Television

[V] runs into Zee

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The Channel [V] saga continues. Already in the midst of a major controversy, there's been a new twist in the Channel [V] tale. Now it is accusing Zee of dirty pool.

The channel which ran into trouble with the airing of a particular episode of their show [V] Dares You which had two girls stripping to their underwear is desperately trying to find its way out of controversy. The Police have arrested six people from the channel for obscenity who have later been released on bail. The channel also faces protests from The Bharatiya Janata Party which held demonstrations outside the [V] office in Mumbai.

Channel [V] meanwhile has accused its rival Zee Television for trying to bring down its television ratings. Zee Television allegedly got hold of the tape containing the episode and ran it for 63 minutes. Zee also aired a part of this episode on its Zee News channel and aired comments from Shobha De and BJP MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha on the incident.

Suresh Bala, General Manager, Channel [V] told Indian Express that this was a media war and Zee Television was taking far more interest in it than the others, and involving political parties to this issue and blowing it completely out of proportion.

Industry observers believe Zee TV is poking Star TV's management in the eye just as it goes on an all-out frontal attack against the former with its new Hindi language programmes on Star Plus. Additionally, it is quite likely that it is attacking Channel [V] which is looking weak and has been pushed back to the number three slot (possibly) by MTV and the highly charged B4U Music. The latter has made waves because of its clearer picture and better sound quality and the fact that it is free to air as compared to [V] which is part of the Star TV digital pay TV bouquet.

What's more is that Zee TV owns the music channel Music Asia which has been a struggler in the music channel sweepstakes. The management has been trying hard to carve out a place for the channel amongst Indian youth but has so far met with failure. Zee TV's creative honchos are keen to kickstart the channel once again and are to rename it as Zee Music. Hence, it is taking a chance to hurl muck at Channel [V], show it in bad light so that its own channel can steal the limelight.

Channel [V] has taken an apologetic stand to all this for offending public sensibility besides scrapping the show.

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