Zee Turner says mera gaon, mera market share

NEW DELHI: With a view to consolidate its market share in rural India, and provide family entertainment to TV households, Zee Turner, the distribution arm of Zee Telefilms and Turner International India Pvt. Ltd., has launched special initiatives targeting the rural markets across India, including increasing the dealer network to over 400.

These initiatives, targeted at reaching out to viewers in remote areas and small towns and cities across the country, will offer cable operators the option of providing viewers with popular channels at a very competitive pricing.

Commenting on the company's latest initiative, an official release quotes Zee Turner COO Siddharth Jain as saying, "Of the 43 million cable and satellite universe in India, 15 million lie in the rural sector. This offers a huge potential and an opportunity to tap the rural market. Our rural drive will not only provide better options of entertainment to the viewers and better business opportunities to the cable operators, but also help us in consolidating our market share in this largely untapped market."

Road shows are also being planned for the rural markets, wherein the channels will be taken to small villages with the objective of reaching out to people and giving them a first hand viewing experience.

"We endeavor to take our content offering to the grassroots level and be available in every C&S household, whether in urban, semi-urban or rural India. To this effect, we have also expanded our dealer network to over 400," added Jain.

The new packages have been created keeping in mind the economic profile, demographics and viewers' choice. The operator can therefore choose any channel from the Zee basket (Zee TV, Zee MGM, Zee English, Zee Cinema, Zee Music, Alpha channels, etc), the release added.

Andhra Pradesh (AP) has been given a special focus in this initiative. According to Jain, "Andhra Pradesh, with a total of 7.3 million C&S households, is the single largest contributor to the Indian C&S households figure. While the urban contribution to such households is 46 per cent, rural contributes 56 per cent, which clearly indicates a huge potential in the AP rural market."

As a part of the AP rural initiative, Pogo, the kids channel after Cartoon Network, has been introduced with a two-hour Telugu feed to it. This makes it very lucrative for the cable operator both in urban and rural markets because of its regional content. Along with this channel, the cable operator can choose freely from any two channels from the Zee basket (Zee MGM, Zee English, Zee Cinema, etc).

Tamil is another option that the channel is exploring. As a kick-off to Pogo's localization strategy, viewers will be introduced to the new faces of Pogo on a new, hip zone, called Prime Pogo, from 6 August.

Prime Pogo will engage viewers with the channel through online contests, phone-in competitions, viewer letters, celebrity guests and special reports on amazing kids from across India. It will also feature a selection of the best shows ranging from Round the Twist and the Sleepover Club to Mr. Bean and Walking With Beasts.

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