DistroScale streaming bundle serves up South Asian channels for free

Mumbai India
DistroScale launched its ad-supported DistroTV service in February 2019 in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. (Getty Images)

The streaming-video services firm DistroScale is bringing a free bundle of news and entertainment channels aimed at the South Asian diaspora to its DistroTV platform.

The San Francisco firm announced this new DistroTV Desi Bundle Tuesday, touting a lineup of 16 channels, most based in India but some from the United Kingdom, that cover issues of interest to people with Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan heritage.

The U.S. site for the Desi Bundle listed nine channels on Tuesday: Republic World (news), Mastiii TV (music and youth), WION TV (news), Arré (entertainment in Hindi and English), Akaal (lifestyle in Punjabi), Brit Asia TV (entertainment), Mirror Now (news), Channel S (lifestyle) and MATV Live (entertainment in English, Hindi, Gujarati and Punjabi).

(“Desi,” as that page notes for those unfamiliar with the term many South Asians and people of South Asian heritage use to describe themselves, derives from the Sanskrit word “deśa” for region, province or country.)

DistroScale, which launched its ad-supported DistroTV service in February of 2019 in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., emphasizes the new bundle’s appeal to constituencies neglected by more mainstream services.

“We're thrilled to provide our diverse and growing global audience with the content they crave, without any subscription fees,” the press release quotes Navdeep Saini, co-founder and CEO of DistroScale. “No longer will Desi communities in these major markets feel that they cannot access their favorite shows or channels, or feel restricted by associated costs.”

DistroTV’s bundle of free-with-ads content already features such channels as Bloomberg Television, Newsmax, OAN, Outside TV, PeopleTV, MMA Junkie, and FloSports. In addition to viewing over the web, the service offers apps for Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and iOS, Google TV and Android, and Samsung and Sony connected TVs.