Chris Anderson has consistently hailed Bollywood as a potential trailblazer for Long Tail Economics. Yet this is probably precisely the area where he could do with refining his working definition of "niche".
When SKY first launched on the ASTRA satellite over Europe it was briefly possible to watch a number of German channels, even a Mexican one (Galavision). Yet once Murdoch had migrated to the digital dishes, these opportunities for expanding one's horizons were curtailed. There's now a 'Specialist' section on the SKY DIGITAL menu, but these channels cater for people whose identities (as opposed to just their tastes) are inherently transnational - hybridised from birth, unavoidably acculturated.
Across the pond these people are known as hyphenated Americans. What perhaps originated in political correctness, has typically resulted in an overwhelming level of choice on the shelf: Korean-Americans, Chinese-Americans and Indian-Americans are now all going to get their own MTV stations, according to the New York Times. This abundance of bicultural, hyphenated MTV may look like a more niche-centric broadcasting model, but I remember the days when all we had over here was MTV Europe and, mama mia, they played stuff like Eros Ramazzotti.
It might have been one size fits all, but given the way the 'hit' industry is constructed geographically, it gave the viewer a chance to be exposed to material outside of their local mainstream. The likes of MTV-Desi simply reproduce the captive audience dynamics of the old model along broadly ethnic lines.