SitiCable, the distribution affiliate of Zee is getting ready to launch what it describes as India’s first interactive entertainment channel. It will be a live 24 hour free to air city specific channel on the lines of the popular NY1 in New York. SitiCable will leverage on its inherent strength of having its own teleport in Noida.
A senior SitiCable official told exchange4media “except Zee and Eenadu TV there is no other entertainment channel which has a teleport in India. So they just do canned programming. We will however be able to do live interactive programming like FM radio through satellite uplinking.” Meanwhile all alpha brand channels of Zee are likely to get uplinking licence by October.
SitiCable has set up a first ever non-news 24 hour live studio in Delhi. More such studios will come up in other major cities to do city specific programming. Till that happens, other cities will delink from Delhi studio for 2 hrs a day to show local programmes through recorded tapes. SitiCable is currently following this practice of broadcasting city specific programming through multi service operators or cable operators by playing recorded VHS cassettes.
SitiCable bosses promise to give a wide variety of programming on their proposed interactive entertainment channel for the family. There will be game shows, live entertainment shows and events, infotainment shows, music on demand. The upcoming channel will show blockbuster serials from Zee library.
SitiCable will unveil the all new concept of interactive of film entertainment. There will be anchors and experts present during the telecast of the film. Even the lead star of the film could be there to interact with viewers. In order to make the channel viewer friendly, SitiCable mandarins propose to run all kinds of helpline services besides doing phone-in programmes, where viewers will be able to highlight their civic problems and concerned authorities will redress their grievances online.
Meanwhile SitiCable, which currently operates from 75 cities, has chalked out elaborate expansion plans targeted at B and C class cities, semi urban and rural areas. By March 2003 SitiCable has a target of covering 100 cities.