Television

Zee launches dedicated channel for Mideast

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MUMBAI: Subhash Chandra's Zee TV has launched a dedicated channel for the Middle East region.

Zee is clearly hoping to cash in on the advantages that structuring its FPC to tie in with prime time viewing in the Gulf offers. All Indian channels beaming in the Gulf region work with a disadvantage as far as programming timings are concerned because India is 90 minutes ahead of the UAE timewise.

Therefore a 9 pm prime time show in India would actually be telecast at 7:30 pm in the Gulf.

The UAE-based Gulf News has quoted Zee Group broadcast CEO Sandeep Goyal as saying that that while the new channel will continue to have programming primarily sourced from what goes into the Indian broadcast, it will also attempt to produce some of its more popular programmes locally.

The uplink will be done out of Singapore on Asiasat, as is the case with all Zee channels beaming in India. Apart from the Middle East, the coverage extends to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. There are plans to add Maldives or Mauritius at a later date, the newspaper reported.

Zee is also hoping the dedicated feed will help boost regional subscriber numbers, which currently stand at 150,000. Zee TV became a pay channel in July, 2001. In the region, it and its sister channels - Zee Cinema, Zee Music and Zee News - are distributed by Add-Pehla, E-Vision and BRTC.

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