewing among the viewers of regional language channels from India.
At launch, Mela will offer over 40 popular live television channels covering news and entertainment with a special focus on Tamil and Telugu languages. In order to provide the widest regional coverage at launch, Mela will offer live television channels in over a dozen languages. Mela's on-demand movie offering at launch will include over 250 hit titles in Hindi, Telugu and Tamil languages. In addition, Mela will bring together hundreds of hours of selected premium South Asian entertainment content from the Internet. Mela's award-winning technology platform selects and arranges Internet videos in a user-friendly manner categorized by type, language, genre, and other factors. Mela subscribers will have the convenience of enjoying both the licensed and Internet videos seamlessly integrated in the same exciting Mela user interface on their television.
Mela is being introduced in the market with an extremely attractive pricing. Regional live television channel packages in Tamil and Telugu languages will each be available for $9.99 per month. Two premium channels in each of Tamil and Telugu language will be available at $14.99 per month per channel. For movie buffs, Mela will offer an on-demand movie service at only $4.99 per month. Subscribers will be able to watch as many movies as they want, including a growing list of high definition titles, for that fixed monthly subscription price.
In addition to the above a-la-carte pricing, Mela will offer a bundled package in which it will include its award winning, high-definition set-top-box with a content package including over forty live television channels and 500+ movies available on-demand for an introductory launch price of just $149 for the first year of service.
Mela has established partnerships for local distribution of its service through a network of local retail distributors throughout the United States, focusing on the country's major hubs of South Asian population.
Mela will be launched globally in markets outside of United States in a phased manner starting later this year.
About Verismo Networks
Verismo Networks provides an end-to-end solution for the easy deployment of Broadband entertainment services by ISPs, Telcos, OTT and IPTV service providers globally. The Verismo Broadband TV platform is the leading solution that brings seamless integration of IPTV linear channels, video on demand, internet video, social networking and personal media playback directly to the TV. The Verismo end-to-end platform and cloud based services enables the fastest time-to-market for any content owner and service provider to expand their reach globally and cost effectively while giving subscribers an un-paralleled viewing experience. Verismo is an Intel Capital funded company and the Verismo platform currently supports a large and growing base of global deployments and customers. For more information, please visit www.verismonetworks.com
Mela is a multi-platform entertainment service that will provide consumers worldwide one of the largest collections of premium South Asian video content. Mela brings together content from diverse sources by combining dozens of live television channels covering news and entertainment, hundreds of hit Bollywood and regional movies, with an increasing number of titles in high-definition, and hundreds of independent films and selected premium videos from the Internet categorized for easy access. Mela's content partners include several premium film studios and television networks including Yash Raj Films, Eros International, ETV Network, Raj Television Network, Shemaroo Entertainment, and several others. The Mela service at launch will be available on television through Mela's high-definition set-top-box. Mela plans to later roll out its service on all major platforms including PC, mobile phones and devices, video gaming consoles, Internet connected televisions, Internet connected Blu-ray players, and other popular over-the-top devices and set-top boxes. To learn more, please visit www.mela.com
About Yash Raj Films (YRF)
YRF is the leading player in the Indian film industry and the country's premier independent Studio conglomerate. The Company's core lies in the production and distribution of some of the industry's highest grossing films. With offices also in New York, London, and Dubai, YRF handles the global distribution of its own films as well as films of other leading Indian producers. The Company also has its own music and home entertainment labels, design cell and post-production facilities, digital, merchandising and marketing divisions, as well as in-house units focused on the creation of television software, ad films, and music videos. YRF also has its own state-of-the-art fully integrated Studio, producing an average of 4-5 films a year, and thus making it an integral part of the entertainment business in India. For further information on Yash Raj Films, visit www.yashrajfilms.com
About ETV Networks
ETV Network's, bouquet of 12 regional channels are source of rich infotainment to audiences in the language of their choice: ETV Telugu, ETV2, ETV Bangla, ETV Marathi, ETV Kannada, ETV Oriya, ETV Gujarati, ETV Urdu, ETV Uttar Pradesh, ETV Rajasthan, ETV Bihar and ETV Madhya Pradesh. ETV-Network channels have been popular because the quality entertainment is provided to viewers in the language of their choice depicting the culture with which they are able to connect. It is this spirit of empathy with individual cultures/languages that has helped ETV to reach millions of viewers.
With the same spirit, ETV provides digital entertainment to Indians living in U.S.A. with ETV Telugu, ETV Bangla and ETV Gujarati entertainment channels. Telugus, Bengalis, and Gujaratis can access wide variety of entertainment programs in a language that is close to their heart. For more info, visit www.etv.co.in
SOURCE Verismo Networks