Zee Music mulls Mid-east foray; to change profile

MUMBAI: In a bid to drive growth, Zee Music is all set to create space in the south Indian market by tweaking its programming to suit local tastes. Besides, the channel is exploring a foray into the Middle-East market by the end of 2005 with a dedicated localised feed.


Zee Telefilms sources confirmed that the Middle East foray is definitely on the drawing board as part of an expansion plan to not only have a wider presence outside India, but also to attract local advertisers of the region.

"As and when the plan is put in place, Zee Music will sport a different look for the Middle East region from what is seen in India. The customisation will include local programming too," a source close to the development said.

This move relating to Zee Music is on the lines of Zee Network announcing last year the launch of a dedicated Zee TV beam for Singapore, apart from further extending its South East Asia beam to include Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Japan. Such moves offer viewers of various geographical regions outside India to watch television shows at their local time and not on a deferred basis coinciding with Indian standard time.



At the moment, Zee Music's global footprint exists only in the UK where the channel beams as a free-to-air channel. The music channel's offering ranges from Bollywood to Bhangra and from Asian pop to remixes. The outline of the channel has been designed to include programming such as Upbeat, Jus' Bhangra, Sorted, Mint and Mutz Cutz to target the Brit-Asian youth.

Meanwhile, Zee Music, primarily showcasing Hindi film and non-film music, is also attempting to expand its viewership base in the non-traditional and non-Hindi speaking markets of South India.

The music channel would be introducing English music to cater to the south market. Zee Music business head Bharat Ranga confirmed this proposed move, but did not specify other programming details.

These days the channel banks heavily on interactive live programmes such as Suniyo-re and Please Tho Play.

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