In a bid to strengthen its presence in Southern India, Zee Network has planned to launch an exclusive Telugu channel by the end of this year. Ashish Kaul, Vice-President, Corporate Brand Development Group, Essel Corporate Group, said the groundwork for setting up the channel had begun in January. The rollout of the Telugu channel would help increase the network’s penetration in the South.
The success of Zee’s bouquet of regional-language channels like Alpha Punjabi, Alpha Gujarati, Alpha Marathi and Alpha Bangla was a major motivating factor for the media major to go in for a Telugu channel, though Kaul refused to say whether the new channel would also be in the Alpha series. Besides the large reservoir of local viewers, the Telugu channel’s target viewers would also include non-resident Indians (NRI) from Andhra Pradesh based in countries like the US and the UK.
However, the channel is eyeing to break even in two years. The latest AdEx (a division of TAM Media Research) data show that southern channels have a 9.58 per cent share in the national advertising revenue pie. Of this, Tamil electronic media claims a 3.9 per cent, while Malayalam has 2.24 per cent share, Kannada and Telugu sections share 1.49 per cent and 1.97 per cent, respectively.
Among existing Telugu channels, Gemini TV has a 48 per cent share, DD Hyderabad has 25 per cent, Teja TV has 14 per cent and Maa TV holds 13 per cent shares.