Television

Analysis: Will Zee get extra out of ETC?

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2016/02/24/etc.jpg?itok=JTLQB4Li

More frames are being added to the ever-expanding Zee picture. Zee Telefilms announced today that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with ETC Networks to buy out the major chunk of the stake of promoters Yogesh Radhakrishnan, Yogesh Shah and Jagjit Singh Kohli in the company.

For a relatively small sum - Rs 178.40 million to be exact for 5.66 million equity shares representing 48.38 per cent of ETC‘s paid up share capital - chairman Subhash Chandra and group broadcast CEO Sandeep Goyal have added another two channels to the Zee bouquet.

Goyal proposes to mop up an additional Rs 70 million worth of shares through an open offer to etc shareholders and Zee Telefilms is likely to end up controlling 56 per cent of the ETC at the end of it all.

If this deal goes through it will be a follow-through of the Zee Turner JV that was initialled at the end of last year which added English movie channel HBO, CNN and Cartoon Network to the Zee bouquet.

It indicates that Zee Telefilms promoter Subhash Chandra is extremely serious about getting in a strategic partner. He is building an armoury which makes his Zee TV group look attractive to the two media groups he is talking to to become his strategic partner. The market has been abuzz about this possibility ever since Chandra spoke about it at the Merrill Lynch investment seminar in the southern state of Kerala earlier this month. This has led to the runup in its share price, says an investment analyst.

The immediate advantage of course is what the two channels add to the Zee platform. In the music channel segment where Zee Music was struggling, its position improves as compared to rivals B4U Music, MTV, Channel V. Etc, predominantly a music channel, has run very successfully by operating on the model of extremely low overheads and by offering space on the channel for music companies to air promos.

As far as etc Punjabi goes, it is the current leader in its language segment largely because of the exclusive rights it holds for the twice-daily airing of the Gurbani - verses from the Holy Book of the Sikh saints broadcast from the Golden Temple, Sikhism‘s holiest shrine. Alpha Punjabi too has some cachet with audiences thanks to its own telecast of local Gurbanis.

What Goyal will have to work through is how to make sure that the four channels effectively complement rather than cannibalise each other.

Asked to comment on the new deal that Zee was in the process of stitching together, a financial analyst said it was a reasonable value proposition. There is however, a greater value add in the four channels being morphed into two channels - something like an Alpha etc Punjabi for example, was the analyst‘s view.

The key issue is still whether a foreign partner would finally come on board and whether there would be a visible turnaround in the fortunes of the main channel Zee TV, the analyst said. "While these deals are fine, we would also like to see an improvement in Zee TV‘s programming hold over viewers," she says.

Coming back to the deal itself, what is likely to take place is a major rationalisation exercise which will probably see significant staff offload.

There is another possibility which has not got much attention though. The two new channels present a value add to the Zee bouquet in the kind of subscriber package that can be offered. This is relevant in the light of the increasing friction between broadcasters and the cable industry over both higher pay subscription rates and the demand that declared connectivity be significantly increased.

Zee is steadily increasing the bandwidth it occupies on the available prime band in cable TV networks and more channels offer it a greater manoevering capacity as to the subscription packages that it can offer. That the channels are both free to air adds to the possibility of them getting carriage and a favourable band on cable TV systems.

For Zee, the further down on the cable feed the channels of rival networks like Star and Sony are pushed the better. It also needs mention that the etc channels will now possibly get carriage on the Hinduja-promoted InCable Network, an absolute no-no at the moment. This is because the three ETC promoters Kohli, Radhakrishnan and Shah set up their network after breaking away from IN Cable.

For the etc trio, the cash injection will come in handy. The network has been in need of a cash injection to achieve the vision each of them has planned for it. The etc board meeting on 25 February is all but a formality, it appears from the confident manner that Goyal has been speaking about the transaction.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/08/18/DD-800x800.jpg?itok=PriYkDkh
Sponsored serials: Doordarshan issues new invite for eight genres

Doordarshan has invited fresh entries under the sponsored category for the mid prime time band in eight different categories.

Television TV Channels Terrestrial
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/08/18/Smriti-Irani.jpg?itok=mgydNZ1A
Doordarshan sourcing agencies' pre-bid meet on 30 Aug

Doordarshan has decided to empanel agencies for crowd sourcing artistes (t

Television TV Channels Terrestrial
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/08/18/dd.jpg?itok=m7Ijk7-U
DD Kashir: Prime Focus, Beehive & Grasshopper shortlisted for packaging

Three agencies have been shortlisted by Doordarshan to undertake the channel packaging work for its channel, DD Kashir. The agencies are -- Prime Focus Technologies Pvt Ltd, Beehive Systems Pvt Ltd, and Grasshopper Media Pvt Ltd.

Television TV Channels Terrestrial
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/08/18/inside%20%281%29.jpg?itok=k6O4gL4H
Hindi GEC: Star Plus reclaims top urban slot & Zee Anmol retains lead in two markets

In the Hindi GEC genre this week, Star Plus has reclaimed its top slot and Zee Anmol has retained its leadership in two markets -- Hindi GEC (rural plus urban) and Hindi GEC - rural, according to BARC India all-India week 32 data.

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/08/18/pkl.jpg?itok=o_f2tEkX
PKL rural telecast exceptionally propels Star Sports First to top

Star Sports First, primarily on the strength of PKL viewership in urban as well as rural areas, has again retained its lead with almost double the ratings as compared to BARC week 32's second position-holder.

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/08/18/viwer.jpg?itok=sSGbkCn6
Times Now narrows gap with Republic TV, again

Over the last few weeks, a see-saw ratings battle is on between the two of the leading Indian English news channels - the Arnab Goswami-led Republic TV that has held a pole position for over a quarter of a year since its launch, and its nearest competitor and the ratings king it dethroned - Times...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/08/18/ss_0.jpg?itok=BLplwPWV
English Ent.: MNX leads & Zee Cafe retains top slot with significant drop

Times rebranding gamble seems to have paid off. Three weeks after Movies Now 2 was rechristened as MNX, it topped the weekly viewership chart of BARC India's latest all-India data.

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/08/18/love-aur-dhokha.jpg?itok=HtkxcIii
ABP News' 'Love aur Dhokha' revisits 6 untimely deaths

The film and television industry, while well known and envied for its glamour and lifestyle, has also had its fair share of tragedies over the years. Tragedies which took away some of the brightest and most promising stars of the industry and left behind a plethora of questions about what happened...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/08/18/Brett_Hogg.jpg?itok=kxEwzszH
Sony moves ahead with own distributors in four SE Asian countries post Spider-Man's success

MUMBAI: Sony Pictures Entertainment is reportedly planning to launch distributors of its own in four countries after terminating a longstanding theatrical-releasing joint venture with Disney in Southeast Asia. Sony has plans to launch Sony Pictures Releasing units in Singapore, Thailand, and...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories