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Zee to transfer ownership of channels for Indian uplink

27-December-2001
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Zee to transfer ownership of channels for Indian uplink

Zee Telefilms is considering the transfer of direct ownership of Zee TV and Zee Cinema from Asia Today Limited (ATL), to an Indian registered entity as one of the options so that it can uplink these prime channels from India. The company is seeking regulatory approvals from various authorities but is yet to finalise on any one option.

The options could be the merger of ATL with Zee Telefilms or setting up a branch office of ATL in India or transferring Zee TV and Zee Cinema from ATL to Zee Telefilms.

Zee will need to clear all syndicated loans of ATL. It will also need clearance from Reserve Bank of India and the ministry.

Zee Telefilms plans to either merge Dakshin Media with itself or transfer the assets and make it go defunct. The southern language channels will be operated by ZTL.

The channels uplinked from Singapore by ZTL subsidiary Expand Fast Holdings will be operated by ZTL. These are Zee Music, Zed TV and the four language channels. These were ZTL-owned brands which were licensed to Expand Fast.

Zee's plan is to bring third party channels under Expand Fast for uplinking in Singapore. Expand Fast has three transponders and a capacity to uplink more than 20 channels. Zee English and Zee MGM will continue to be uplinked from Singapore.

Zee Telefilms had earlier sought permission to uplink all its channels from India but subsequently brought it down to seven channels because of the policy restrictions. It also dropped its plans to directly operate a teleport in India because of the foreign equity restrictive clause.

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