Zee News is close to signing a deal with CNN for sharing content which would give it access to almost all the global stories on CNN, including news breaks, for airing on Zee News.
As part of the agreement CNN too will have access to Zee News stories and will also be extended off-air help by Zee News. The alliance initially be for a period of one year and is extendible to three years. A formal announcement is expected within few days.
According to industry sources, Zee News would downlink CNN feeds at its studios in Noida and would send the tapes of recorded stories via VSNL to its Singapore uplinking centre from where it would be uplinked for airing on Zee News. Special stories may also be telecast simultaneously on Zee News and CNN.
The content sharing agreement is expected to spruce up international news content on Zee News, especially in the event of a major breaking news like the recent attacks on World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the US and would give it a major advantage over arch rival Aaj Tak.
Globally, CNN has tie-ups with regional broadcasters, which are known as its affiliates, but the relationship with Zee is a step away from this.
Though the Zee-CNN alliance does not envisage any equity participation from CNN, media analysts indicated equity participation by CNN’s parent company, AOL Time Warner, in Zee Telefilms Ltd cannot be ruled out at a future stage.