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Zee Salaam debuts with a soft launch; media planners point out linguistic channels' market is small

10-February-2010
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Zee Salaam debuts with a soft launch; media planners point out linguistic channels' market is small

After tapping into regional markets such as West Bengal and Maharashtra, Zee Network has now launched an Urdu channel, called Zee Salaam. While the channel has already been launched exclusively on Dish TV, not much activity in terms of marketing has been seen to support the launch. So far, the only promotion for the channel has been the launch announcement on other channels of the Zee Network.

Zee Salaam has a mix of entertainment and enrichment of culture and information with family dramas, daily soaps, devotional and musical programmes. It also offers talk shows, mushaira’s and weekly serials. Zee officials couldn’t be contacted for comments despite several attempts.

exchange4media spoke to some media planners to get their views on the launch of Zee Salaam.

Nikhil Rangnekar, Executive Director, India West, Starcom Worldwide, commented, “I think like a lot of its earlier initiatives, this is a first from Zee. There are a couple of Urdu channels, but from a large national network, this is a first and it’s a commendable move from Zee.”

He further pointed out that there were various factors that would contribute to the performance and viewership of the channel. “The first one is awareness and hence, demand and distribution, as these things work hand in hand, and even if one is short of the mark, it will impact viewership,” he added.

Sanjoy Chakrabarty, CEO, Last Minute Inventory, noted that an Urdu channel would appeal to a subset of the Indian audience and would do in markets such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh, among others. “A linguistic GEC channel like Zee Salaam will work across all markets, be it metros or smaller cities,” he added.

NP Sathyamurthy, COO, Lintas Media Group, felt that though it was a nice channel, it would not add significantly to the Zee Network in terms of viewership numbers, but would definitely help widen the Network’s reach.

“The market for linguistic and regional channels is smaller, but they are quite popular in certain markets,” Sathyamurthy added.

However, Rangnekar is unsure about the need for an Urdu language channel and said, “The audience will just have to wait and watch to understand the programming strategy that will be adopted by the channel.”

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