Television

Zee TV says it needs time for results to show

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The media has been pretty critical of the performance put up by Zee Telefilms in Q1 of FY 2001-002. And it has also been going hell for leather about Zee Telefilms chairman's alleged money manipulations within group companies.

Zee Telefilms CEO R.K. Singh agrees the company appears to be going through rough times. However, he is sanguine that "we are going to ride them over and obtain the accolades in future," he says. "You can't forget that this is a media enterprise which is nine years old. Every corporation has its share of hiccups."

He adds that Zee Telefilms results should be seen in light of the macroeconomy on account of which times are tough for all businesses. "Give us a break, we are aiming to come back, and come back with a vengeance within six months," he says. "Our new programming push will come up trumps."

Singh told CNBC India that the company had booked revenues roughly amounting to Rs 120 million on account of its blockbuster Bollywood success "Gaddar" as minimum guarantees for theatrical distribution. Add to that RS 50 million for music rights. Singh added sale of overseas distribution rights and satellite television rights could bring in RS 250 million to RS 300 million in Q2 Y2K1.

He additionally said that domestic subscription revenues - ever since Zee TV went pay on 10 June - have gone up by RS 35 million to RS 85 million in the Q1 Y2K.

Speaking to indiantelevision.com, Singh adds that the figure is going to go up further in the next quarter. He points out that Chandra is committed to bringing back the money which had earlier been given to other Essel group companies. "We have received more than RS 1,000 million. The remainder will come in shortly," he says.

Referring to Zee Telefilms' lower profitability he says that was on account of investments in new channels, programming, in Siticable, and further rollout of digital boxes in the UK under the BSkYB platform.

"The scenario is looking bright for us. We are No 2 in prime time. We are leading in the afternoon slot," he says. "Our new programming has received a very good response from advertisers. So we can only go up from here."

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