MUMBAI: The Times Group's non-fiction entertainment and lifestyle channel Zoom officially began beaming as of today.
Expectedly, the full weight of the Times Group's media properties (the print publications in particular) were brought into the action to get the message across. For the outdoors, the message changed from teaser messages to announcing the channel's arrival. The multimedia marketing blitz" has every media vehicle except television in its ambit.
Throughout the "launch month", the intensity of the marketing efforts, which has already created quite a buzz among the trade, will be maintained, say channel executives.
While it is unclear as to how far the distribution has kicked in as yet, channel executives say efforts are on to make it available in all key markets over the next few days.
Zoom's launch marks the first major channel launch in the Hindi entertainment space after Sahara TV in 2000. Zoom is the first of a number of marquee entries on Indian television that is expected to roll out over the next six months of which the most eagerly anticipated is Star India's premium Hindi entertainment channel StarOne. The "Star World in Hindi" is expected to go on air around the Diwali festive season (October-November). Also in the pipeline, is Discovery's lifestyle channel, which too is looking at a Diwali entry.
Before that, however, there is UTV's kids channel Hungama which is launching next Sunday (26 September).
Zoom, which is the first of the four "premium, unique niche channels" that the Times stable expects to launch over the next 12 to 15 months, started its test feed on 10 September. Actual programmes were introduced into the test feed from 16 September.