Zed TV launched at glittering function in Mumbai

The much delayed launch of the education channel Zed TV from the Zee TV stable finally took place late last evening at the hands of Indian information and broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj. Other attendees at the function were Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, the Himachal Pradesh chief minister, and the edication minister for Maharashtra Anil Deshmukh.

Swaraj said that she was delighted to launch the educational channel, because it was something that India needs at a time when parents are tearing their out because children are tuning into television to watch movies, soaps, series and normal TV pulp programming. The other political leaders echoed that sentiment and went out of their way to praise Chandra for his venture. "You are doing what we should be doing," they all said.

She however cautioned that the channel's fate will be decided by its programming. "A 24 hour educational channel is a bold initiative; it's a promise you will have to live up to," she said.

The channel is however starting with just five hours of original programming going up to eight hours daily, says Chandra. Initially to be aired in English it will be made available in six languages altogether, he added.

The channel will have programming targetd at various age groups right from toddlers to to school children to youth to professionals to women to senior citizens, disclosed Zee Interactive Learning Systems CEO Uma Ganesh. "It will whet Indian's appetite for learning and will drive viewers to the web site, the Zee Career Academy and Zee LiveWire centres," she said.

"We expect to do a revenue of Rs 5,000-7,000 million per annum from our entire education business in the next five years," she added.

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