Television

Zee sets 1 May deadline for DTO

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Zee Telefilms is expected to launch its direct to operator (DTO) bouquet on 1 May. It was earlier slated to introduce the bouquet last year but could not meet its set deadline.

The management has announced that it has achieved a good response from the marketplace for its new channels - Zee Movies and Zee English.

It claims the sale of 1,100 decoders for Zee English and Zee Movies. Already 550 agreements have been signed. This figure excludes 140 decoders which have been distributed to 70 odd SitiCable MSOs. Zee sources claim to have signed on seven sub-operators of the rival cable network In CableNet in Mumbai for the two channels. More cable ops are being negotiated with and Zee claims to have achieved a penetration of 2.6 million cable homes. Zee English and Zee Movies have set a target of seven million cable TV homes and are confident of reaching the astronomical figure within three to six months.

The advantage Zee possesses is the lower-priced Philips' decoders. The sale price of Rs 12,500 stands just a couple of thousands above the deposit price of HBO's decoders which stands at Rs 10,000. Zee is also offering decoders at a deposit of Rs 2,000. Zee has placed an order for 40,000 decoders for its seven channel bouquet. According to senior level sources the Philips boxes have been selected because they can be upgradeable easily for convergence.

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