Zee Sports test signals on; targets May-end full launch

MUMBAI / NEW DELHI: Cricket or no cricket, the Subhash Chandra promoted Zee Telefilms is ready to play ball and much more with its proposed sports channel.

Zee Sports, which began running test signals from midnight Sunday, is poised for a formal launch May end-July beginning. It would be an encrypted channel beaming off the PAS-10 satellite.

Contacted by, Zee Telefilms executive vice-president Himanshu Modi confirmed the development, saying, "At the moment we are running test signals to check out the technical aspects of broadcasting a channel."

Asked about the formal launch of Zee Sports, Modi, while admitting that fine-tuning of the project is on, indicated that by early June the sports channel should be on air in its full-fledged avatar, if not earlier in May.

Though the 24-hour sports channel will be encrypted, it is still not clear whether it would be available to cable operators in a free-to-air mode or as a pay channel. The process of seeding the market with boxes would gain momentum in about 10 days time. In the initial phase, the bigger and more urban-centric cities would be targeted through cable networks and Dish TV's DTH service.

As far as programming is concerned, Zee Sports --- whose executives these days are huddled in a series of meetings in Delhi discussing various aspects of launching a sports channel --- is aiming to showcase hot sporting properties from the fields of soccer, motor sports and tennis.

As far as available properties in these three areas are concerned, however, there is very little to go around as of now, information available with indicates. In soccer, there are the Dutch, French and Indian football leagues; in motor sports there is the A1 series and in tennis are the Tennis Masters, ATP and WTA events.

There are two high value properties that will reportedly become available for bidding in the course of this year though. These are Champions League soccer and Formula One (F1) in motor sports. Both of these A-list events are currently with ESPN Star Sports.

F1 becomes available from November while ESS' deal on Champions League runs till the finals of this year's tournament, which is to be played in Istanbul, Turkey, on 25 May. But what needs noting here is that even if Zee Sports were to make a strong play for these two properties, it would only be in the 2006 season that it could look to showcase the events.

Cricket would have been a natural choice to drive a sports channel in India, but most cricketing properties Indian sub-continent rights have already been snapped up by existing major sports broadcasters like ESPN Star Sports, Sony Entertainment Television India and Ten Sports. In recent times, home series have been telecast on pubcaster Doordarshan owing to continuing telecast imbroglio and pending court cases.

Earlier talking to, Chandra had said that the sports channel would require a working capital of approximately Rs 2 billion. There were also talks of forming a joint venture with an Indian media company for the purpose.

Time Warner, which has an existing 26:74 per cent distribution joint venture with Zee Telefilms, had also expressed willingness to partner in the sports channel venture last year. Zee is understood to have kept the proposal under active consideration.

Latest Reads
Star World to air 1-5 of 'Homeland'

Star World and Star World HD is all geared up to air the pulse-pounding action series 'Homeland.' The show tackles geopolitical moral conundrums of our current world. It has recently unveiled the teaser for the upcoming season 6 shows how Carrie Mathison will circumvent around another international...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Share all World Cup, T-20 feeds with Prasar Bharati, rights holder told

The telecast of all official one-day and Twenty-20 matches played by the Indian Men’s Cricket Team will henceforth have to be shared by the rights holder with the public broadcaster Prasar Bharati under the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act 2007.

Television TV Channels Terrestrial
Saregama returns to film music acquisition with Pen pact

Saregama India has inked a two-movie deal with Pen Movies. With this agreement, Saregama has acquired the music rights of upcoming Bollywood releases of Pen which includes Kahaani 2 -- Durga Rani Singh, featuring Vidya Balan and Arjun Rampal.Kahaani 2 is slated for a release on 2 December.

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
Q2-17: Zeel numbers, PAT up on higher Ad and Subscription revenue

The Subhash Chandra led content and broadcast player Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (Zeel) reported a 23 per cent hike in consolidated revenue for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q2-17, current quarter) as compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

Television TV Channels GECs
Best Deal TV appoints Hari Trivedi as COO

MUMBAI: Best Deal TV has appointed Hari Trivedi as the chief operating officer with immediate effect. Based in Mumbai, Trivedi will be responsible for overall sales and marketing. He would also be initializing lowest price offers and deals on Best Deal TV.

Television TV Channels People
Disney announces successor of MD Siddharth Roy-Kapur

MUMBAI: Walt Disney International has announced the successor to its former managing director Siddharth Roy-Kapur. As a second stint with the organization, Mahesh Samat has made a comeback and will lead The Walt Disney Company India as the managing director. He will pursue his new responsibility...

Television TV Channels People
Life is more imaginative than fiction in a story like POW, says writer-director Gideon Raff

MUMBAI: Sometimes, coming back home after 17 years is not always a happy ending. "Prisoners of War" is the story of three Israeli soldiers, who were held captive for that many years following their kidnapping while on a secret mission with their unit.

Television TV Shows Thriller
IPL media rights bidding postponed sine die

MUMBAI: The BCCI has made it clear that the media rights auction cannot take place till the time it gets a concrete go-ahead and a formal approval from the Justice RM Lodha committee. Till the evening of 24 October (Monday), BCCI did not receive the okay from the committee which said, "it is in...

Television TV Channels Sports
Q3-16: DIRECTV mitigates AT&T U-Verse TV subscriber numbers fall

BENGALURU: AT&T acquired DIRECTV added 323,000 net subscribers and hence helped mitigate the company’s Entertainment and Internet Services Group (Entertainment) segment’s loss of 326,000 U-Verse subscribers for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q3-16, current quarter). About 70 percent of...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories