Charter communications signs deal with Zee for distribution in the US

The agreement includes the addition of 22 Zee channels in multiple languages.

Mumbai: Charter Communications announced the launch of new South Asian-focused video packages with up to 24 new channels as part of a programming expansion made possible in part by a distribution agreement for all of India's Zee channels.

The new India View packages, which feature significantly more content than Charter's previous South Asian video offerings, are available to spectrum TV subscribers as well as customers who prefer to receive a streaming video package over the Internet+.

The most popular Indian networks and Zee channels have been added to the India View tiers as part of Charter's new distribution agreement with Asia TV USA, a Mumbai-based affiliate of Zee Entertainment Enterprises.

The agreement includes the addition of 22 ZEE channels in multiple languages for spectrum video customers, including &TV, Zee Bangla, Zee Kannada, Zee Keralam, Zee Marathi, Zee Punjabi, Zee Tamil, Zee Telugu, Zee News, Zee World, and WION, in addition to the renewal of the agreement for the flagship Hindi general entertainment channel Zee TV, which is already offered by Charter.

Charter’s executive vice president of programming acquisition, Tom Montemagno, said,"Our agreement with ZEE gives Spectrum customers access to some of the most popular news, sports, and entertainment programming from India in multiple languages."

He further said, "The addition of ZEE’s channels to our lineup enables us to offer our customers South Asian-focused video packages that are meaningfully more robust, with enhanced flexibility and value, and directly aligns with our commitment to provide programming that reflects our customers’ diverse interests and perspectives."

To promote the new programming and India View tiers, Charter and Zee have launched a co-branded marketing campaign in Spectrum markets with large South Asian populations, such as Los Angeles, New York, and Dallas, focusing on the streaming packages India View Stream ($19.99/month) and India View Stream Plus ($29.99/month).

Zee's agreement with the companies is the latest step in the company's efforts to serve the growing South Asian communities in the United States. Since 1998, Zee has been present in the United States, promoting culturally rich stories while connecting South Asian audiences to their heartland.

Zee Entertainment Enterprises content and international markets president Punit Misra said,"The U.S. market is an important part of Zee Entertainment’s international strategy, and the increase in the South Asian population in the U.S. gives us an opportunity to serve the content needs of the growing population segment,"

He added, "The vast majority of our audiences who live in the U.S. are foreign-born and have immigrated to the U.S. There is a very strong brand affinity in this group towards ZEE. We are delighted to expand our partnership with Charter to make this premium suite of channels available to Spectrum customers."

Zee Entertainment Enterprises chief business officer for international business Ashok Namboodiri said, "Our partnership with Charter is extremely vital to our growth objectives in the U.S., and the agreement facilitates the availability of a large variety of entertainment options targeted towards the South Asian audiences for Spectrum customers."

He added, "In addition to the Hindi content, we firmly believe that our next set of growth is expected from the vernacular languages like Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali, Malayalam, and Punjabi, and ZEE is evaluating various production opportunities which will bring immense value to this growing population segment in the United States."

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