Zee Keralam will go live in the third quarter: Siju Prabhakaran

Eyeing Rs 650-700 crore Kerala market, Zee is all set to launch new GEC, Zee Keralam. This will be the network’s fifth channel in the region.

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Oct 16, 2018 8:23 AM
Siju Prabhakaran

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) is all set to make its presence stronger in the southern region. The network will expand its footprint by entering the Kerala market with a GEC, Zee Keralam. This will be ZEEL’s fifth channel in the region.

Explaining the reasons behind the decision to expand in the southern market, Prathyusha Agarwal, Chief Marketing Officer, ZEEL, said, “South GECs is a larger universe with larger audience. It actually contributes 33 per cent viewership of the network and 23 per cent of the adex share. Hence, there is a scope to grow there.” The total adex in the Kerala market is estimated to be Rs 650-700 crore.

On average, South India spends over four hours on TV every day and a recent survey by BARC shows that 95 per cent homes in the region have a TV set. The number of TV-owning individuals in the five southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Kerala has seen a growth of 8 per cent (compared to 2016) to stand at 259 million. Over the years, the southern market has witnessed a robust growth and has seen several national channels setting foot in the market with regional content catering to this burgeoning television audience.

Recognizing the potential early on, ZEEL entered the Southern region in May 2005 with Zee Telugu, followed by Zee Kannada in 2006 and Zee Tamil in 2008.  Over the years, ZEE as a network has witnessed a 19.1 % viewership share (CY 18 YTD), and today boasts of being the fastest growing network in the Southern region, standing at a 31.8% growth over the last fiscal year.

Talking about Zee Keralam, Siju Prabhakaran, South Cluster Head, ZEEL, said that the channel will go live in the third quarter of the financial year.

According to Prabhakaran, Kerala is more accepting than other regional markets.

“Lot of exciting stuff is happening down south. We are on the journey of building of a lot of good channels and content. There will be challenges in any market that you enter because of competition from existing players, but the kind of content you put out makes the difference. Like, in the Tamil market, we grew from 4 per cent to 20 per cent. Compared to the Tamil market, Kerala is much more accepting. We feel we are now in a strong position to increase our portfolio of channels and going forward, we will be having more channel launches in Kannada and Telugu market also.”

He added, “Kerala contributes 3.70 per cent of national viewership. In Kerala, Malayalam GEC contributes 57 per cent of total viewership and GECs maintain a strong share of viewership across age groups. The market is also exceptional in consumption power with 81 per cent HHs in NCCS ABC, highest in the country. TV ownership in Kerala is at 90 per cent with almost everyone subscribing to pay channels.”

Zee Keralam will be launched with a strong line-up of content that is family-inclusive and culturally rooted to Kerala that will bring together generations, he said.

The programming line-up includes seven fiction shows, two non-fiction shows, one afternoon game show and one morning show. In addition, the channel has also conceptualized a cinema-based speed news show.

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