After elevating Sanjay Reddy as COO for the Zee South channels recently, Zee Network is planning to strengthen the content syndication business of South channels. V Chandrasekaar Barathi (Chandru), who was Business Head of Zee Tamil, will look after Zee South’s syndication business as Senior Vice President, Zee South.
Chandru’s mandate will be to take Zee South channels such as Zee Tamil, Zee Telugu and Zee Kannada overseas for the Indian Diaspora. He would also look after syndicating and synergising the Zee South channels, wherein one format which has worked in one language, could be taken to some other South Indian language.
Speaking about his new responsibility, Chandru said that there was a huge potential for content syndication in the overseas markets for Tamil and Telugu channels as Tamil and Telugu Diaspora was spread across countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Europe, the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, Mauritius, the UAE, and several others.
Currently, Sun TV network channels are available in most of these markets. Now Zee wants to give an alternative offering for the Tamil population residing in these countries.
“Already, there have been enquiries for content syndication in Sri Lanka and Malaysia. So, there is a tremendous potential and scope that has existed in these markets,” said Chandru, adding that content also could be created for syndication. Citing an example, he said that certain formats or certain types of programmes could not become affordable in one single language. “At that point in time, if concerned channels are convinced, we can work across languages and try and produce programmes or shows at an affordable cost, so that individual channels can bear it. What we are trying to do is that we want our channels to make things happen collectively so that individual channels don’t feel the pinch,” he explained.
Zee South will also make available programmes and shows, which are censored or not made available in certain countries due to inconvenient time slots, on VCDs and DVDs. “For example, in certain countries, devotional content or travelogues or programmes on Indian culture are censored or appear in not so convenient time slots for the viewers. Those shows could be merchandised and sold as DVDs and VCDs as collector’s item,” Chandru said.
He added, “I am looking at this as a new challenge in my life. I have set up studios and production houses, set up channels, launched and relaunched channels. Now, the challenge is setting up a syndication business, which already exists in Zee.”
So far, the syndication business of Zee Network has been centered around Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati, and to some extent Bengali. South channels were not there. With Zee Telugu, Kannada and Tamil, Zee wanted to create a niche market for these channels.
Chandru noted that at the end of the day, it was content that would determine. “Obviously the content being aired locally in India is the content going to be sold abroad as well. So, the content quality should continue to be good in order to exploit those markets,” he said.
Speaking on Zee Tamil Chandru said that the channel was already available on IPTV platform in Singapore on a subscription basis. The channel would soon be available in Europe, Australia and Canada on cable as well, he said, adding that talks were on to make the channel available in North America as well.
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