Report on Hindi News Viewership

The era of internet belongs to Mayaverse: Subhash Chandra

Chandra hinted that the group has plans to launch a new business on the technology front.

Mumbai: Essel group chairman Subhash Chandra opened up about the latest corporate developments in an interview with Zee Business's managing editor Anil Singhvi on Wednesday. He spoke about the Mayaverse, Zee Group’s digital ambitions, Zeel-Sony merger, Yes Bank Dish TV issue and other matters.

When asked about new trends such as metaverse, crypto and NFTs, Chandra said, “I call it Mayaverse, as the era of internet belongs to Mayaverse.” During the conversation, Chandra hinted that the group will be coming up with something new very soon – this time on the technology front. 

He said, “we never started any business for money, we always tried to do something new by means of business.”

He also revealed Zee group’s plans to add one billion users in the next three years. Zee Media’s digital platforms have 300 million active users and the group will focus on monetising digital content going forward.

Channel's performance 

Talking about Zee Media's performance, Chandra noted that 58 per cent of the viewers watching Zee Media’s international channel WION is a foreign audience. 

He also stated that WION has more followers on YouTube than the BBC and plans to add another 500 million viewers in the next five years.

Speaking about the corporate developments at Essel Group, Chandra said that it has reduced 92 per cent of debt at the promoter level and the rest of the debt will be cleared within one to two months. He also admitted that venturing into the infra business was a ‘mistake’. 

The conflict between Dish TV-Yes Bank

On the boardroom conflict between Dish TV and Yes Bank, he commented that the previous management at Yes Bank ‘did fraud with us’ and that many people in the media lack the right information regarding the matter between Yes Bank and Dish TV. Coming to the ongoing merger between Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited and Sony Pictures Networks India, he said the merger is moving in the right direction and after regulatory approvals, the merger will be completed.

The media mogul is hopeful for a bounce-back with more ‘strength’ and ‘power’ and observed that the environment is quite positive in the country under PM Modi’s leadership. “We are continuously working on many fronts,” he said.

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