Rumour: Are ZEE Network & VIEWASIA merging?

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The latest industry buzz doing the rounds is about VIEWASIA (owned by Multi Screen Media ��� Sony Entertainment Network) wanting to expand its bouquet with ZEE Network joining looking more likely than ever, BizAsia.co.uk can reveal.

Whilst it�۪s no big secret that VIEWASIA has been in talks with many channels about growing, the bouquet will no doubt see a massive boost if ZEE Network joined. In fact, it will benefit both parties as most of the UK premium Asian TV channels will come under one umbrella (excluding Star TV).

Even though VIEWASIA and ZEE Network have been in negotiations on numerous occasions, this time, a merger could be likely. If VIEWASIA and ZEE Network do come together, an alliance like this will no doubt impact Star TV’s dominance in the UK market, which leads with the number one Hindi entertainment channel -Star Plus and number one movie channel, Star Gold, according to official BARB data.

Rumours also have it that VIEWASIA had been in talks with Star TV about joining but these reached stalemate. This is most probably down to News Corp wanting to keep its Star TV channels available independently on the DTH platform.

Unlike the UK market, the US market sees all the Asian TV channels bundled up in one package and sold at a much more competitive price to what UK viewers are offered. VIEWASIA has been wanting to do this from the outset. If ZEE Network and VIEWASIA merge, we could be moving the US way soon.

VIEWASIA currently offers eight premium channels on Sky Digital. ZEE Network has four subscription channels in its own bouquet (Zing is free-to-air). Could VIEWASIA be getting bigger and expanding to twelve channels? And will VIEWASIA retain its name if ZEE Network joins? Should the two parties join hands? Keep it with BizAsia.co.uk for the utmost latest.

At the time of filing this article, VIEWASIA and ZEE Network were not available for comment.

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