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Zee Telefilms to regain top slot within six months, analysts cautious

05-October-2001
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Zee Telefilms to regain top slot within six months, analysts cautious

Zee Telefilms Limited expects the revamp launched a month ago on its flagship channel will see it regain its number one status in six months despite a poor start. But analysts do not share Zee’s optimism just yet.

According to the officials in Zee Telefilms, it will take time to build up the audiences... and they are optimistic that in six months time they will be able to restore Zee to its days of commanding the top programmes. But analysts do not share their optimism just yet.

According to an analyst with foreign brokerage “I will be bullish on Zee, if I see the equivalent of one show with the popularity of KBC.”

KBC the Indian version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” took audiences by storm and helped rival STAR TV dethrone Zee over the past year.

Zee relaunched its flagship channel Zee TV on August 27 with a fresh logo, slogan and 24 new shows spanning soap operas and interactive gameshows as it sought to win back the audiences lost to STAR Plus, and later to Sony, after eight years of being top.

Latest data from research agency INTAM indicate the shows are not there yet. For the week ended September 23, just 14 Zee TV shows, and only a handful of its new shows, were among the 100 most watched shows in the regions where Hindi language programming is popular.

In contrast, STAR Plus, the flagship of STAR India, has 30 shows and Sony Television has 22 in the top 100.

Zee’s shares also reflect the gloom. The stock has tumbled 28 per cent since the relaunch to Rs 84 in Thursday afternoon trade. It is down a whopping 81 per cent in the past 12 months.

According to an equity research analyst, “The old programmes of Zee TV are still the anchor programmes for the channel, and barring 4-5 shows all the new shows seem to be losing fizz.”

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