Zee Telefilms has shelved its plans to acquire Urdu Television Network (UTN) as it found the Urdu channel incompatible with its current business plan.
Meanwhile, UTN has gone off transmission. The channel was moved to AsiaSat-3 to occupy transponder space vacated by Zee TV, when it converted from analogue to digital mode.
Zee’s move may be governed by the need to tighten its finances, as it comes in the wake of the company’s decision to streamline operations and shed off subsidiaries which have very few operations.
For this purpose, ZTL’s subsidiary PATCO (Programme Asia Trading Company Ltd) is exploring ways to merge its operation with El Zee Television. Zee didn’t want to burden itself further by acquiring a channel that would take time to provide revenue inflows and be profitable.
ZTL’s plan was to bring UTN under the Alpha brand. The acquisition would have given Zee a channel spread across states where the Urdu-speaking population was concentrated. It would have been the only language channel in the bouquet to have a wider reach across the northern, southern and western regions.