Television

Zee TV to soon have entertainment channel sibling; Zee Next working title

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MUMBAI: Star Plus has it, so too does Sony’s SET channel; and now Subhash Chandra’s Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd will soon have it as well – a flanking channel that is.

If all goes according to schedule, Zeel will be launching a sibling to its flagship channel Zee TV within the next three to five months. While the name of the channel is yet to be finalized as yet, reliable sources at Zeel say that it has been given a working title Zee Next.

Zee Next is envisioned as a metro-centric entertainment channel that will have content that in scope and feel will be quite similar to what was envisaged for Star Plus’ sibling Star One, when it first launched in late 2004, the sources say.

This news comes alongside the further closing of the channel share gap between Zee TV and Star Plus in the latest ratings issued by Tam Media. Tam is now beginning to deliver better numbers as function of new markets being added to the panel as well as expansion in peoplemeter numbers.

Overall, Star Plus’s gross rating points (GRPs) are down from 518 in December to 403 this week. Zee’s GRPs have also dropped from 240 in December to 217 in the current week.

There are those in the industry who question Zee’s move to launch another entertainment flanking channel, saying that it would only distract Zee TV from a focused assault on Star Plus. The logic of the new channel is reportedly that it will essentially be targeted as a channel that is focused more at marking its presence on addressable systems. That Zee owns both cable (WWIL) and DTH (Dish) platforms also means that packages can be created that will push the new channel to the maximum possible.

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