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Subhash Chandra’s Living Ent. to launch 5 channels; eyes Rs 1000 crore revenue in 4 years

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MUMBAI: Essel Group's Living Entertainment is looking at launching five new channels in the Indian market.

The first channel to go on air will be an international food and lifestyle channel christened Living Foodz. Hitting Indian airwaves on 11 September, 2015, this foodtainment channel will have dual feed in Hindi and English.

Additionally, the group also plans to launch Zee Living in India, which is already an established channel in the US. Apart from this, channels that will be launched under the Living Entertainment’s umbrella are: Living Rootz, which will concentrate on the rich civilization of the country, Living Homez focusing on home décor and Living Travelz, which will emphasise on the traveling aspect. The launch dates of these four channels have not yet been decided. 

What’s more, the Living network, which has generated revenues of Rs 80 crore from global operations, is eyeing global revenue of Rs 1000 crore in the next four years.

“In the next six months, we will add Rs 30 crore from India operations, which will take our business to around Rs  110 – 115 crore. In next four years, Living network will reach the Rs 1000 crore mark,” informed Zeel and Essel Group chairman Dr Subhash Chandra.

According to him, 12 - 13 per cent of the global television viewership comes from the lifestyle category, while in terms of revenue generation the percentile goes up to 18 to 20 per cent, hence offering a huge space to explore.

“This is yet another endeavour from our group to bring the world closer through entertainment. Living is all about global mindsets and experiences. This is also in line with our group philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ - The world is my family. Our group has always believed in creating not just great content but building genres and brands that are milestones,” he added.

According to Dr Chandra, the American market, where Living network’s Zee Living has already established itself, is the most closed economy. “I have no hesitation in saying that, though people say US is the father of market economy, it’s the most closed economy I have ever seen in my life. We had to tussle hard to get distribution and even today out of 110 million homes, we managed to reach only 30 million homes,” he asserted.

Zeel MD & CEO Punit Goenka added, “With Living, we intend to make global content for global audiences. This will be for the first time ever  that original content from India will be available to audiences across the globe. We are very proud to present this new form of entertainment to our audiences.”

Drawing light to the business aspiration of the first channel to be launched from the bouquet, Goenka said, “Living Foodz will be a profitable from year one. Given the quality and content we have, I am sure of the fact that Living Foodz will go a long way.”

Living Foodz will specialise in exploring the evolving social status of food: moving out of the confines of the conventional kitchen into a world of entertainment and adventure with food. Having food at its core, Living Foodz will explore different perspectives towards food and the way it touches people - from lifestyle, travel, wellness to food infotainment and reality.

“Living is our endeavour to showcase audiences with great lifestyle content. Growth of digitisation is leading to fragmentation of audiences, thereby creating an opportunity for differentiated and genre specific content. Moreover, increasing digital households are giving rise to increased audience expectations and demand for more diverse viewing opportunities. Under this scenario we are providing Living Foodz to people who love exploring and knowing more about food,” opined Zee Living - India & APAC CEO Piyush Sharma. 

Sharma further informed that the network will launch an app in six months’ time as well as a website in the next two months. “The channel will have 100 per cent original content,” he added.

Speaking to Indiantelevision.com, Living Foodz business head Amit Nair said, “We will have 80 per cent of Indian content, while 20 per cent will be English. The entire programming will be in-house. We have a very good in-house team who will handle that part.”

In terms of marketing, the channel will emphasize more on digital platforms while there will be a 360 degree presence.

For the Indian market, Living Foodz will be the international food & lifestyle channel that will have a universal feel and will appeal to new age groups in digital households. The core audience set will comprise the well travelled and connected people with high interest level of food. 

The launch of Living Foodz will also mean curtains down for Zee's Khana Khazana channel. “We are proud of the achievements and accolades Khana Khazana has garnered so far but now we believe audiences' taste has changed and hence we decided to come up with Living Foodz. We will use Khana Khazana content and re-package it for our digital platforms, but since Living Foodz is going to have 100 per cent fresh content we cannot have its content on television,” said Sharma.

The shows that Living Foodz is launching with are: Food Xpress: Rocky & Mayur, Chef on Wheels, Vickypedia, with Chef Vicky Ratnani, The Great Indian Rasoi with chef Ranveer BrarGood Food America and Peggy’s Kitchen Cures.

The channel will be available across all direct-to-home (DTH) platforms like Dish TV, Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV and Videocon d2h as well as leading cable networks.

Living Entertainment in India will be an extension of the Living network belonging to Essel Group, which already exists in international markets.

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