Is ZEE to launch two new channels?

ZEE Network may be planning to launch two new channels '&' TV and Zindagi. Sources indicate that the launch will be along the lines of Life OK from STAR and Rishtey from Colors

e4m by Abhinav Trivedi
Updated: Mar 24, 2014 7:07 AM
Is ZEE to launch two new channels?

ZEE network, in addition to its flagship channelsZee TV and FTA channel Zee Anmol,may be planning to launch ‘&’ TV andZindagi, two other channels in the GEC genre. Three senior sources in ZEE have confirmed the development on condition of anonymity. Sources did not confirm the time of the launch but indicated that the launch will be on the lines of Life OK from STAR and Rishtey from Colors.

Analysts believe that the genre which is already cluttered and fragmented will experience more turbulence post the launch. The top six GECs control the largest chunk of the audience in the genre. But post digitisation, as more sampling of channels has started to happen on ground, networks are launching more channels to cater to specialised audiences with specialised content depending upon demographic and choice.

Apart from this, more channels would translate into more ad inventory. Major GECs are complying with 10+2 ad cap, and a new platform opens new avenues of revenue for the broadcasters. However, all the senior sources we contacted from ZEE denied commenting on record and therefore no conclusion can be made at this point.

In the last one year, many networks have launched new channels, inspite of huge carriage fee and low subscription revenue. Romedy Now, Rishtey,&pictures, NDTVPrime, Zee Anmol are some of the channels launched in the past.

The strategy behind launching new channels is long-term. Broadcasters in general believe that over a period of time, digitisation will start delivering results andaddressability issues will be taken care of. This will result in not only enhancing subscription and reducing carriage but also increase avenues of ad revenue.

Broadcasters are also keeping an eye over TRAI regulation of ad cap and new ratings agency which is likely to come up by the end of the year. Industry stakeholders believe that this would eventually resolve the currency issue.

As per the FICCI-KPMG report, the TV industry is expected to reach INR 885 billion in 2018. Aided by digitisation and the consequent increase in ARPU, the share of subscription revenue to the total industry revenue is expected to increase from 67 percent in 2013 to 71 percent in 2018.

Apart from this, acquisition of content is another benefactor for channels. As appointment viewing faces a decline due to multiple mediums, broadcasters are also keen on making money through acquisition of high quality content and monetising it by making it available across multiple platforms.

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