Zee Telefilms has shelved its plans to uplink the network’s channels from India through its own teleport. The decision has been taken due to the promoter’s inability to bring down foreign holding in the company to 49 per cent, a requirement for getting a license to uplink from its earth station.
The company will, however, approach, for the uplinking of its channels, an Indian company which has set up an earth station. It currently uplinks its Alpha group of channels from Singapore, while the Zee channels are uplinked from Hong Kong.
According to the industry sources, Zee was likely to uplink from Delhi, since this way it will be able to use the playout facility at Noida. No company has the infrastructure to provide uplinking from Mumbai. VSNL has built the infrastructure in Chennai. Incidentally, Zee Telefilms has already created a teleport facility at Noida at an investment of around Rs 25 crores.
The use of an earth station in India will help the company to mop up income from non exporters who can advertise on the channels only if they are uplinked from within the country. Besides, this would also reduce costs and the logistics problem.
The reduction in the promoter’s holding to below 50 per cent would depend on the strategic investor, RK Singh, chief executive officer, corporate, Zee Telefilms.
Zee has been wanting to uplink from its earth station in Noida for more than a year now. But it couldn’t meet the guideline, which stipulated that earth station would not be permissible to a company where the foreign holding is more than 49 per cent.