Zee to add more channels to boost international business

MUMBAI: Zee Telefilms is pushing forward its international business by adding more channels into the bouquet.

Zee News is planned for launch in UK and Europe. "We are currently working on the transponder. We expect it will take us six months," Zee Telefilms international president Dheeraj Kapuria tells

Zee is already distributing Raghav Bahl's South Asia World which will get encrypted on 1 August. "With Zee News, we will have completed the news package in Hindi and English. We are discussing on what we should price South Asia World at. We are encrypting it on 1 August. But it will be lower than the 3 pounds we charge for our regional language channels. It will have an a-la-carte as well as a bundled rate," says Kapuria.

The channels already present in that market are Zee TV, Zee Cinema, Zee Music and Zee ETC Punjabi. Zee TV and Zee Cinema are sold for 12.99 pounds in UK. "In the package, the Punjabi channel costs 3 pounds more while the standalone rate is 9.99 pounds. Zee Gujarati is also priced at 3 pounds in the bundle," says Kapuria.

Also on the agenda is to take Zee Music to US in October on the direct-to-home (DTH) platform of EchoStar. Zee Cinema, Zee Gujarati and Zee Music will soon be travelling to Canada, adding to the Asian Television Network International's South Asian bouquet of channels. Zee ETC Punjabi channel, which exclusively brings the telecast of Gurbani from the Golden Temple in Amritsar, is already on offer.

"We are adding channels to the bouquet in the international markets. The value and price of the bouquet will go up as a result of this," says Kapuria.

As part of the plan to strengthen its grip in the Middle East, Zee has already announced plans to launch in August Zee Arabia, a music and lifestyle channel targeted at South Asians.

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