Zee TV plans to launch two new regional channels - in Tamil and Telugu - in the next couple of months. The Tamil channel, to be called Asianet Bharati, will go on air on February 22.
The Telugu channel will go on air in April. Zee is still in the process of finalising the name for the Telugu channel. Zee may launch the Telugu channel on Telugu New Year's Day which is in the second week of April. Both the channels will be in a tie-up with Asianet.
Zee already has a tie-up with Asianet in the South. In Kerala, Asianet controls the ground distribution and Zee lends its channel expertise to the venture. Asianet Kaveri, the Kannada channel, is again a tie-up between Zee and Asianet.
With the launch of its channels in Tamil and Telugu, Zee will have a presence across four Southern states. The market for Tamil channels at this stage comprises Sun, Raj, Jaya and Vijay. Industry observers are not very optimistic on Asianet Bharati's chances in Tamil Nadu. The scenario in Andhra Pradesh seems slightly better and sources say Zee may be able to garner some market share.