In a rather unexpected move, Zee announced that it has taken a 48.38 per cent stake in ETC Networks for a consideration of Rs 17.84 crores. While ETC is one of the few profitable television networks in the country, the synergies of this investment are not so visible.
The deal gives Zee say into ETC, Hindi music channel and ETC Punjabi, a Punjabi and Hindi music channel. Zee already has Zee Music and Alpha Punjabi channels catering to almost same programming genres.
“Strong multiple brands in the same segment are a right marketing approach. FMCG companies have dozens of brands in the same segment” opines JS Kohli, MD etc Network.
Media insiders reveal that 11-year exclusive rights live telecast of Gurubani from Golden temple and promoters shareholding in Wincable are key gains for Zee. Gurubani, teachings of Sikh Gurus, has strong following in Punjabi families and guarantees almost 100% channel penetration. The promoter of the channel holds stake in Wincable, a large MSO, and are on the board. Though not confirmed, this deal will give Zee an access in prime band of Wincable homes.
The current management of ETC has brought out the fresh infusion on funds. ETC Punjabi, leading channel in Punjab is expected to improve its visibility further by reaching out to SitiCable, homes on prime band.