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$ 200 million outlay for new Zee's wellness channel Veria

CANNES: Zee Group CMD Subhash Chandra‘s keynote at Mipcom today was also an occasion for him to talk about a pet project of his - Veria, the alternative lifestyle channel he has just launched in the US. Chandra revealed in his interaction with Chris Forrester, Rapid TV News Editorial Director, that a total investment of $ 200+ million had been earmarked for the channel. Veria is a wholly owned subsidiary of Essel Group.

Available in the US in 15 million homes currently in the free preview period, Veria will in due course be encrypted as a pay channel. Queried by Forrester as to why he chose lifestyle as a genre for his first direct entry effort in the US, Chandra pointed out that while the channel fell into the lifestyle segment, there was nothing like Veria anywhere in the world created specifically around alternative lifestyle. Chandra terms Veria as a 360 experience that connects the TV screen, the web as well as direct consumer interface through a network of ‘wellness centres‘ that would be set up acrss the US.

"We would like this product to be global in next five years. That is what is planned. The next step is to dub this content into Spanish to serve the Hispanic population of America, Latin America, and then go to Europe and Canada. And slowly perhaps, come to India as well," Chandra concluded on a wry note.

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