Television

Zee launches Zee Arabiya, commits Rs 1.2 billion investment

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MUMBAI: Zee Telefilms today launched Zee Arabiya, a music and lifestyle channel for the youth in the Arab region. This is the first of a bouquet of customised channels Zee plans to come up with in the Middle East. Zee's commitment to this region will be phased in investments of over AED 105 million within the region

Speaking to Indiantelevision.com, Real Media managing director and CEO Yogesh Radhakrishnan says Zee is committed to invest around Rs 1.2 billion in the region within a year. A 60-member team is in place and Zee is setting up a complete production infrastructure in Dubai.

The free-to-air multi-language channel will be telecast across three satellites, via Nilesat, Arabsat and NSS. The channel will be available on the basic packages of E-Vision and Pehla platform.

"It will be a unique and highly interactive channel. We will have local VJs. Our content will be in Arabish, a combination of Arabic and English," says Radhakrishnan.

The channel has been designed for an unconventional new youth, music and lifestyle channel, which will cater to the regions 'international yuppies and music lovers in English, Arabic, and other Asian multi-cultural programming mix.

The channel will be accessible to two million subscribers of Dishtv, the direct-to-home (DTH) platform within India, becoming the first to showcase Arabic music and lifestyle to the millions of Asian homes across the globe.

According to an official release, the channel will also be the first to create entertainment software for the target audience. The programming will feature non-stop music blocks, interactive and SMS request shows, interviews with celebrities, entertainment news and vignettes that cover a wide spectrum of topics such as fashion, cars, holiday getaways, extreme spots, gaming, fitness, reality shows, upcoming concerts and much more.

We expect that the biggest benefit to the viewer will be the localised content. Today, there is no television software within the region that allows Westerners, Arabs and Asians to share a platform for showcasing talent. Zee Arabiyas 24-hour programming content will become the foundation for sharing views and perspectives across the region and beyond, says Radhakrishnan.



"We are talking of people who equally appreciate Elissa, Mariam Faras, Googosh, Limp Bizkit, 50 Cents and Black Eyed Peas along with Pandit Ravi Shankar in the Woodstock milieu, Hisham Abbas, DJ Ravin, Beyonce, Robbie Williams, Shakira, Raghav, Amr Diab and Norah Jones - we will be catering to this growing segment with Zee Arabiya," he adds.

The channel has already received huge response from advertisers targeting youth from various companies in the FMCG, automobile and banking industries, states the official release.

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