Television

ZOOM to go global in 2005

MUMBAI: A lot's happening on the Zoom front. After consolidating its distribution, India's first glamour & lifestyle channel from the Bennett Coleman & Company stable is all set to woo NRI Indian audience across the world.

To put things in perspective, as per the Connect TAM report Zoom's connectivity has taken off in the last two months. At current levels of nearly 50 per cent connectivity, Zoom can be watched in nearly 22 million. households out of the 43 million C&S households in India.

Speaking to indiantelevision.com, Apurva Purohit, COO (Television), The Times Group said, "Apart from working towards reaching out to more people in India, we are also looking at beaming the channel in other parts of the world. In the next three to six months we propose to take the channel to countries in the Middle-East, Australia, UK; where the NRI audiences are definitely hungry for entertainment news."

As of now the channel is being distributed as a standalone channel. Says Purohit, " The decision has been taken from a long-term perspective. As of now it makes more sense for us to have it as a stand alone channel and sell it as a product. As we go along, and launch our other channels (the Spiritual and the Business) the company may have its own bouquet in the future."

Denying media reports claiming that the channel is up for sale Purohit asserts, " There is no truth in the report. On the contrary work is in full progress for our other two channels."

The channel is also beefing up its programming. Elaborating on the new shows being lined up by the channel, Aparna Pande, Programming Head, Zoom said, " We are launching a new show called PoPCorn, which altogether is on a different pitch. The show will cover the daily happenings of not just Bollywood but even the television industry. So, viewers will also get to see a lot of television stars on this show."

Apart from this the channel has also relaunched its big ticket show called Page 3 with a new set and new anchors. The show which has a daily round up of parties has also emerged as a slot leader in the niche entertainment genre in 6 Metros during the week ending December 18, ahead of MTV, Channel V, Zee English, Star World, AXN and Discovery Travel & Living.

Refusing to divulge any figures, the company claims to have been building its base of advertisers. "Currently, over 40 advertisers are on board, and another 20 are in the process of signing up," reveals Purohit.

Meanwhile, the channel has started on its on-ground marketing campaign with its two shows 'Ek Rahe Vir' and 'Dance Divas' which were extended to live ground activities. After Mumbai, the event is now being taken to Bangalore and Delhi. The event was brought in association with Chantilli Red and White from Chateau Indage and Spykar as a cosponsor.

As far as viewership goes, Zoom has been on a steady rise since the channel launched in Sep 2004. As per TAM Peoplemeter, the reach figures for Zoom have been looking up, week after week. Upto Dec 25, 2004, the channel was already sampled by 39% of SEC AB 15-34 audiences in Hindi-speaking markets (1 mn+). The reach numbers of Zoom are higher than those of established niche channels like ETC, Zee Movie Zone, Star World, Headlines Today, Zee English, Zee Music, CNBC TV 18 etc.

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