After five weeks of test runs, Zee Sports has finally been launched. Zee Telefilms Limited, India’s leading media and entertainment conglomerate, has made it official that Zee Sports, India’s first private sports channel, is now available to viewers across the country on cable and DTH platform.
The 24-hour encrypted channel beaming off the PAS-10 satellite will be distributed as part of the Zee Turner bouquet. With the addition of Zee Sports, Zee network now offers a total of 21 channels.
Punit Goenka, CEO, Zee Sports, said, “The sports programming genre has grown tremendously over the last few years with as revenue currently pegged at Rs 5 billion, and growing at fast pace. We felt that content relevant to the Indian audience, apart from cricket, was missing. With that in mind, we aim to bridge the gap by providing a programming mix that is entertaining, relevant and catering to our core viewer base, which is youth.”
Goenka added, “We have designed a true sports viewing destination encompassing the latest sports content with live sports action, entertainment from the world of sports, interviews and news, all with an Indian focus. In the long run, the channel will work as an incubator and help in the development of various Indian sports. It will also be showing sporting events live from around the world, which include the best in cricket, football, tennis, motor sports, boxing, beach volleyball and snooker.”
Said Gary Lovejoy, COO, Zee Sports, “We have positioned ourselves as world-class sports channel with an Indian flavour. We will be selective in our programming and viewers will enjoy traditional sports with new technology. This new offering will also provide a complete multi-genre sports entertainment package to viewers.”
“Since we didn’t want to focus on cricket, we had to think of innovative programming and that was a challenging task. We are negotiating for hot properties currently with an aim to make India a sporting nation rather than a cricket nation,” said Himanshu Mody, EVP, Zee Sports.
The channel is currently visible in parts of Tamil Nadu, Kerela, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Gujrat and will be hitting the metros before the end of this month.