Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL): At a time when broadcasters are shutting down TV channels, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) has launched four new regional channels. This comes on the back of rollout of new tariff order by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). “Today’s viewers are demanding the channels of their liking and Punjabi GEC is part of that demand. The demand will translate into distribution revenue for us. Further, higher viewership will attract advertising revenue. As per our strategy, ad revenue will contribute to more than 50% of the total revenue,” Ashish Sehgal, chief growth officer, ad revenue, ZEEL, said.
The newly launched four channels include three movie channels – Zee Biskope (Bhojpuri), Zee Thirai (Tamil) and Zee Picchar (Kannada), and a Punjabi general entertainment channel (GEC) Zee Punjabi. The channels’ content will also available on ZEEL’s digital and mobile entertainment platform, Zee5.
According to Prathyusha Agarwal, CMO, ZEEL, the broadcaster which claims to have 36.2% market share in the Hindi movie cluster plans to use its cluster of TV channels to promote the four new channels. The broadcaster claims that nearly 60% of the marketing spend will be attributed to TV. Digital and below-the-line (BTL) activations accounts for the remaining 40% of the marketing spend. “Our marketing strategy entails three key media pillars. Television is the strongest pillar as broadcasters the best way to tell our story is through a video. Followed by large scale and culturally relevant PR, and lastly digital,” she added.
Further, she stated, that the company will also focus on the cable networks for promotion as the last mile reminder. “Because it’s a new channel, which the consumers have to opt for, people need to be made aware of its existence. Hence, reminding viewers at the last mile will be critical and something we will be really working towards,” she noted.
Zee Punjabi currently has 20 hours of original weekly content with seven fiction shows and two reality shows including music reality show Sa Re Ga Ma, stated the broadcaster. According to Amit Shah, cluster head – North, West and Premium Channels, ZEEL, even as Punjab as a market has the highest number of TV households at 88%, it has a significantly low time spent. “ This is primarily due to not having a dedicated Punjabi content. Hence, with Zee Punjabi, the company is filling the viewer’s need gap,” he said.
Meanwhile, with the launch of Zee Thirai and Zee Picchar, the network which has seven TV property including three movie channels, aims to strengthen its market share in the southern part of the country. “Not counting the two new launches, with only five channels in the South we have managed to capture 15% market share and are the market leader in Kannada with a 33% share. Over 50% of our share comes from regional markets with regional GEC attributing to nearly 90% of it,” Agarwal stated.
Zee Thirai has a library of over 400 Tamil movies including ‘Mersal’, ‘2.0’, ‘Kanna’ and more. The channel intends to premiere one film every week of the year thereby leading to 52 premieres. The channel will also have several key highlights such as ‘Theri Fridays’ that will showcase blockbuster films every week, ‘Filter Kaviyam’ that showcases the best of yesteryear classics and ‘Break-free movies’ that will run every afternoon without ad breaks. Similarly, Kannada movie channel Zee Picchar has a library of over 350 titles spanning across genres and generations from timeless classics to new age trendsetters. The channel will launch with 12 premieres to be aired on 12 consecutive days.
It should be noted that ZEE already offers regional content in eight regional languages – Marathi, Bengali, Oriya, and Bhojpuri besides four southern languages.