Zee Telefilms has appointed Cutting Edge Media to handle ad sales for Zee English and Zee MGM channels in India. In this five-year deal, remuneration is linked with performance delivery. Says Partha Sinha , Director – Marketing, Zee Telefilms Ltd, “This move is in line with international trends where companies are entering into pacts with associates that cater to core competence, especially for unique content channels.”
Cutting Edge Media is headed by Rohinton Maloo – cofounder of Mediascope associates. The company had launched Star in 1992, with Prime Sports being the first satellite channel being launched by them. Later they also launched MTV, BBC, CNN, Cartoon Network, HBO and TNT. Company currently handles ad sales for Hallmark. When asked if there won’t be a clash of interest between Hallmark and Zee channels, said Maloo, “We would be offering a bouquet of unique content channels including Zee English, Zee MGM and Hallmark. And there is a difference in the positioning of the three - Zee English is skewed towards youth, Zee MGM has same profile as HBO and Star movies, while Hallmark focuses on a more discerning target group.”
Why did Zee feel the need for an associate to handle its marketing? Says Maloo, “Unique content channels or vortals of TV require a certain focus to optimise their unique strengths. Purpose is to connect with the target audience and not just provide GRPs. For instance, a serial like friends has a cult following. You need to connect with them and you need a specialist to do that. We have been preempting the marketing needs on that front.”
Cutting Edge plans to focus on English speaking populace of India, which according to Maloo is a ‘ substantial universe.’ He also says that wastage is far less if you are using a unique content channel specially for high end brands like Nokia, Sonata and Temptation chocolates.
Sinha says, “With the help of Cutting Edge media we will be able to come up with innovative business opportunities and can provide brands with specific business solutions.”
Zee is tightening all the lose ends – be it marketing or programming and this is a move in the same direction.