Zee Telefilms is acquiring Urdu Television Network (UTN), as part of a broad plan to bring language channels under the Alpha brand. The two companies are in the final stages of negotiation and the financial details are being worked out.
While UTN will migrate to Alpha Urdu, Zee will convert Krishna, from a Telugu cable to a satellite channel. This will give the network a presence in the state of Andhra Pradesh, after already launching Bharathi in Tamil Nadu and Kaveri in Karnataka. Kerala will be the only state where Zee Telefilms will not have a language channel foothold.
Zee also plans to put all the southern language channels under the Alpha brand name by September. The strategy is to have two brands spread across the network. SitiCable will continue to run its cable channels. But the vernacular channels will be satellite channels under the Alpha umbrella.
Alpha is expected to earn Rs 100 crores in the first full year of operations through its eight channels. Zee Network’s broadcasting business will have Zee and Alpha brands, movies and international business. The movie division will be split into films and music sub-divisions.
Zee Telefilms is also planning to get into vernacular language movie production, after the success of Gadar. This will also provide content for the network’s regional language channels.