Troubled channel ZEE Next from the ZEE stable has ditched investment plans for the time being as the network pumps in extra mullah into its flagship service, ZEE TV.
As ZEE TV faces fresh competition from newly launched Colors, ZEE Network bosses have decided to increase its original content on the channel, according to IndianTelevision. “We will invest in afternoon programming and increase our weekly offering to 40 hours of programming from current 32 hours,” adds the source.
New shows on ZEE TV such as ‘Haadsa’ and ‘Waris’ have failed to strike a chord with its viewers and thus the channel has refocused on improving the content of its fiction shows. Rival Colors has relied heavily on reality big shots like ‘Bigg Boss’ and ‘Fear Factor’, which prove expensive.
ZEE Next on the other hand is expected to report losses of around Rs 300 million for the last three quarters of the fiscal. The first quarter losses from ZEE Next, in contrast, stood at around Rs 380 million.
“We are keeping ZEE Next in low maintenance cost. We will keep the brand alive, but not invest on content. We will minimise our losses to Rs 100 million every quarter. We are planning to hive off the channel and will pump in money after we get an investor,” said a ZEE source to IndianTelevision.
There were plans to hive off ZEE Next to its wholly-owed subsidiary Asia Today Limited so that it would not capture the start-up losses of the channel.